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Enhanced data analytics, reporting will result from restructuring, integrated compliance focus

March 19, 2013
Celeste Latham

Celeste Latham

Analytics and reporting is vital to Northern Illinois University.

As part of the university’s continued focus on integrated compliance administration, Steven Cunningham, acting executive vice president of Finance and Facilities and chief of operations, has announced further integration of analytics into university operations.

Effective today, the Department of Finance and Institutional Research, formerly Institutional Research, will be organized under the leadership of Associate Vice President Celeste Latham.

Latham, along with Dan House, director of Financial and Institutional Research, will focus on access to institutional data and the need for consistency and unification of data collection efforts university-wide, along with its corresponding analysis.

To review, analyze and make recommendations to improve and streamline data collection and access issues across the university, Latham and House will work closely with representatives from:

  • the Office of the Provost and academic areas;
  • Information Technology Services;
  • the Office of the Registrar;
  • Student Affairs and Enrollment Management;
  • University Relations;
  • Advancement;
  • Research; and
  • Outreach.

“These functions are critical to the university’s ability to adjust and adapt policies and procedures to enhance recruitment, retention and graduation rates in line with our Vision 2020 goals,” NIU President John G. Peters said. “They are equally important in acquiring federal and private institutional research funding and in receiving performance funding at the state level.”

Analytics and reporting are vital for data warehousing, planning, budget reviews, legislative and other information reporting requirements, and the reorganization strengthens these components within the operational framework of the university.

Steve Cunningham

Steve Cunningham

“The realignment of the Office of Institutional Research will provide critical oversight and access to institutional data needed to provide both internal and external end-users with enhanced access to institutional data,” Cunningham said. “The reorganization of the existing institutional research function will include a financial, planning and analysis focus that will provide important data for financial planning necessary to advance NIU’s future strategic interests and direction.”

Going forward, Latham will coordinate many administrative functions for the division.

In addition to financial and institutional research and her current responsibility for Human Resource Operations, she will assume responsibility for payroll and also the data security functions that are being integrated into Compliance Administration as part of the fortification of university compliance announced last week.

With more than 20 years human resources experience, Latham has been employed by NIU for nearly 15 years.  She was appointed associate vice president of administration in 2012 after previously serving two years as assistant vice president for human resource operations. From 2007 to 2010, Latham was director of Human Resource Operations.

Prior to coming to NIU, she worked for Waubonsee Community College and served in the U.S. Air Force. The NIU alumna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Operation Management and Information Systems and a Master of Information Systems (MIS).