Mary Harrington has served in a number of leadership roles during her career at the University of Mississippi. As Director of Institutional Research and Assessment for the past 12 years, she has been responsible for collecting and strategically analyzing data to support the institution’s key initiatives, such as retention, graduation, and enrollment management. She is responsible for institutional effectiveness initiatives campus-wide, including the assessment of academic, administrative, research, and public service units. Her responsibilities were recently expanded to include institutional strategic planning. Harrington is very active in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) arena, having served on numerous On-Site and Off-Site Accreditation Review Teams at major research institutions throughout the southeast since 2009. She served as Program Chair for the 2012 SACS-COC Annual Meeting, and has presented invited workshops and sessions at Annual Meetings, the Summer Institute, and at SACS-COC staff retreats. Annually since 2009, she has joined the SACS-COC staff in conducting a full-day training program for individuals who plan to serve on Review Teams as an Institutional Effectiveness evaluator. As Co-Chair of Ole Miss’ SACS-COC Reaffirmation Team from 2008-2010, Harrington authored and coordinated responses to many key Standards. She has served as a consultant for numerous private and public institutions as they prepared for their SACS-COC reaffirmation, with a particular focus on the organization and completeness of institutions’ Compliance Reports and Fifth-Year Interim Reports. She has also conducted numerous multi-day workshops on institutional effectiveness at institutions throughout the country. Harrington is very active in professional organizations, such as the Southern Association of Institutional Researchers (SAIR), of which she is currently President. She has given numerous presentations and workshops at SAIR, as well as at national affiliate (AIR) and the Mississippi affiliate (MAIR) conferences. She is the most recent recipient of the Jim Nichols Service Award in Institutional Research, received the SAIR Best Paper Award, and the AIR Best Visual Presentation Award. She is a member of the Class of Mississippi Women of Distinction, and was recognized for Women’s Leadership on campus.
Prior to her involvement in the institutional research area, Harrington’s experience was in the area of Information Technology. As Director of Administrative Computing from 1998-2003, she was responsible for the University’s Student Information System, as well as its Human Resource and Financial Systems. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Mississippi with a B.A. and M. A. in Mathematics. Officially retiring on June 30, 2014 after 36 years at Ole Miss, Harrington will continue to work part-time for the Provost as Director Emerita of Institutional Research and Assessment.