OBU has named Blake Decker as director of assessment. Decker began his new role on Bison Hill Wednesday, May 1.
At OBU, the director of assessment provides leadership for university functions as related to the assessment of student learning on campus, designs quantitative and qualitative studies, analyzes data, and reports results on issues of university-wide importance. With staff support, the director gathers data and submits reports required by federal and state agencies, accreditation and other entitles. The position provides support for OBU's program review and strategic planning processes.
Decker came to OBU from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he served as director of partnership effectiveness for the College Ready in Mathematics and Physics Partnership. The role involved strategic planning and analyzing data for program efficacy. He simultaneously worked as a consultant and scholastic audit team leader for the Arkansas Department of Education.
He previously served as assistant director of the Western Education Renewal Zone at the University of Arkansas in Fort Smith; as an English teacher at Northside High School in Fort Smith and at Brownfield High School in Brownfield, Texas; and as an English-as-a-Second Language composition and grammar instructor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Decker's professional experience includes numerous university committees and several positions related to the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, as well as varied publications, presentations and grant proposals related to higher education.
"We are excited to have Blake as a full-time director of assessment," said Dr. Pam Robinson, associate provost at OBU and dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. "His experience with the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education policies and procedures provides him with a foundational knowledge of accreditation processes as he participates in Higher Learning Commission (HLC) activities with and for OBU. His understanding of assessment principles and processes will enable him to lead OBU's participation in the Academy for Assessment of Student Learning under the HLC."
"I am especially appreciative of his ability to use data to tell a story," Robinson said. "Using his knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative data, Blake will assist programs in utilizing such data to assess their subject areas in meaningful ways."
Decker earned a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech University, graduating with the scholastic predicate cum laude. He earned a master's degree in applied linguistics from Texas Tech. He currently is a doctoral candidate at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in public policy with a higher education policy specialization.