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OBU Welcomes Spencer as Director of Assessment and Institutional Research

August 20, 2015

Spencer completed a Bachelor of Science in English from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He then completed a master of divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is currently working on his doctorate in theological studies with an emphasis in Christian ethics, also from Southeastern. His dissertation is on Christian approaches to environmental ethics.

Before coming to OBU, he served as the coordinator of institutional research and faculty support at Southeastern. He previously served as a senior nuclear operations training instructor at the Harris Nuclear Plant and Progress Energy Carolinas in New Hill, North Carolina. He also served as a shift engineer with the Navy Nuclear Power Training Unit, MTS-635, in Goose Creek, South Carolina, and as a submarine division officer aboard the U.S.S. Jimmy Carter.

His academic and instructional experience includes curricular development for the online course "A Biblical View of Wealth and Poverty" at Southeastern, as well as serving as a grader/ teaching assistant at Southeastern. He also served as a senior nuclear operations training instructor at the Harris Nuclear Plant and Progress Energy Carolinas, and served as a master training specialist with the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit. He has also published numerous journal articles and book reviews.

Dr. Stan Norman, provost and executive vice president for campus life, is pleased to welcome Spencer to Bison Hill. "We are grateful to have Spence Spencer join us as director of assessment and institutional research. His knowledge, experience and wisdom will help guide our university to greater levels of achievement and excellence through enhanced processes in assessment and institutional evaluation. His leadership will prove invaluable as the university community works toward reaccreditation with the Higher Learning Commission and as we strive to achieve goals for continuous improvement. We are always seeking to improve every aspect of our university, and I am confident that Spence will help guide us to even greater levels of excellence."

Several things drew Spencer to OBU.

"I am excited about the mission of OBU," he said. "We live in a time when the integration of faith and knowledge is crucial. OBU stands in a grand tradition of Christian liberal arts institutions, ready to equip students to think clearly and Christianly in a world that desperately needs that clarity and light. I hope that some of the experience and gifts God has given me can be used to help OBU through the HLC reaffirmation process. I'm looking forward to the challenge of the coming years."

As director of assessment and institutional research, he will work collaboratively with many groups on campus to facilitate assessments, helping the campus make better data-based decisions and fulfill the university's overall mission.

"We live in an exciting time where there is a great deal of data available," he said. "One of the most significant aspects of institutional research, which is a part of this position, is the opportunity to help every working group on the campus make better decisions based on the available data. When done well, making decisions using data can save time, prevent errors and help the institution lead trends in education."

Spencer has been married to his wife, Jennifer, for 12 years. She is an electrical engineer turned secondary math teacher turned home educator. They met while both were students at the Naval Nuclear Power School in Charleston, South Carolina. The Spencers have three children, Grace, Martha and Freeman. He was born and raised in western New York, about an hour South of Buffalo. He enjoys reading and reviewing books, as well as spending time outdoors with his family.