The Center for Research Evaluation (CERE) was established in 1999 by Dr. Kathleen Sullivan as a resource for University of Mississippi departments, programs, and faculty, as well as external agencies. In addition to Dr. Sullivan, previous directors of the center include Dr. Barbara Dougherty, the late Dr. Maxine Harper, who passed away on June 11, 2013, Dr. Lori Wolff, and Dr. Marie Barnard. To honor the life and work of Dr. Harper, who began at the center as a data analyst and then served as assistant and associate director before being named as director, the center was dedicated and renamed as the Dr. Maxine Harper Center for Educational Research and Evaluation on November 8, 2013. CERE was renamed Center for Research Evaluation in February of 2018. Housed in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, CERE works at the national, state, and local levels to:
- design and implement appropriate evaluation protocols to investigate best practices in education, public service, and other areas;
- identify effective practices that positively impact program success; and
- help project directors and their staff make better decisions about project improvement.