Women of Distinction


Deb Teeter (Right)

Mary Burg and Deb Teeter


  • Awarded Distinguished Membership by the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) for significant and substantial contributions to the field, 2006
  • Outstanding Service Award from the Association of American Universities Data Exchange, 2007
  • AIR Outstanding Service Award for service to the organization (served as president of AIR, forum chair and local arrangements chair), 1992
  • Served on or chaired a number of national committees or projects related to higher education data issues including the National Survey of Student Engagement and the National Study of Instructional Costs and Productivity. In the 1990s, chaired several national work groups on faculty data issues including the redesign of the faculty and staff surveys which are part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
  • Served the Association for Institutional Research (AIR) as Forum Chair in 1986 and as President in 1988-89.
  • Published over fifteen journal articles, book chapters, and monographs; made more than fifty conference presentations and twenty invited presentations and workshops.
  • Having visited all seven continents, I find that traveling the world, seeing other places and meeting new people, is an education that I wish for everyone. It has deepened my respect for other cultures and traditions and makes me appreciate my own even more.

How I became interested in my field:

I had never heard of institutional research until I was invited to join the office in 1972 by the faculty member who was to head up the new office. To my delight, it fit well with my accounting background and my desire to remain a part of the university. As I begin my 40th year in the office, I marvel at the changes in the field of institutional research and the opportunities it has provided me to be a part of the local, state, and national conversation on using data and information to inform decision making.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me:

Being awarded Distinguished Membership in the Association for Institutional Research in 2006 was the highlight of my professional activities. I was deeply honored to be recognized by my peers for my contributions to the field of institutional research and to no longer pay dues or forum fees!

Someone who has been a role model for me and why:

My mother has long been my role model. I have always admired her extraordinary organizing skills…she is without a doubt the most organized person I know. She also excelled at the fine art of life balance – she raised a family with four children, she contributed her time and talent to her church and community, and she worked. Her working career included managing of the Farm Bureau insurance office out of our home, serving as the church secretary, and she concluded her professional career as the first director of the library at Colby Community College in which she was charged to build the library to enable the new college to be accredited. She continues to challenge me to excel and to find balance in my life.

Someone who has been influential or had a significant impact on my life:

There were a number of men who served as mentors as I began my career at KU. They included Bob Aangeenbrug (geography) and Larry Sherr (business) who were faculty members charged with developing the new Office of Institutional Research and Planning in 1972. Del Shankel (Chancellor Emeritus at KU), Ron Calgaard (retired president of Trinity University in San Antonio), Jim Rosser (president of California State in Los Angles), among others, were in senior leadership roles in the 1970s and they routinely included me in conversations that gave me a glimpse into the workings of a university that contributed significantly to my perspectives and values I hold today.

My favorite KU memory:

As a KU student in 1970, the campus unrest, the fire at the Kansas Memorial Union, the shootings at Kent State and in Lawrence, martial law, the Day of Alternatives, all made a profound impression. It was a troubling time and an exciting time that is deeply etched in my memory.

An important life lesson I have learned:

The importance of balance…work hard and play hard! And, my personal motto: eat dessert first, life is uncertain!