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Longtime faculty member Karen McConnell named AVP and Chief Institutional Effectiveness Officer

Longtime faculty member Karen McConnell named AVP and Chief Institutional Effectiveness Officer

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Portrait Headshot of Prof. Karen McConnell, kinesiology at PLU, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (Photo: John Froschauer/PLU)
February 2, 2022

Karen McConnell, Ph.D., has been named Associate Vice President and Chief Institutional Effectiveness Officer at Pacific Lutheran University. McConnell joined PLU in 1998 as a faculty member in Kinesiology and was appointed Dean of the School of Education & Kinesiology in the fall of 2018.

“Dr. McConnell is dedicated to the success of PLU students and to the mission of our university,” said President Allan Belton. “She will bring a proven track record of academic leadership, innovation, and expertise to this exciting new role.”

As a longtime faculty leader on campus, McConnell has served on a variety of faculty governance committees, including Educational Policies, Faculty Affairs, General Education, and the Faculty Executive Committee. In addition to serving as associate dean or dean since 2007, her administrative leadership experience includes five years as Director of Assessment and twelve years of service on institutional accreditation, including four as Accreditation Liaison Officer. As CIEO, she will serve as a member of the president’s council and lead the university’s efforts toward mission fulfillment, strategic planning, and assessment to provide measurable evidence of institutional effectiveness.

“Now is the time for us to clarify our shared vision, synergize our efforts, and maximize our collective potential,” said McConnell. “As we navigate the range of opportunities and challenges ahead, it is more critical than ever that we continue to come together as a campus community to build a culture of constructive, self-reflective monitoring and continuous improvement. I am honored and excited to be in this role and to be able to fully focus my energy and effort on our shared success.”

Provost Joanna Gregson, who will be working closely with McConnell, agrees. “Mission fulfillment is at the heart of everything we do,” said Gregson. “Honoring that call through the intentional assessment of outcomes and implementation of strategic planning efforts ensures that we will do justice to our mission as we equitably and sustainably serve our students, faculty, and staff.”

McConnell will establish PLU’s new Office of Institutional Effectiveness, which will report directly to the Office of the President and work closely with all divisions of the university to establish the infrastructure necessary to monitor and track the university’s achievement of mission fulfillment. 

Throughout the spring semester, McConnell will continue to prioritize her responsibilities as Dean while gradually moving into her new role. She will fully transition to the role of Associate Vice President and Chief Institutional Effectiveness Officer in June.