campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College Appoints New Institutional Research Director

NEW LONDON, N.H. - Colby-Sawyer College has appointed Ni Yi of Charlottesville, Va., as its new director of institutional research. Beginning in January 2010, Dr. Ni will provide leadership in the collection and analysis of data to support institutional effectiveness and the college's strategic planning initiatives.

Ni holds a Ph.D. in research, statistics and evaluation from the University of Virginia and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. Most recently, he has served as a database developer for the K-12 school system in Charlottesville, where he built shared database systems to provide information and technology tools to support the district's principals and coordinators in decision-making and tracking students' academic progress.

“We would like to shift our emphasis in Institutional Research toward a more active role in strategic planning and program assessment for the college, and Dr. Ni's strong background in research, data compilation and analysis, and program evaluation was very attractive,” says Colby-Sawyer President Tom Galligan. “His role as an institutional research director will extend beyond data management to engage the college community in using data to inform our decision-making and to continuously improve the educational experiences of our students.”

As the director of institutional research, Dr. Ni will work collaboratively with President Galligan and senior officers on issues of assessment in both general institutional effectiveness and specifically in measuring students' success in meeting the college's learning outcomes. He will also take part in the planning and evaluation of academic programs and other activities related to the college's academic mission, as well as design and conduct both college-wide and departmental institutional research projects. Additionally, the college has charged this new director with the task of developing and driving a culture of data-based decision-making in all areas of the college, according to President Galligan.

In coordination with the college's Information Resources department, Dr. Ni will seek to develop more centralized data systems and technology tools that give the college community easy access to vital information. He will also create standardized procedures for conducting survey research in support of analysis, planning and assessment in the student development and academic areas. Additionally, Dr. Ni will coordinate data collection efforts for academic program reviews and accreditation reports, maintain the institutional research data system, and report critical data to both internal and external constituents.

The opportunity to play a major role in not only maintaining integrity and accessibility of Colby-Sawyer's research data but also in improving the institution itself prompted Dr. Ni to apply for the position. In his previous work as a database developer, his understanding of institutional research evolved from realizing efficiencies through data collection systems to a more inclusive approach that engages key community members across the college in processes of data collection, analysis and application to decision-making. Describing institutional effectiveness as his career passion, Dr. Ni says, “I am ready to use my creativity and skills to help myself and others to collectively accomplish Colby-Sawyer's mission.”

-Kimberly Swick Slover, December 2009


Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with professional experience.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000