Published October 23, 2023

It’s a bittersweet moment for Unizin as we say farewell to Cathy O’Bryan on her retirement. For the past three years as CEO, Cathy has led the consortium through a tremendous period of evolution, growth, and unprecedented collaboration between our member institutions and Unizin staff.  

These collective efforts have enabled Unizin to significantly close the gap between technology infrastructure and learner insights – and make a tangible impact on student success in the process.  Unizin’s staff, working in concert with Unizin members, have developed new tools to extract and operationalize data from the Unizin Data Platform (UDP) to support pragmatic, member-driven student success initiatives.   As a result, member-built analytics tools have blossomed in the past three years, including fully formed student intervention applications leveraged by hundreds of users, today, on campuses nationwide. 

Unizin continues to advocate for the adoption of common data standards and models across higher education to make these platforms even more effective.  Under Cathy’s leadership, Unizin has expanded its partnerships with third party learning tool providers and platforms – to align their data schemes with the Unizin Common Data Model (UCDM) and 1EdTech’s Caliper standard – which will expand the universe of data available to researchers and teaching and learning teams, as well as accelerate the ability to draw insights from large amounts of learner data. 

Lastly, Unizin continues the loop connecting instructional content and learning data. Consortium members, and their students, have realized significant cost-savings for learning content through Engage, Unizin’s content program. At the same time, Unizin’s integration with RedShelf eReader allows students to efficiently engage with content, while setting the stage for integrating reading event data into the UDP, to provide yet another critical data point to inform analytics and student programming.

Three years, numerous accomplishments and a 360 degree perspective that unifies content and learning data into a cohesive model to fuel insights and impact student success. That is the legacy that Cathy O’Bryan has left Unizin.  We thank her for her partnership, her contribution to the entire consortium, her leadership and, most importantly, the culture of collaboration, collegiality,  and kindness she fostered across our entire organization.

We are sorry to see her go, but cannot wait to see where the future takes her as she enjoys the fruits of a distinguished career. 

For Cathy’s final Unizin Report visit: