Alumna Returns to Roots as Assistant Vice Provost for Institutional Research

June 24, 2021 | News, UToday, Alumni, Arts and Letters, Natural Sciences and Mathematics
By Kirk Baird

An alumna with professional ties to The University of Toledo returns to her roots as the new assistant vice provost for institutional research.

Dr. Anne Fulkerson, who received a bachelor’s in psychology, a master’s in experimental psychology and a doctoral degree in experimental psychology at UToledo, takes over the position on July 29.

Since 2018, she has served as director of institutional research at Owens Community College.


“I am thrilled to be returning to my roots here at The University of Toledo,” Fulkerson said. “I had such a rich experience at The University of Toledo as an undergraduate, graduate student, post-doctorate, research faculty member and professional staff associate, that I care very deeply for the institution and know first-hand how it transforms lives.

“I left 13 years ago to spread my wings and to broaden my knowledge of institutional research and higher education in general. I am excited to return now and bring that knowledge to bear, especially at this pivotal moment with new visionary leadership and widespread commitment to evidence-based decision making.”

Dr. Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, welcomed Fulkerson back to her three-time alma mater as the new assistant vice provost for institutional research.

“Her extensive experience and breadth of knowledge will be important as we build on the momentum toward high-quality data for decision-making and assessment that our Office of Institutional Research has been supporting. This will be especially important as we move toward our Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation visit later this year.”

Fulkerson has more than 20 years of experience conducting academic and institutional research at two-year and four-year institutions in Ohio and Michigan.

That experience has helped her gain technical and content knowledge, but she said the most crucial quality she has developed is perceptive listening, which dovetails with the requirements for her new position.

“The role of the assistant vice provost for institutional research is to listen to the information needs of the University community and to proactively respond with insightful analysis that supports planning, assessment and decision-making,” she said. “This role is also critical to supporting the continued growth and success of the University by providing data and analysis for strategic and effective actions.

Fulkerson said she discovered her passion for research while taking a research practicum as an undergraduate student at UToledo.

“I remember dreading that we were required to develop a research proposal and to present it to the rest of the class,” she said. “My general research question was ‘How do babies figure out what things are?’ I proposed an experiment to test a compromise between two competing theories and was invited by the chair of the department, Dr. Robert Haaf, to conduct the research as an independent study the next term. I took his offer and was hooked.

“I love research because I see it as a creative problem-solving exercise,” she added. “I find it personally rewarding to excite and inspire others with insightful analysis that allows them to take effective action.”

Fulkerson and her husband have three sons, ages 21, 17, and 15, with the oldest a senior at UToledo in the Environmental Studies Program.

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