Personal Blurb


John Marvin Kalb became Director of Institutional Research at Southern Methodist University October 1, 2003. Prior to this, he was Director of Institutional Research at Florida State University from 1984 to 2003. He began employment at FSU in 1973 in the Budget Office, which transmogrified into the Budget and Analysis Department a few years later when Institutional Research (whatever that was) infiltrated into Budget Office activities. His career gradually took the path into Institutional Research along the way as he became yet another IR professional stumbling into the field and not living to regret it (yet). Most recently, his career has taken another turn into the area of "institutional effectiveness" and the beloved SACS reaccreditation activities.


A native of Missouri, he earned the BA and MA degrees in History from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and the PhD in History from Florida State University in Tallahassee.  He was selected for membership in Phi Alpha Theta, the history honorary society, at FSU. Along the way, putting the years of studying history to use, he has taught Western Civilization, American Civilization, and American History at Florida State University as well as Western Civilization and, the American Experience at Tallahassee Community College.


Military service in the U. S. Army began with fun-filled basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, followed by the equally enjoyable AIT and Artillery OCS at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. After OCS, he attended Sergeant Missile School also at Fort Sill. His first assignment was to a Sergeant Missile battalion in Schwaebisch-Gmund, Germany, but the U S Army, in its infinite wisdom, decided he would go instead to a eight-inch gun battalion. The Army got this one right! It was, fortunately, in a much more desirable location. He served the rest of the two year obligation as an artillery officer in the Federal Republic of Germany in Neu Ulm and Augsburg.


Professional affiliations include the Association for Institutional Research [AIR], the Southern Association for Institutional Research [SAIR], the Texas Association for Institutional Research [TAIR], and the Higher Education Data Service [HEDS] from 2003-2009. SMU is a founding member of the strangely titled Colonial Group Data Exchange to which John is the university's representative.


Professional activities have included being SAIR Board Member, Nominating Committee Member, Vice President and Program Chair (Hot Springs, 1997), President, and Past President; Treasurer and Chair of the Southern University Group Data Exchange; AIR Nominating Committee Member; Local Arrangements Chair for the 2001 SAIR Conference in Panama City Beach, Florida, and the SAIR 2009 Conference in Addison, Texas; Local Arrangements Co-Chair for the AIR 2003 Forum in Tampa; and, TAIR Nominating Committee member.


Other activities have included being the Pronouncer for the North Florida Regional Spelling Bee from 1982-1997, serving in various positions, e.g., “Ultimate Umpire”, Moderator and Steering Committee member for the Big Bend High School Brain Bowl contests 1982-2003.  He played the cornet in Marching MIzzou the year the famous "floating Tiger" formation was introduced and was a member of the University of Missouri Quiz Bowl team for two years, representing MU at the Big Eight Conference matches. He has been a USSF certified soccer referee and coach for youth soccer and softball teams in Tallahassee. Other ancient awards and honors include earning the  Eagle Scout and God and Country scouting awards, member of the National Honor Society in high school, and attending Missouri Boys State.  


John and his wife, Eileen, live in the Lake Highlands area of Dallas. They have two adult daughters, one living in the Denver, Colorado, area (with her husband and the first grand-daughter) and one in Tampa, Florida; there is also a Siberian cat named Caspian who thinks he runs the house. Siberians are an interesting breed, Caspian could be a twin for the picture on the linked web page. His official name is Vivalafeline Caspian Captainvich.


It's life, Jim, but not as we know it...