Nationally Recognized Expert for Student Success Analytics Joins Starfish Retention Solutions

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Company appoints Rosemary Hayes, Ph.D., former director of the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange, as director of analytics.

Rosemary has devoted a significant part of her career to understanding the complexities of data analytics in the context of higher education and specifically within the realm of student success and retention.

Starfish Retention Solutions, a leading provider of enterprise student success systems, announced that it has named Rosemary Hayes, Ph.D., as director of analytics. The appointment comes on the heels of an expansion in the client community that has increased by nearly 60 institutions in the last 12 months. Hayes is charged with accelerating the company’s vision for student success and retention through deeper analytics and predictive modeling. Specifically, she is leading Project Sonar, the company’s upcoming analytics solution that uniquely analyzes the impact of instructional programs and student services on student outcomes.

Hayes brings extensive leadership experience that blends deep data analysis with an unparalleled understanding of student retention and higher education. For the past 11 years she led the Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange, housed at the University of Oklahoma, where she worked with more than 600 colleges and universities to develop benchmarking data and conduct field research to uncover best practices for supporting student success. Since 2004, as the convener of the National Symposium on Student Retention, she coordinated the selection of the peer-reviewed research to be presented at the annual conference, providing attendees with the opportunity to learn about the most current and useful initiatives, methodologies, and theories in the field of student success.

In addition to her work at the CSRDE, Hayes has been the architect and administrator of two nationally recognized data marts for the collection of student and institutional data. For the past eight years she has evaluated the performance of 11 public Oklahoma universities on behalf of the National Science Foundation to determine whether their efforts in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation increased the number of graduates in STEM fields. Hayes is also the author of more than 30 studies and articles on the topics of student retention and data analysis.

In her role as director of analytics, Hayes is responsible for working with the Starfish community, including academic leaders, institutional leaders, partners, and student success practitioners, to identify new and innovative ways for institutions to make use of the valuable data that is captured by the Starfish system. She is also guiding the company’s direction on how data analytics can provide more powerful insights into student success and retention strategies and how the company’s products can be more finely attuned to deliver on the market’s needs in this area.

“I am thrilled to join the Starfish team. I have watched the company for a number of years in my previous role and have admired their approach to making valuable use of campus data in order to improve student outcomes,” said Hayes. “By expanding on its commitment to data analytics, Starfish is continuing to invest in ways that will bring greater returns for our client community through better understanding of how their students and institutions are performing and where opportunities for improvement exist.”

“Starfish Retention Solutions is committed to the idea that data, when used correctly and by the right people, is a powerful tool when it comes to helping more students be successful,” said David Yaskin, CEO of Starfish Retention Solutions. “Rosemary has devoted a significant part of her career to understanding the complexities of data analytics in the context of higher education and specifically within the realm of student success and retention. We are fortunate that she chose to join our team and look forward to the impact that she will have on our company and our client community.”

About Starfish Retention Solutions
Starfish Retention Solutions is a leading provider of student success systems. The company offers a collection of software solutions that harness the power of the campus community in order to engage, motivate and graduate more students — securing valuable tuition revenue through student retention. Specifically, the solutions help institutions identify at-risk students in real time, based on their daily coursework performance and faculty concerns, and then connect them to the resources designed to help (e.g., advising or tutoring), all while assessing which services and interventions are working. For more information, please call 703.260.1186 or visit

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John Plunkett
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