Jackson State University appoints La Toya Hart as assistant vice president for Institutional Effectiveness and Research

(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University announces the appointment of Dr. La Toya Hart as the assistant vice president for Institutional Effectiveness and Research. She will also serve as an assistant professor of educational administration in the College of Education and Human Development.

Dr. La Toya Hart says, “My team and I will continue to collaborate with the entire university community to develop a culture of assessment where data-driven decisions are made to advance Jackson State’s vision and mission.”

“As a former member of the Jackson State faculty, we are excited to welcome Dr. Hart back to the family,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Alisa L. Mosley, Ph.D. “Her 12 years of experience in assessment and accreditation includes the design and delivery of professional development on assessment best practices, engagement in assessment research, successful accreditation outcomes, and establishment of ongoing procedures for conducting effective program reviews. We look forward to utilizing her expertise as both an administrator and as a member of the faculty.”

Hart is not new to the JSU family, as she served as assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Lifelong Learning from 2009-2012. She has more than 10 years of undergraduate and graduate teaching experience which contributes to her ability to effectively engage faculty, staff, and administrators in the assessment process.

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to serve in this position in an effort to build on the amazing work that has already been done in research, assessment, and planning,” said Hart. “My team and I will continue to collaborate with the entire University community to develop a culture of assessment where data-driven decisions are made to advance Jackson State’s vision and mission.”

Prior to joining JSU, Hart served as institutional effectiveness and assessment director and institutional accreditation liaison at Alcorn State University. In 2020, under her leadership, Alcorn received continued approval by SACSCOC to offer its first doctoral program. While at Alcorn she also led the institution’s SACSCOC fifth-year review reporting efforts (2017), initial approval for the level change (2019), substantive change visit (2020), and reaffirmation (2021), receiving no recommendations. She lends her professional expertise by serving on SACSCOC Off-Site and On-Site Reaffirmation Committees which evaluates other institutions in the region and peer reviewer for various research associations.

Hart often conducts workshops on using assessment for continuous improvement and accreditation best practices. She also frequently presents at national, regional, and state conferences. Most recently, she served as a SACSCOC panelist speaking to new accreditation liaisons and as a conference presenter at the Association for the Assessment of Learning In Higher Education (AALHE).

Hart maintains an active research agenda that focuses on teaching and learning. She is actively engaged in understanding faculty attitudes about assessment and its implications for continuous improvement. This work is being developed from a multi-institutional, multilevel approach that intends to inform the building of robust, institutional assessment culture. She was also instrumental in the development of assessment plans for several funded projects at Alcorn State University.

Hart, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, holds academic degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi in higher education administration (Ph.D.), educational research (Ed.S), and exercise science (B.S.). She received her MBA from William Carey University. She’s also on the Board of Directors for The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association and is the immediate past state coordinator for the Women in Higher Education Mississippi Network (WHEMN).