Dr. William Edward Knight of Fairfield, Ohio passed away at his home on April 7, 2021. William, better known to his family and friends as Bill was a loving husband and pet parent. Bill is predeceased by his parents William Knight and LaVerne (Reedman) Knight. He is remembered by his devoted wife, Adriene (Kelly) of more than 28 years, mother-in-law Ruth (Kimble, Kelly) Williams, father-in-law Eugene Kelly (Sue), sister-in-law Robin (Kelly) Schlaegel (Doug), nieces, nephew, great-nieces and nephews, and close friends Greg & Donna Rogers, along with his pets Clyde, Sullivan, Sebastian (aka Mr. Gray), Sophie, and Cordelia.
He loved great food, had superb taste in Scotch, was a wonderful storyteller, and valued family and friendship. Though his passion was education, Bill’s hobby was collecting model trains focusing on Erie, and P&LE diesel locomotives and rail cars with an impressive train layout sporting several different rail lines and a gigantic mountain. Bill was learning Scottish Gaelic and quickly became proficient. He possessed an eclectic taste in music, enjoyed walking and trying new things (except bungee jumping and skydiving). Bill was well loved by family, friends and those who knew him. He will be greatly missed by all.
Bill was born in Warren, Ohio in 1965. He graduated from Warren Western Reserve high school in 1983.
The value Bill placed on education was evident in the support and encouragement he offered to others as they worked through their education. After he finished high school, Bill completed his bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education in 1987 graduating from Kent State University Cum laude. He quickly moved into a master’s program at Kent State University and in 1989 graduated with a master’s degree in Higher Education/Student Personnel. From there, he received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with a cognate in Institutional Research. His dissertation was entitled: An examination of freshmen-to-senior gains for a national sample of institutions with different general education requirements using a mixed-effect structural equation mode in 1992. After Bill earned his Ph.D., he endeavored to continue learning and in 2014 completed the Institute for Management and Leadership in Education at Harvard University. In 2015 he went on to complete Principles and Techniques of Fundraising at The Fundraising School, Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy. The last of his formal education was in 2016 with the Lean Fundamentals Workshop at Miami University.
William E. (Bill) Knight was Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Miami University. His responsibilities include leading the institutional research function and providing leadership and support to faculty and staff colleagues for assessment of student learning, supporting the strategic planning process, facilitating institutional- and department-level accreditation, and coordinating the academic unit review process. He is a founding member, past president, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Higher Education Effectiveness, and past president, past forum chair and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Institutional Research. He received the BGSU BG Best Award in 1998, the BGSU Timothy D. King Friend of Student Affairs Award in 2009, the NASPA Region IV-E Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award in 2010, and the AIR Outstanding Service Award in 2013.
He also served as a Peer Reviewer and Team Chair for the Higher Learning Commission regional accreditation association. He has consulted on institutional research, assessment, and accreditation at several institutions. He was previously an institutional researcher and faculty member at Ball State University, Bowling Green State University and Georgia Southern University and an institutional researcher at Kent State University, and has served as a visiting scholar at Shandong University (China) and the University of Michigan.
His professional and scholarly interests include the impact of college on students and leadership and effectiveness within the fields of institutional research effectiveness. He has authored or co-authored 36 peer-reviewed and invited publications, including Leadership and Management in Institutional Research: Enhancing Personal and Professional Effectiveness, edited the Primer for Institutional Research, served as co-editor of The Handbook for Institutional Research and Building Bridges for Student Success: A Sourcebook, carried out 152 peer-reviewed and invited conference presentations, webinars and workshops, made several keynote addresses at regional and state conferences, and served as a member of 64 dissertation and thesis committees.
It is evident that Bill also gave tremendously to professional organizations including volunteer and mentorship opportunities. He started his membership early on in his career being part of the Association for Institutional Research (AIR). Though he began as a member, Bill participated in many key committees and positions including as a Forum Committee Member for multiple committees. He was the founder of The Doctoral University Data Exchange, he was the Chair of the Forum (the annual meeting of members of AIR), a member of the Board if Directors, Vice President, and President of the organization.
Bill also held positions within and contributed to many other professional organizations including: The University System of Georgia, Ohio Associational for Institutional Research and Planning (President 1999-2000), Northeast Association for Institutional Research, the International Coalitions for Electronic Portfolio Research, and the Indiana Association for Institutional Research.
Bill’s life and career were clearly marked by his willingness to give to others of his time, expertise, and resources both personally and professionally.
A Celebration of Bill's Life will take place on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 6pm until 9pm at Bowling Green Beer Works, 322 N. Grove Street, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402 in their Gallery. Condolences may be left for the family at www.Webb-Noonan.com