Academics January 10 2019

Dr. Marguerite Giguette has been named interim Executive Director for Institutional Research and Decision Support at Xavier University of Louisiana, according to President Reynold Verret.

Giguette Named Interim Executive Director for Institutional Research and Decision Support

Dr. Marguerite Giguette has been named interim Executive Director for Institutional Research and Decision Support at Xavier University of Louisiana, according to President Reynold Verret.

Giguette, who will retain her current position as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, will assume the additional responsibilities of this newly created position, which is charged with collecting data and information to help facilitate University planning, policy formulation, and decision making. 

She replaces former Vice President for Planning, Institutional Research and Assessment Dr. Ron Durnford, who recently retired.

“Over the years, Dr. Durnford has played a vital role in institutional evaluation and in forward planning for Xavier, and we wish to thank him for his years of dedicated service to the University,” said Verret. “We are confident that Dr. Giguette, who has served the University in a number of capacities, will provide similar leadership in her new role.”

Verret said that Patrice Bell Mercadel, currently the University’s Chief of Staff, would take on Dunford’s previous responsibilities in the area of strategic planning.

“Going forward, it seems appropriate to reapportion those responsibilities that were previously housed in Planning, Institutional Research and Assessment to support specific goals in our academic and overall University strategy,” he said. 

Dr. Marguerite Giguette

Giguette, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and a professor of computer science, has over 35 years of experience in higher education, including the last 28 at Xavier.

Before serving in the Office of Academic Affairs, Giguette was the Chair of the Computer Science Department for 11 years, where she was instrumental in the implementation of the Xavier Stress on Analytical Reasoning (SOAR) 3 Program for prospective computer science students. She has served on numerous university committees, including Rank and Tenure, Chair of the Arts and Sciences Coordinating Committee, and the University Planning Council.

Giguette is also the Co-Principal Investigator of the NIH-funded Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Program at Xavier, Project Pathways, which focuses on enhancing the Xavier academic resources infrastructure. In addition, she is the Principal Investigator of Xavier’s UNCF Career Pathways Initiative (CPI) funded by the Lilly Endowment, which is designed to enhance the programming and career advising of students as they consider their career pathways.

Patrice Bell Mercadel 

Bell Mercadel has served in the role of Chief of Staff since September 2018, working directly with the President to elevate the University’s profile, execute the vision for Xavier, and advance priorities in policy development, government and external community relations, project management and strategic implementation of academic, fiscal, and administrative university initiatives.