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Union County College’s New Research Director

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

On April 7, Elizabeth Cooner became Union County College’s new Executive Director of Institutional Research in the Assessment, Planning and Research Department. In this role, she manages a staff of three that supports the College’s strategic planning, institutional development, and assessment.

The APR Department provides data and reports to support decision-making, management, policy formulation, evaluation, and accountability. In addition, APR prepares and submits mandated federal and state reports to external agencies such as New Jersey Higher Education, the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the US Department of Education.

Ms. Cooner brings to Union more than fifteen years of relevant research and planning experience in both higher education and in the corporate research industry. Her prior experience includes more than seven years at Harris Interactive, Inc., a subsidiary of Neilsen, where she served as the Vice President of Social and Public Policy. Ms. Cooner’s experience in higher education includes having served as the Assistant Director of Monmouth University’s Polling Institute and as Monmouth’s Director of Marketing and Institutional Research. She also served in a one-year interim role at Brookdale Community College conducting market and survey research.

Ms. Cooner has a master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.

Union County College President Margaret McMenamin says Ms. Cooner’s arrival at the College is “welcome and much needed.” She adds, “The APR Department provides data and analysis and forecasts to inform the decisions we make in every aspect of our operations, from budgeting to marketing to academic programming. With our College only two years away from a Middle States visit, Ms. Cooner is coming to us at a critical time. I’m pleased that she understands and appreciates our urgency and that she has the proven track record for being someone capable of hitting the ground running.”

Union County College is undergoing a College-wide Self Study as part of the decennial reaccreditation process, which will culminate with a Middle States visit in 2017.

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