Dr. David Saphian, senior manager of research at the public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard in St. Louis, will become director of institutional research at UMR effective Sept. 16, Dr. Y.T. Shah, UMR provost, announced today.
"We are very much looking forward to Dr. Saphian joining the UMR team," Shah said. "He will be the university point person for maintaining departmental statistics, student statistics and institutional statistics to assist the administration in assessing the progress of the university."
Saphian will also direct UMR’s academic assessment program as part of the office of provost. The position combines functions that previously operated under the chancellor’s office and the Division of Student and International Affairs.
At Fleishman-Hillard, Saphian directed research projects for a variety of the PR firm’s clients. He conducted market segmentation and statistical data analysis, and was responsible for overseeing marketing and design and media coverage content analysis. Prior to joining Fleishman-Hillard in 2000, Saphian was a controller for Fancee Free Manufacturing of St. Louis, managing the company’s financial operations for its plants in the United States and Mexico. He also served as a project consultant for FOCUS St. Louis in 1997. FOCUS St. Louis is a non-profit community development organization.
Saphian previously worked as a marketing analyst for Blue Cross and Blue Shield in St. Louis. He holds a Ph.D. in public policy analysis and a master of arts degree in urban affairs from St. Louis University. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in history and government affairs from Columbia College in Columbia, Mo.
Saphian was selected for the UMR position following a nationwide search. Dr. Robert L. Montgomery, chair of UMR’s psychology department, chaired the search committee.