Austin Lacy

PhD, 2011


Austin Lacy is senior research analyst for the University of North Carolina System in Chapel Hill, NC. He is responsible for identifying research opportunities; ensuring annual Board of Governor's reporting requirements are met on wide ranging topics, designing and conducting studies working in conjunction with appropriate General Administration staff and/or external parties;  providing analysis of data to guide internal management decision making; communicating with campus and agency representatives concerning data receipt, reporting, and accuracy and providing these representatives the guidance, assistance, and continuous monitoring necessary in the assembling of data for institutional management and for the maintenance of various report files.  He also coordinates specialized data collections activities with other unit members and with appropriate individuals at the campus level.

Before joining the UNC System, he was a research associate with Research for Action, a nonprofit organization that "bridges the worlds of research and educational policy and practice ... at the local, state and national levels to promote educational reform that is effective, sustainable and equitable."

Dr. Lacy received the 2012 Graduate Student Excellence in Research Award in Applied Studies for his dissertation, which used Bayesian analysis to further the understanding of state-level higher education governance systems. His analysis will lead to a more precise measure of state higher education governance that may be included in examinations of various state policy adoptions and funding trends.The award is given by the University of Georgia Graduate School and is highly competitive. While completing his degree at the IHE, Austin was named the 2008-09 Zell and Shirley Miller Graduate Fellow. The fellowship, established in 2006 to honor former Senator and Mrs. Miller for their contributions to higher education, is awarded to the graduate student who shows great promise for a future career in higher education.