Lehigh names vice provost for institutional research

Lehigh recently named Henry Zheng, Ph.D., the current administrative director of strategic analytics for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, as the university’s new vice provost of institutional research. Zheng, who is succeeding J. Gary Lutz, is officially assuming the role on April 29.

Zheng’s appointment is the result of a national search that began following the April 2015 announcement that Lutz planned to retire after nearly 45 years of service to Lehigh. Director of Institutional Research Yenny Anderson has served as interim vice provost since September 1, 2015.

In Zheng’s current role at Ohio State, he is responsible for leading enterprise-wide analytics projects to support organizational decision making for the tripartite missions of research, teaching, and clinical care at Wexner Medical Center, which includes the OSU College of Medicine, OSU Health System and its hospitals and OSU Physicians. He also manages database development and strategic analytics staff, and collaborates with academic, clinical, IT and business partners to address major strategic and operational management issues. He has served in that role since 2013.

Prior to that, Zheng was the assistant vice president of academic affairs for two years, director of strategic planning and administrative director for the Center for Personalized Health Care for Wexner for the previous six years, and business performance officer for The Ohio State University Medical Center for two years. He had previously served as the director of institutional research and reporting for Ohio State’s graduate school, and as a senior strategic planning analyst for OSU’s office of institutional research and planning.

Earlier in his career, Zheng was a research fellow for the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education, where he conducted educational policy research and performed statistical analysis of large-scale databases. He received a research grant in 2001 from the Association of Institutional Research to study performance and outcome assessment of public research universities. He was also an OSU adjunct lecturer/assistant professor on healthcare data analysis, public policy analysis, program evaluation and strategic budgeting.

Zheng earned his Bachelor of Science degree in economics at Jinan University of China, a Master of Arts in political science at the University of Akron, his MBA from OSU’s Fisher College of Business and his Ph.D. in public policy and management at OSU’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

Zheng said he was drawn to Lehigh as a result of its national reputation as an “outstanding academic institution known for its high quality academic programs and a strong focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, and experiential learning,” and for its bold mission.

“These distinctions enhance Lehigh’s commitment to create future leaders with the capacity to take on society’s many challenges and seize the opportunities of our times,” Zheng said.  “With many uncertainties facing higher education today, Lehigh University will need to extend its strategic agility while holding firm on its fundamental values and commitments.  This is an exciting time for Lehigh University and institutional research and data analytics can play a key role in supporting decision making at Lehigh. I am very excited about this career opportunity and look forward to contributing to the continued growth of this great institution.”

Pat Farrell, Lehigh provost and vice president for academic affairs, says Zheng is uniquely qualified for his new role.

“His decades of experience in institutional research and strategic analysis and planning will no doubt serve Lehigh well,” Farrell said. “We look forward to welcoming Henry to the Lehigh family, and to gaining his insights on the critical issues facing Lehigh within an increasing complex and challenging higher education landscape.”

Farrell also thanked the members of the search committee for their diligent review of several highly qualified candidates.

The committee was led by Jim Dearden, professor of economics and department chair, and included Yenny Anderson; Grace Caskie, associate professor of education and human services; Peter Costa, director of prevention strategies; Emil Gnasso, university registrar; Jerry Lennon, professor of civil and environmental engineering; Dominic Packer, associate professor of psychology; and Leon Washington, vice provost of admissions and financial aid.


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