About the Minnesota Private College Research Foundation

In 1971, the Minnesota Private College Council established the Minnesota Private College Research Foundation (MPCRF) as an adjunct, nonprofit organization to serve the Council and its members with the following objectives:

  • To undertake research, data-sharing and analysis that support the collaboration and success of private colleges and universities in Minnesota and nationally
  • To examine the contributions of higher education to society and foster the advancement of learning more generally
  • To initiate and carry out special studies on state and national higher education issues, policies and needs, including the solicitation of external support for collaborative research

The Research Foundation administers institutional surveys, monitors demographic trends and economic conditions in the state and, at the direction of the board, undertakes major research initiatives and reports.

Research Foundation Staff

Nathan Lassila, Ph.D, Vice President for Research and Policy Development 
Nathan earned his Ph.D in public administration and policy at the Askew School for Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University. His primary areas of research were economic development /community revitalization and school choice policy.

Prior to joining the Research Foundation in July 2007, Nathan was employed with the Florida Department of Education conducting institutional research on Pre-K-20, including investigation of transitions between secondary and postsecondary as well as movement and outcomes of students transitioning into the labor force. Previously, Nathan worked for the Florida Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability where he did legislative research related to economic development, education, environment, and transportation. He received his B.A. in criminal justice studies from St. Cloud State University and an M.S. in the same field from Michigan State University.

Kim M. Barron, M.A., Research Associate
Kim earned her B.A. in Education from San Jose State University and an M.A. in Education, Department of Language, Literacy and Policy from Stanford University. For ten years, Kim was a research associate for San Jose State University Foundation where she focused on the achievement outcomes of Spanish-speaking and English-speaking students in two-way immersion programs throughout California. Kim's research interests include the academic achievement of culturally and linguistically diverse students, teacher attitudes and expectations, and parents' attitudes toward their children's education.
Kim also served as a lecturer at San Jose State University's Department of Child and Adolescent Development where she taught undergraduate students preparing to teach in K-12 programs. Kim has held other pre-K through postsecondary positions and has developed and directed programs for children and adults focusing on English language development.

Contact the Minnesota Private College Research Foundation at 651-228-9061 or research@mnprivatecolleges.org.