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Paul D. Umbach

Paul is the Principal of Percontor, and he is also a Professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University. He has 20 years of experience in higher education, where he has worked in institutional research and as a researcher with the National Survey of Student Engagement. For the past 10 years he has been a faculty member teaching courses on a range of statistical procedures, research design, higher education, policy analysis, and survey research methods.

Paul’s research applies advanced quantitative techniques to the study of policies and programs aimed at increasing college access and success. He also has done extensive research on survey methods in higher education settings. His more than 40 articles and book chapters are widely cited. He currently serves as Senior Associate Editor of the Journal of Higher Education.


Percontor is a Latin word that means “I inquire” or “I investigate”.

Revealing Institutional Strengths and Challenges Survey

We are also the developers of the RISC Survey, the first college student survey focused solely on student success.