Center for Higher Education Research and Policy Analysis

MHEC’s Center for Higher Education Research and Policy Analysis (CHERPA) was established in 2018 to inform institutional and state efforts in improving postsecondary policies, practices, and outcomes. The Center supports the work of commissioners, state legislators and agency staff, institutional and system leaders, and the broader community of higher education administrators and researchers in several ways:

  1. Maintaining a national repository of knowledge for guiding policy and practice
  2. Conducting empirical research and analysis on critical topics in higher education
  3. Developing innovative solutions to improve educational opportunity and effectiveness
  4. Providing public outreach and service to institutions and governments

CHERPA’s researchers produce timely briefs, reports, and technical papers in the most critical areas for facilitating progress towards state educational attainment goals, including College Readiness; Affordability and Finance; Educational Quality; and Performance, Value, and Accountability. The Center places particular emphasis on research that evaluates and informs efforts to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education. To bridge the gap between research and practice, the Center’s work plan is actively shaped by feedback from diverse stakeholders. In addition, members of the Review Panel for State Postsecondary Data and Policy as well as topical experts throughout the nation help ensure the scientific integrity of data and research products.

Senior Researchers

Sandy Baum

Urban Institute

Jennifer A. Delaney

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Education Policy Organization and Leadership

Nicholas Hillman

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Michelle Hodara

Education Northwest
Practice Expert in Applied Research and Postsecondary Success

Robert Kelchen

Seton Hall University
Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Department of Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Alexander McCormick

Indiana University Bloomington
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Marvin Titus

University of Maryland, College Park
Associate Professor of Higher Education

Robert Toutkoushian

University of Georgia, Institute of Higher Education
Professor of Higher Education

Di Xu

University of California, Irvine
Assistant Professor of Educational Policy and Social Context

Xueli Wang

University of Wisconsin–Madison
Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Julie Bartling South Dakota Legislature South Dakota
Sue Buth University of Wisconsin System Wisconsin
Jill Dannemiller Ohio Department of Higher Education Ohio
Tasha Dannenbring South Dakota Board of Regents South Dakota
Gary Evenson Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) Wisconsin
Cynthia Farrier Kansas Board of Regents Kansas
Jill Heese Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education Nebraska
Jeremy Kintzel Missouri Department of Higher Education Missouri
Eric Lichtenberger Illinois Board of Higher Education Illinois
Robert Murphy Michigan Association of State Universities Michigan
Jason Pontius Board of Regents, State of Iowa Iowa
Thomas Sanford Minnesota Office of Higher Education Minnesota
Sean Tierney Indiana Commission for Higher Education Indiana
Jennifer Weber North Dakota University System North Dakota

Aaron Horn

Vice President of Policy Research