MARA Lecturer Dr. Nancy Dupre Barnes Shares Research and Records Management Expertise

Community Profile

MARA Lecturer Dr. Nancy Dupre Barnes is sharing her international research and records management expertise with students in the Master of Archives and Records Administration program.

Barnes, an independent consultant, has extensive experience both as a researcher and as a member of the international standards development community. She brings that unique perspective to her MARA 285: Research Methods in Records Management and Archival Science course.

“I’ve developed a good feel for what’s happening in the industry and where we’re going,” Barnes said. “Having that sense of currency, and having your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the profession, is extremely important for teaching in archives and records management.”

MARA 285 is one of the core courses for the Master of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) degree and focuses on the research and analysis skills needed to investigate and evaluate a topic or program in the course of archives and records management work. Barnes guides her students through designing a research project proposal and selecting data-gathering techniques.

“The overall objective of the course is probably best exemplified by the final project, which is the development of a complete research proposal,” Barnes explained. “I provide lots of latitude on topics, knowing that students are coming from all different backgrounds, like museums, archives, libraries, and records management. For example, one research proposal focused on the development of international retention schedules, another was on the use of digitization by art museums, and a third focused on the federal government’s adoption of SharePoint for content management.”

Barnes contributes a variety of professional experiences to the MARA learning environment. With a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research, she has worked in educational, corporate, and other professional settings. ARMA International is one of her current clients and she provides services as their Standards Consultant. Her recent research for ARMA includes a report on the salaries and job satisfaction levels of records and information management professionals, which was published in 2010.

Barnes joined the iSchool faculty in fall 2010 and is currently teaching MARA 285 for the second time. Our school’s distance education program and online learning management system help her to provide virtual instruction and build relationships with her students across various time zones. “Students are students, whether they’re online or in a face-to-face environment,” Barnes said. “It’s always rewarding to be interacting and collaborating with individuals who are eager to learn, and who want to improve and achieve.”

Barnes is excited to see her students develop skills in archival science and records management, especially when she considers the future of the profession. “The field is really just exploding right now, because of the technology that continues to be developed, and the evolving regulatory and legal requirements impacting many industry sectors like healthcare and financial services,” she said. “It’s an area where there’s a very bright and ever-expanding future.”

A certified archivist and certified records manager, Barnes is also a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Technical Committee on Archives/Records Management for the International Standards Organization (ISO). She serves on the Board of Directors for the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), an organization developing standards for libraries and publishers.