Coleen McCracken Celebrates a Quarter Century at Washington State University

If you ask Coleen McCracken, OSPA Administrative Planning Specialist, about what she does or about her twenty-five years of work experience at WSU and Institutional Research, you may get a couple of different answers. First, modest nonchalance and the admonition that, “I live a boring life,” but then you’ll discover that for more than two decades, Coleen McCracken has quietly been navigating code and pulling together data from a nexus of records to provide real information to Washington State University leadership, faculty, and staff.

“What we do is pull together employee, faculty staff data, grant and expenditure data, so much information that you’re not going to find it all in one place— we had it by college and department in the past. But moving forward, we have to reinvent some of how we’ve done that with new technologies and some of our processes.”

That’s what Coleen has been doing for her quarter-century— reinventing and adapting to changing technologies, processes, leadership, direction, and yes, even office locations. When she first started at Institutional Research, the office was located on the first floor of French Admin— before the Lighty addition—and there was a lot more physical paper—paper copies of information to help guide decisions directed to faculty and employee research.

“Whether it’s paper or more automated, it’s always been piecing things together. I’m excited about Workday getting better, and how to report things differently. As things change and new processes are introduced,” said Coleen. “I’m excited to see those changes.”

Cougar Family

Coleen first came to Pullman and WSU at the encouragement of her sister, Vicki McCracken, and then Coleen completed her doctor of philosophy in Agricultural Economics, taught classes, and found a home at Institutional Research. On most days, you can still find the McCracken sisters walking around campus during lunch, both true Cougs!

Newspaper clipping collage of Coleen McCracken's dissertation announcement and professional degree, along with an image of Lighty from 1996 Evergreen.

“I just really enjoy the people here,” Coleen said. “I like this small town. I like being able to get anywhere quickly, walk anywhere you want. It’s a good fit for me.”

Coleen was inducted into the Washington State University Quarter Century Club earlier this fall. The first of December is her official work anniversary; please join us all from the office of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis, in a hearty congratulations to Coleen for her time and dedication to WSU and the Institutional Research team. Cheers to more years and more opportunities to look at information in new and exciting ways!

Eija Sumner photo

About the Author

Eija Sumner is the Strategic Communication Coordinator in the Office of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis (OSPA) at Washington State University.