To say that CSU Global’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness Liz Harris is passionate about data may be an understatement. 

Harris, who joined CSU Global in 2021, appreciates the opportunity to use her analytical background to make the best decisions for the institution. “I worked in K-12 non-academic assessment and evaluation for two years before finding my niche in higher education. When I was searching for my next career opportunity, I predominately looked at institutions that served non-traditional students.”

CSU Global checked off all of Harris’ boxes. “CSU Global is truly everything I was looking for — a 100% online university serving mostly adult students. The fact that CSU Global is a fully virtual public state institution was fascinating to me.” Launched in 2007, CSU Global was the first regionally accredited, non-profit, online state university in the U.S.

At CSU Global, Harris and her team assess more than just student outcomes—they track what the institution promises its students. To do this, they use a mixed methodology approach to look at the whole student experience through surveys and interviews. Harris especially loves working with non-traditional students and creating different metrics to understand the student body. 

As the Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Harris and her team of four analysts combine traditional institutional research responsibilities (government reporting, rankings, publicly available information available on the website, managing enrollment and retention numbers) with understanding the student journey. “There’s a trend in higher education to move toward institutional effectiveness because we don’t want to just look at data—we want to look at the whole student experience.” 

“It’s really nice to know that the leadership team values my opinions and that I am a part of shaping the vision of institutional effectiveness. I feel like I am heard.”

CSU Global President Pam Toney shares Harris’ vision for the future. Together, they hope to implement more non-traditional assessments of students, track progress toward graduation in different ways, and move forward with being more inclusive in metrics and reporting.

Harris, who is currently enrolled in CSU Global’s Digital Instructional Architecture graduate certificate program, is using what she’s learning by teaching staff and faculty how to better use data. “As a student, I see the challenges other students face every day—working and taking care of family while finding the time to complete an assignment over a lunch break. I love our student platform’s structure, which allows me to complete work at any time. Because my class size is small, I receive valuable, direct feedback from my instructor. This leads to me learning more because the information is tailored to my needs. The conversation is richer because they understand my background.” 

Interested in joining the team? Learn more about CSU Global career opportunities here!