Vice President for Research and Senior Advisor to the President
Dr. Ashley Finley is the Vice President of Research and Senior Advisor to the President for the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). She was previously the senior director of assessment and research at AAC&U and also national evaluator for the Bringing Theory to Practice Project. Most recently she served as the associate vice president for academic affairs & dean of the Dominican Experience at Dominican University of California, where she implemented a comprehensive framework for student learning and success centered around high-impact practices, including holistic advising and ePortfolios.
Dr. Finley’s research and campus consultations focus on connecting best practices for program implementation, assessment design, and equity with institutional outcomes for student success and strategic planning. A significant component of this work at the campus and national levels has focused on the connection of students’ personal development (such as resilience, belonging, identity, and sense of purpose) with their learning and civic engagement. She has published a number of articles, book chapters, and monographs, including Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-impact Practices (with co-author Tia McNair), Civic Learning and Teaching; Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices; and “Well-Being: An Essential Outcome for Higher Education.”
Prior to beginning her national work, Dr. Finley was a faculty member in the department of sociology at Dickinson College. She received a BA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MA and PhD, both in sociology, from the University of Iowa.
Areas of Expertise
- Advocacy for liberal education
- Strategic planning for implementation of high-impact practices and outcomes assessment
- Community engagement
- Student well-being and intrapersonal development