Announcing our new Director of Institutional Research

Dear colleagues,

It is my pleasure to inform you that Jason Rivera has accepted our offer to become the next Director of Institutional Research at Williams, starting June 1. Jason joins us from the University of Bridgeport, where he is the Vice President for University Systems, Effectiveness, and Planning.

As a first-generation graduate of Pitzer College, Jason has a deep appreciation for the transformative role of liberal arts colleges. He started his career at Pitzer, where he helped build its institutional research office from scratch. In addition to the usual reporting functions of institutional research, Jason established a culture of data and assessment that had a major impact on decision-making at the college. He then moved on to become the Director of Institutional Research at Dickinson College, where he focused on making the institutional research office more accessible to campus constituents and developed methods to understand various aspects of student success and issues around diversity and inclusion. He brought this same focus to Bridgeport, where he was recruited by President Laura Trombley (his former boss at Pitzer) to support access and equity work at an institution that has played an important role in opening up opportunities for lower-income and first-generation students.

Jason emerged as the top choice of our search committee, whose names are listed below, due to his extensive background in institutional research and demonstrated commitment to using data to understand student outcomes and issues of diversity and inclusion. Nancy Roseman, our former Williams colleague and 28th president of Dickinson College, ended her glowing remarks about Jason by saying, “The only thing I would add is that he gets it that students are central to the enterprise. Yes, everyone and everything else is important, but what we do is, in the end, about the students. He totally gets that.” Jason’s experience using data to support student outcomes aligns perfectly with the strategic direction of the college and our continued commitment to support students from a wide range of backgrounds.

While most hiring at Williams has been frozen during the crisis, exceptions are being made for a very few critical roles, of which this is one, given the importance of IR data and analysis to effective decision-making. I want to thank the search committee (Deb Chaulk, Kath Dunlop, Barron Koralesky, Sulgi Lim ’06, Molly Magavern, Kashia Pieprzak, and Chris Winters ’95) for their exceptional work during such a challenging period, and everyone who participated in the interview process that led to this positive result. I also want to thank our IR team, including interim director James Cart ’05 and Aimee Reische, for their amazing work during the transition period, as well as former IR director Courtney Wade for her exceptional leadership over the years.

Again, Jason will join us on June 1. Especially given the unusual challenges of remote work, I hope you will join me in welcoming him into the Williams community.

Dukes Love
Provost and Class of 1969 Professor of Economics