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Who We Are

The PACE Climate Survey for Community Colleges, managed by the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, allows community college leaders to better understand their institution’s culture and overall capacity to promote student success by hearing directly from employees about how they perceive and experience their work. In doing so, the survey promotes open and honest communication to inform priorities for change.

Our History

The PACE Climate Survey was originally developed by the National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE) whose founder, Dr. George A. Baker III, had a vision for providing graduate students with an opportunity to gain valuable research experience while supporting the needs of community college leaders. Dr. Baker brought NILIE and the PACE Climate Survey to NC State in 1992.  By 2019, NILIE was solely focused on the continued development and administration of the PACE Climate Survey and was transitioned to be fully  under the management of the Belk Center. Since then, the PACE Climate Survey team and the Belk Center team have been one and the same, with the survey becoming an increasingly critical component of the Belk Center’s efforts to support community colleges in improving student access and success. In 2021, the NILIE brand was officially retired and the PACE Climate Survey was officially recognized as being managed by the Belk Center.

About the Belk Center

The Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research – originated through the long-standing commitment of the NC State College of Education to serving North Carolina’s community colleges and with generous support from the John M. Belk Endowment – aims to be a nationally recognized model of critical partnership with North Carolina’s community colleges in advancing equity in student access and success and increasing the attainment of postsecondary credentials of value.

The PACE Team

  • Audrey Jaeger, Ph.D. – Executive Director
  • Kaitlin Newhouse, Ph.D. – Associate Director of Research and Evaluation
  • Daniel West, Ph.D. – Senior Research Associate
  • Ece Yilmaz, Ph.D. – Senior Research Associate
  • Jared King, M.S. – Research Associate
  • Kayla Patterson, M.Ed.– Research Associate
  • Natasha Adams Spencer, M.A. – Research Associate
  • Oscar Miranda Tapia, M.Ed. – Research Associate
  • Uttej Kumar Tentu – Research Associate


  • Kevin Fosnacht, Associate Research Scientist, Indiana University for Postsecondary Research
  • Demetrius Green, Assessment Scientist