About Us

Our mission is to support data-informed decision making across the institution by providing data and analyses that are accessible, objective and actionable. We engage with internal and external clients to help solve problems, support strategic initiatives and promote success within our campus community.



Dave Deffenbacher, Assistant Vice Chancellor, provides technical and content expertise, reporting, and analysis of institutional data to internal and external audiences, with a particular focus on student and course data and state data reporting systems. He also represents the office on a number of committees and provides guidance to the university and other CU campuses regarding institutional data and data systems. You can reach Dave directly at (303) 315-2836.

Paula Dickson, Executive Director, has been in institutional research with the University of Colorado Denver for more than 15 years.  Her area of expertise is in student related data for both internal and external audiences. She focuses on graduation and retention analysis, working with the schools and colleges to understand their student populations, academic program review, as well as providing annual and term-based reports for all aspects of the student life cycle. You can reach Paula directly at (303) 315-2833.


Irma Peralta, Associate Director, comes to the team with over 20 years in Student Affairs, sixteen of which have been in Financial Aid. She is committed to contributing useful information to university constituents that assists with decision-making conversations. She enjoys working with university departments to help assess student engagement and enrollment in order to provide better service. Her specialties are student-level data reporting, enrollment and retention analysis, enrollment and financial aid data analysis and the CU-Data reporting system. You can reach Irma directly at (303) 315-1861.




Mindy Baker, Senior Data Analyst, has served in OIRE for almost 15 years. She primarily works with student related data for internal and external requestors, including serving as the online data request coordinator for the office. Mindy's area of expertise is in reporting at the state and federal level, serving as the IPEDS Keyholder and as one of the main data contacts for the Higher Learning Commission, the regional accreditors for the institution. Additional roles for Mindy include coordination and completion of CU system wide reports, such as the Budget Data Book, Diversity Report, and Regents Budget Data Book. She also works closely with areas such as Bursars, Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office to process all academic structure requests for the Denver and Anschutz Medical Campuses. You can reach Mindy directly at (303) 315-2839.


Melanie McLaren, Data Analyst, joined OIRE in 2018 after 8 years of work in higher education focused on financial aid and student success. Melanie serves as one of IR’s main points of contact for student and course related data requests, performing appropriate research, analysis and visualization of campus data. She enjoys collaborating with campus partners to better understand student experiences and success through data and delivering compelling visualizations to support decision-making and strategic initiatives. She also coordinates the completion of all external guidebook surveys such as US News, College Board, etc. You can reach Melanie directly at (303) 315-2834.


Laura Perrigo, Data Analyst, joined OIRE in 2020. Laura completes CU Data and other reporting requests in addition to student and course related data analysis. You can reach Laura directly at (303) 315-2840.


Nathan Schwab, Senior Data Analyst, primarily works with faculty and staff data and also helps out with OIRE’s internal data structures. He provides data to the Office of Equity for the annual Affirmative Action plan and for projects like the Denver Campus Faculty Salary Equity study, the HR sections of the federal IPEDS report, and various salary surveys.  He can help you with faculty and staff counts, employment trends, course instructor data, and most other employee-related analyses. You can reach Nathan directly at (303) 315-2828.

Ian Whitman, Senior Data Analyst, serves as one of the main points of contact for IR survey activities. He specializes in ad-hoc reporting, analysis and visualization for student and course related requests. In addition, he provides additional support to IR staff with their reporting needs through data research and report coordination. You can reach Ian directly at (303) 315-2840.



Jeff Quinones-Finch, Senior Systems Analyst, serves as the department’s database and web technology analyst. Jeff coordinates and supports dataflow into OIRE’s central data warehouse, maintenance of internal and web-based applications, and publication of datasets to OIRE’s website and other analytical toolkits. You can reach Jeff directly at (303) 315-5831.