Mark Freeman has done more than anyone to sharpen Drexel University’s forecasting and decision-making through the use of data-driven research. And so, it is bittersweet news that Mark is leaving Drexel to take a senior position at The Common Application, the Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit firm best known for processing college and university applications.

While vice provost of planning and institutional research, Mark has been the architect behind Drexel’s drive to develop robust data tools to shape and inform many long-range planning decisions, including in human resources, finance, student enrollment and student surveys. With more than 17 years in research at three different institutions of higher education — at Drexel, Colby College and Bryn Mawr College — Mark’s data analysis has been essential to supporting key decisions surrounding academic programs and other strategic plans. The annual factbook and early warning system on student retention that his office created equipped the University with critical tools for planning. Mark also has played a key role in coordinating discussions around a new strategic plan for Drexel.

When Mark takes over as vice president for data analytics and research at The Common Application, he will work with a team of data scientists in an organization founded on data to oversee product development and formulate a research program based on the large datasets managed by the company.

Upon Mark’s departure, the Office of Planning and Institutional Research will be overseen by Sujoy Das, assistant vice provost, who has worked closely with Mark.