Director of Institutional Research
University of Hawaii
The stress of organizational change is perhaps felt nowhere so keenly today as in our educational system. Dr. Marlene Lowe sees her role in the Office of Assessment and Institutional Research as a place where she can help ease that stress. "This is about cultural change—that’s the exciting part of my work. We’re not just providing information, we are creating a culture that is open to using good data to make good decisions and guide change."
"Whether or not people want it, WASC and other stakeholders are requiring educators to be accountable. This is a dramatic shift and change on many levels is necessary. So I try to frame it as learning, not—as some see it—as the hammer falling. 'You want to be a better teacher, you want to be a good administrator, so let’s look for the places where you can improve. We can all move forward and get excited about that.' We're not just providing information. We are changing hearts and minds. I really am an organizational development person at heart."
Marlene moved to Oahu while completing her doctoral dissertation at CGU, having already gotten her start in institutional research at Western University of Health Sciences. She is grateful for Claremont’s reputation. "That definitely opened more doors, and doors are hard to open around here. There are only so many jobs in Hawaii!"
She has been able also to continue teaching, which she began during her Claremont years as a teaching assistant, though currently with more glamorous results—she was recently flown to Saipan and Guam for several weeks as an adjunct professor, to teach courses on leadership and action research.