August 24, 2017

APSAC chair Q&A: Loran Carleton Parker

Loran Carleton Parker APSAC chair Loran Carleton Parker, APSAC chair for 2017-18. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) Download image

Loran Carleton Parker took office June 1 as the 2017-18 chair of the Administrative and Professional Staff Advisory Committee. Her seat on APSAC is as a representative of the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, and Discovery Park. Here, she answers questions from Purdue Today about her perspectives and plans in leading APSAC.

How long, and in what positions, have you worked at Purdue?

I moved to West Lafayette in 2000 to pursue an undergraduate degree. As an undergraduate, I worked as a student employee conducting undergraduate research. I continued at Purdue for my graduate degrees -- supporting myself as a graduate instructor and research assistant. I finally earned my doctorate in 2009 and took a full-time position at a research and evaluation center at Purdue. My current position is associate director of the Evaluation and Learning Research Center. Our center conducts research to develop and test innovative approaches to teaching, learning and organizational development. We also serve as consultants and external evaluators for partners whose projects or programs could benefit from our center’s broad knowledge base in social science and education research. Additionally, we develop and mentor undergraduate, graduate and professional students who, as research assistants and interns, contribute to our work and gain valuable skills and knowledge related to research and evaluation.

Why did you decide to become involved in APSAC? In what capacity/on which committees have you served?

I first became interested in APSAC because I had a wonderful colleague who served on APSAC and would share with our team all the activities and discussions that were going on in APSAC. I knew from these conversations that APSAC membership was a great way to learn more about the operations of the University and to become more involved in the policies, procedures and decisions that impact Purdue employees. I serve on APSAC’s Compensation and Benefits Subcommittee and chair its Executive Subcommittee. I also serve as an advisor to the University Senate and as a member of the Senate’s Equity and Diversity Standing Committee.

What did you learn as vice chair or as a committee member that will assist you as chair this year?

The most important thing I have learned from participating in APSAC is to empower those around you -- your team -- to develop and implement the group’s mission and vision. This requires strong, proactive communication to keep the group informed and moving forward together.

What will APSAC be working on during the upcoming academic year?

We are going to be working on enhancing our communication with colleagues. We want to improve the flow of information coming to us from our colleagues so that we can be more effective in our representation of the perspectives of our diverse and talented university staff. To accomplish this, we plan to further develop connections and coordination with key campus groups, as well as increase our visibility and accessibility to our staff colleagues.

What are your own goals as the chair of APSAC? What do you hope to have contributed as chair to APSAC and the University once your term ends?

Personally, I hope during my tenure as APSAC chair to enhance the inclusivity of our University’s policies, practices and culture toward administrative, professional, clerical and service staff. Staff are often not on the forefront of decision-makers’ minds when they are communicating about the amazing things happening at our University, or developing policies and programs to continually improve our University and community. I hope to work toward fostering a more inclusive mindset when we think about the people who make up our University community and the value and expertise housed within. To become our best university, we’ll need to make use of all of our potential -- staff, student and faculty.

What would you like faculty and staff to know about APSAC?

We are a group of engaged staff members actively seeking input, connections, and discussion with faculty, staff and students. If you have an idea about how to improve the University, we want to talk to you and see if we can find a way to help you move your idea forward.

How can faculty/staff get involved with APSAC?

Please visit our website ( We recently migrated to a new template, so please bear with us as we make final adjustments. Here you will be able to find contact information for all of our members and information about upcoming events. Please read our newsletter, The Sentinel. The most recent issue is always linked on our website. Attend our professional development events -- we organize two ongoing invited speaker series. The Lovell Leadership Lecture takes place each fall and the Hadley Professional Development Lecture takes place each spring.

You can recognize excellence in your A/P staff colleagues by nominating them for the Community Spirit or Excellence Awards. If you are an administrative or professional staff member, you can apply for one of our professional development grants to fund a course, attend a workshop, or participate in another learning or development activity.

Finally, please reach out to an APSAC member and talk with us about your perspectives and your ideas for improving the University community. You can locate an APSAC member for your work area from our website, or contact me directly (; 765-494-6646).

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