Our Staff

Lou A. Guthrie

Lou Guthrie

Lou Guthrie is the Director of the National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute. She joined the Institute in December, 2013, and leads the management and development of the National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP), the National Community College Cost and Productivity Project, the Workforce Training Benchmarking Project and the newest addition to NHEBI’s portfolio, the Maximizing Resources for Student Success project, a Gates Foundation project.

Previously she was President of Guthrie Research Group, Inc., a benchmarking consulting company that worked with Fortune 500 companies and international financial institutions on general services and facilities benchmarking projects. For the past 5 years she also served as a benchmarking consultant to the World Bank’s General Services Division. Dr. Guthrie has higher education experience as an Assistant Professor at Oregon State University, and as an Instructor at Virginia Tech and Longview College. Lou has presented benchmarking research at national and international conferences, and at seminars and workshops.

Lou received her PhD from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, her MS from Southern Illinois University and her BS from Eastern Illinois University.

Michelle D. Taylor

Michelle Taylor

Michelle Taylor is the Senior Research & Data Analyst at the National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute (NHEBI). She conducts the data collection, analytics and reporting functions for a variety of national community college projects including the National Community College Benchmark Project (NCCBP) and the Cost and Productivity Project and the Workforce Training Benchmark Project.

Before joining the institute, she worked as a Senior Marketing Research Manager at H&R Block as well as led marketing research efforts for several other companies including American Express and American Century Investments.

Additionally, she was a Research Analyst at the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University. At CEDBR, she primarily collected, analyzed and disseminated business, economic and demographic information in addition to maintaining several database including state retail sales database and the information database. She also managed the CEDBR’s Annual Economic Outlook Conference.

Michelle received her MBA with an emphasis in International Business and Marketing from The Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Business from Washburn University.

Daniel J. Ferguson

Danny Ferguson

Dan Ferguson is the software application developer for the National Higher Education Benchmarking Institute (NHEBI). He creates and maintains the web apps that power the institute's newest projects. Prior to his work at the institute, Dan built web applications in the following industries: retail, banking, transportation logistics, social networking and journalism.

Dan received a bachelor's degree in Linguistics from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. His programming skills are self-taught through involvement in open source projects.

2016 Benchmarking Conference