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Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning - George Mason University



Gesele Durham

Title: Vice Provost for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning


Phone: (703) 993-5883


Provides leadership in strategic and academic planning, the production and use of analytics, meaningful assessment, data governance and data-informed decision-making that advances Mason’s goals.


Prior to joining Mason, Gesele was the Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While there, she created the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, initiated campus-wide discussions regarding data governance and resource development, implemented innovative campus tools aimed at strategic initiatives such as persistence and completion, access to strategic data for planning, and assessment of student learning and program outcomes.


A frequent contributor to national conversations on the advancement of analytics and strategic planning, she currently serves as the secretary on the executive board for the APLU’s Commission on Measurement, Information and Analysis. In the past she also served on the APLU’s board for the Voluntary System of Accountability, Product Advisory Councils for the EAB for both the Navigate/Student Success Collaborative as well as the Academic Performance Solutions tools, and as a member of the Peer Review Corp and mentor for the Persistence and Completion Academy for the Higher Learning Commission.


With a doctoral degree in Political Science from Binghamton University, she began her academic career at the University of Minnesota Morris as faculty before relocating to Wisconsin. After serving as the assistant director for the multi-disciplinary International Studies program at UW-Madison, she transitioned to the newly created role of enrollment data manager within the UW-Madison Graduate School. She also served one year with the General Accounting Office in Washington. D.C. evaluating international environmental agreements. Originally from central Illinois, she attended Illinois State University for her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, both in Political Science.


Appeared on the Larry King show with a dramatic interpretation about life in a fishbowl from the fish perspective.