Zunkel named to institutional research post

Karen Zunkel, director of undergraduate education and academic quality in the office of the senior vice president and provost, has been appointed executive director of the office of institutional research (IR), effective July 22.

Karen Zunkel head shot

Karen Zunkel

"Karen's deep understanding of ISU's land-grant mission of teaching, research and extension will enable her to reposition the office of institutional research to provide greater decision-making support across the university," said associate provost Dawn Bratsch-Prince, who oversees the office.

Zunkel, an ISU alumna, returned to campus in 1991 as an instructor in the College of Engineering before moving into administration positions across a range of functions. She served as manager of the Engineering college's undergraduate student services (1997-2002) before leading the Program for Women in Science and Engineering for more than a decade (2002-13). In 2004, she added a provost's office part-time appointment, director of undergraduate programs, to her duties. Since 2013, Zunkel has worked full time in academic quality and student outcomes assessment in the provost's office.

"It's an exciting time for IR, as new data sets -- including Workday -- and new analysis and visualization tools are available for decision-making purposes. I look forward to working with the IR team and campus partners to better leverage institutional data to improve Iowa State," Zunkel said.

Zunkel earned bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial engineering from Iowa State and the University of Oklahoma, respectively, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Iowa State.

Former IR director Gebre Tesfagiorgis retired in June 2016 and associate director Sandy Gahn, who served as interim director, retired last fall. Retired associate vice president for student affairs and registrar Kathy Jones has been serving as interim director since November.