Fran Hermanson, Executive Director of Institutional Research, to retire after 37 years of service

With over 37 years of service to Washington State University, Fran Hermanson, Executive Director of Institutional Research, will retire effective August 1, 2023.

“Fran’s decades of experience and expertise have been invaluable, and they will be sorely missed,” said Christine Hoyt, Vice President for Strategy, Planning, and Analysis.

Hermanson’s WSU career began in 1985 in Institutional Research, where she honed her skills in student retention and applied best practices in data analytics and reporting. After 16 years in Institutional Research, Hermanson transitioned to enrollment management in 2001 to focus on student recruitment and financial aid leveraging. She later advanced to become the director of student affairs research, where she provided data and analysis to guide planning efforts aimed at improving student progression and success. In 2008, Hermanson returned to Institutional Research as associate director, and in 2014, she was promoted to the position of executive director.

Hermanson’s contributions to the institution extend beyond her achievements in the Office of Institutional Research and include playing an instrumental role in the implementation of WSU’s student information system (PeopleSoft) and serving as the university’s business intelligence lead during that process. She has also participated on countless WSU committees and held external leadership positions with the Rocky Mountain Association for Institutional Research and on several statewide committees. She currently represents the state’s four-year public institutions on the Office of Financial Management’s (OFM) enterprise resource planning task force and serves on the Council of President’s IR Directors standing committee, among other committee appointments.

“Fran’s dedication to service has been a defining characteristic of her career, contributing significantly to the professionalization of the field of institutional research, as well as the growth and success of WSU,” said Hoyt. “Her most outstanding achievement, however, has been her exceptional leadership in ensuring that WSU’s Office of Institutional Research has remained relevant and adaptive to the evolving needs of the university for over 37 years. Fran’s legacy is a robust IR enterprise that provides a solid platform for continued growth and development.”

Hoyt plans to build on and expand the role of Institutional Research to ensure that WSU is well-equipped to meet both current and future demands. To enable stronger insights and informed decision-making at all levels, the Office of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis will focus on expanding strategy management, data management, and advanced analytics capabilities. The core mission and services of Institutional Research will continue to emphasize supporting the academic enterprise and the success of WSU’s students.

Stephanie Kane, Assistant Director, and Jon Walter, Data Architect and Database Administrator, have been assigned more significant responsibilities to assume leadership of the unit following Hermanson’s departure. This decision was made based on their extensive experience and expertise, as well as their demonstrated ability to guide the team through the upcoming changes. Kane and Walter will partner with Hermanson throughout the coming months to facilitate a smooth transition of duties.

Institutional Research is a unit within the Office of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis.

Please join us for a reception honoring Fran Hermanson, Executive Director of Institutional Research, who is retiring after 37 years of dedicated service at WSU. We are excited to celebrate Fran’s accomplishments, share memories, and wish her all the best in her retirement.

Fran’s dedication and commitment to excellence have made a significant impact throughout WSU, and we are grateful for her many years of service!

Tuesday, May 9
3–5 p.m. | Great Hall, Lewis Alumni Centre

Refreshments will be provided.

Chris Hoyt, VP

About the Author

Christine Hoyt is Vice President of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis at Washington State University. She provides oversight and leadership to guide WSU’s system strategic planning efforts.

She serves as a strategic partner with other leaders and planners systemwide to drive alignment of WSU’s campus, college, and unit plans to the system strategic plan and implementation of the institution’s top priorities.