Marrlee Burgess

Consultant and Project Director

Marrlee Burgess is a higher education leader with over 25 years of experience in the areas of student affairs, academic affairs, and enrollment management. Before joining K&A, Marrlee served as Associate Dean of the College at Colgate University, working on a variety of strategic initiatives such as implementing best practices in advising and student services and developing targeted support mechanisms for first generation college students. Over the course of her career, she has served a broad range of colleges and universities, focusing on enhancing student success and engagement through a collaborative, mission-driven, and learning-oriented approach. Known for her expertise in the development of evidence-based initiatives designed to promote student persistence and retention, she has worked with faculty, administration, and staff on creating effective first-year experiences, has overseen the implementation of several electronic early warning systems, has founded and developed a Center for Student Success, and has spearheaded the development of assessment frameworks for areas within both Student and Academic Affairs. On the national level, Marrlee worked as a founding institution team leader in developing the aspirational model for the first year in college, known as the Foundations of Excellence. She has presented on assessment strategy and practice at ACPA and NASPA conferences and has consulted on the application of learning outcomes assessment to administrative areas. She has also served as peer evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, providing expertise on standards related to enrollment management and the student experience in the curriculum and co-curriculum.Marrlee has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from The College of Wooster, a Master of Education degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri, and is a certified facilitator in continuous quality improvement. Marrlee is a trained dancer and early music musician with extensive performing and recording experience. She is a passionate advocate for social justice and cares deeply about the ethical treatment and care of animals.

Some of my highlights

I look forward to helping institutions re-vision assessment. The word “assessment” usually generates an “ugh” from the majority of faculty and higher ed professionals. How can we look at or talk about assessment in a way that encourages excitement, new approaches to teaching and learning and overall enthusiasm for student learning in and out of the classroom? Maybe we start by using a different word…hmmm…!

I always start with a framework. It can be someone else’s frame or my own frame, but I need to understand the structure of the work before filling in the frame. From there, white boards and collaboration are key to my process.  We all have something to contribute, so let’s talk!  I am introverted intuitive feeling and judging (INFJ) – AKA change agent – how about you?
Music and dance are my water and air.  And when I am not music-making and dancing, I surround myself with loved ones, engage in awesome and generally aspirational conversations about how to make the world a better place, and ride sport bikes on race tracks (bet you didn’t see that one coming!).

Team Members