Office of Research

Research and scholarship are core values at William James College.  The Office of Research (OR) is charged with advancing that agenda through leadership and support to the entire community.

William James College is committed to social responsibility, social justice, and professional development through experiential education.  OR supports decision-makers in these and other emerging areas of practice through identifying, collecting, or supporting the collection of reliable, valid and timely data, analysis and interpretation.

William James College’s tag line is “Meeting the Need…Making A Difference.”  The Office of Research helps to realize that aspiration through data-driven decision making:  helping to identify and document the need; supporting the planning, implementation and adjustment of the approach to meeting that need; and evaluating whether we are making the difference we set out to achieve.

Research Principles

In the execution of its charge the Office of Research subscribes to a number of practice principles:

  • Research and evaluation need to be developmentally sound – appropriate activities depend on a program’s stage of development:  from establishing the need for a program and planning it, through pilot implementation and adjustment, full implementation and efficacy, to dissemination, management, quality assurance and ongoing quality improvement.
  • Methods need to be responsive to key stakeholders’ needs and perspectives.
  • Questions should come before answers – and appropriate methods are the ones that are responsive to what we need to know and what we want to learn, as well as when we need to know it.
  • “Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.” (John Tukey)
  • Mixed methods combining rigorous qualitative and quantitative approaches can provide important insights and lend themselves to different uses and audiences.
  • “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” (Yogi Berra)
Research Activities

Office of Research activities can be organized around a number of themes. The following is a functional framework:

  1. Policies & Procedures (below)
  2. Institutional Review Board (IRB) & Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI)
  3. Institutional Research
  4. Clinical Research and Scholarship Initiatives
  5. Reports
Research Policies and Procedures

William James College’s continued growth and diversification are supported by clear policies and procedures. They provide a transparent framework for articulating expectations, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and supporting the systems meant to advance the research agenda. To work effectively, our policies and procedures need to be clear about responsibility and accountability. The Office of Research is responsible and accountable for the following policies and procedures as articulated in William James College’s Institutional Policies and Procedures Manual (IPPM):

  1. Institutional Review Board: Review, Approval and Oversight of Research (page 124)
  2. Institutional Review Board: Human Subjects Certification (page 126)
  3. Research Participant Recruitment – Extramural Requests (page 129)
  4. Research Participant Recruitment – Intramural Requests (page 129)
  5. Institutional Research Requests (primarily for Administrators & Staff) (page 130)
  6. Institutional Data Requests (page 130)
  7. Review and Approval of Sponsored Program Proposals (page 132)

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Office of Research

Vera Mauk, MA
Director, Office of Academic Data, Development and Institutional Effectiveness

Sonia Suri, PhD
Director of Program Development, Monitoring and Evaluation

Alex Ford, MEd, Research Assistant

Narine Hakobyan, MAResearch Data Analyst

Pat Williams, MPH, Research Associate