PEMBROKE — Chunmei Yao has joined The University of North Carolina at Pembroke as the director of the Office of Institutional Research. The office is responsible for data management, reporting and analysis, surveys and assessment to help the university plan more strategically.
Yao comes to Pembroke from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she was a senior research analyst in the Office of Planning and Decision Support. She previously worked at SUNY Oneonta as an associate director of institutional research.
She has five years of experience in higher education institutional research, in addition to experience in finance, publishing and instruction at the college level.
Zoe Locklear, interim provost and vice chancellor of Academic Affairs, said Yao’s skill-set is a great fit for the university.
“Dr. Yao brings tremendous knowledge and skill to this position,” Locklear said. “She has a wealth of experiences which make her uniquely qualified to direct the Office of Institutional Research.”
Yao earned her bachelor’s degree in World History from Nankai University and studied U.S.-China relations during the 1970s. She earned her master’s degree in Educational Psychology and a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from West Virginia University in Morganton.
A self-described “numbers person,” Yao says there are “opportunities in numbers to inform institutional planning and decision making.”
“Our office works with other entities of the university to improve institutional effectiveness,” she said. “For example, if our research could help to improve retention by one or two percent, how much money would that save the university?”
When Yao saw the job opening at the university, she saw much more.
“I wanted to work in the Southeast at a small or mid-size university,” she said. “I want to work in a community atmosphere where people know and care about each other very well. UNCP is my type of university. … I drove to work early this morning between corn fields with no cars in front or behind me.”
For information about the Office of Institutional Research, call 910-775-4445 or email [email protected]