Retirement of Deborah Fournier, PhD, Assistant Provost, Institutional Research & Evaluation

headshot of Deborah FournierDeborah Fournier, PhD, has retired and stepped down from her role as Medical Campus assistant provost for institutional research and evaluation.

Dr. Fournier joined the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in 1995 as an assistant professor in the Department of Diagnostic Sciences and served as executive director of the Office of Educational Research and Evaluation and associate dean for institutional planning and evaluation. In her roles, she led the development of program evaluation infrastructure, methods and practices for assessment of student learning, teaching, curriculum delivery, career outcomes, accreditation compliance and predictors of student board testing performance. She used participatory approaches to engage and collaborate with faculty, staff, students and administrative leaders in such evaluation-building and continuous improvement efforts, which strengthened school-wide evaluation capacities and accreditation commendations for excellence in outcomes assessment for individual programs within the school. She also routinely provided faculty development workshops to support the advancement of didactic and clinical teaching distinction and faculty teaching portfolios for its documentation.

As BUMC assistant provost for institutional research and evaluation, and director for evaluation and continuous improvement for the BU Clinical and Translational Science Institute, she collaborated with administrative leaders, faculty and staff to build and sustain capacity to conduct institutional assessment of biomedical research productivity, influence and translational impact; to develop and implement comprehensive program evaluation plans of grant funded projects and research training programs; and to enhance utilization-focused practices to routinely use collected data to guide decision-making that could drive organizational learning and change. She established evaluation processes, resources, and operationalized guidelines for metrics for examining biomedical research training, interdisciplinary team science, and career development, as well as increased capacities for using bibliometric analyses and dashboards. Dr. Fournier initiated the launch of BU Profiles as a research networking software that has since grown to enable investigators to self-monitor and evaluate their research productivity, influence and impact via automated metrics.

Most importantly, Dr Fournier emphasized that evaluation serves our University well when it is grounded in participatory evaluation practices that include diverse audiences in discussions and decisions at different stages of an evaluation process, from question and study design to methods to data interpretation and use of the findings to enable collective learning processes by which the University community makes sense of its environment and impact.

Dr. Fournier served on numerous Medical Campus, individual school and University committees and task forces for accreditation, curriculum, faculty development and affairs, teaching and learning, and research, as well as NIH NCATS national working groups and external advisory boards. She served on the editorial boards of The American Journal of Evaluation and Journal of Clinical and Translational Research. As a member of the American Evaluation Association, she established and chaired the Topical Interest Group, Theories of Evaluation, and served as national program conference chair.

We thank Dr. Fournier for her leadership and her many contributions strengthening evaluation methods, practices and infrastructure during her 28 years at BUMC. Dr. Fournier will continue to be part of the BUMC community as an emeritus clinical associate professor of medical sciences & education.