Nov. 30, 2006 • Volume 15 Number 7

Henry Braun

New Boisi Professor Appointed

By Stephen Gawlik
Staff Writer

Henry Braun, a leading scholar in the field of education measurement, testing and policy, has been appointed to the Boisi Chair in Education in the Lynch School of Education.

Braun, who currently serves as a distinguished presidential appointee at Educational Testing Service (ETS) - a private, nonprofit organization devoted to educational measurement and research, primarily through testing - will join the Boston College faculty in January. He succeeds Boisi Professor Emeritus George Madaus, who retired two years ago.

"His tremendous expertise in the areas of measurement and assessment, high level of understanding in statistical modeling and passion for the issue of equity in testing make Professor Braun an asset to the Lynch School and the Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation, and Educational Policy," said LSOE Dean Joseph O'Keefe, SJ. "He brings a high level of expertise as a researcher and teacher and will be an outstanding university citizen. We have great expectations."

The Boisi Chair Braun will occupy was established in 1987 and named for University Trustee Geoffrey T. Boisi '69 and his wife Rene (Isacco) Boisi '69. It was the first named endowed professorship in the Lynch School.

Braun, who also has taught and done research at Princeton University, said he welcomed the opportunity to broaden his teaching experience and to build a new research agenda.

"I have a background in statistics and mathematics and it's going to be a challenge to work with students who have not had the same technical background," he said.

"I started out at Princeton University and enjoyed teaching and working with students there and thought this was an appropriate time to return to that. The quality of the faculty at the Lynch School and the broad range of work being done there has made this a very attractive opportunity."

Braun presented his inaugural Boston College lecture on Oct. 16 at a forum celebrating the work of Augustus Long Professor Emeritus Albert Beaton. Braun paid tribute to Beaton, remarking on the retired professor's influence on his own career.

"There is no one else who has had such an impact on my professional life," said Braun, who was a protégé of Beaton's when they worked together at ETS.

Braun has published in the areas of mathematical statistics and stochastic modeling, the analysis of large-scale assessment data, test design, expert systems, and assessment technology. His current interests include the interplay of testing and education policy. He has examined such issues as the structure of the race-based achievement gaps, the relationship between education policies and education results and the effectiveness of charter schools.

"At a time when educational testing is in the center of national debates around improved schooling, Dr. Braun will continue and deepen Boston College's and the Lynch School's national leadership in educational testing and public policy," said Kearns Professor of Education Mary Walsh, who along with Prof. Walt Haney chaired the search committee.

"Professor Braun's expertise will also add considerable 'bench strength' to a number of the research programs at the Lynch School."

Braun was a co-recipient of the National Council for Measurement in Education's Award for Outstanding Technical Contribution to the Field of Educational Measurement. In 1991 he was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and in 1986 he was presented the Palmer O. Johnson Award of the American Educational Research Association. He has served on a number of national and international advisory panels.

A native of Montreal, Braun earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from McGill University. He earned his master's and doctoral degrees in mathematical statistics from Stanford University.

Braun is a husband and father of three children. Two of his daughters are physicians working in the Boston area.

"This move represents a family reunion and we are looking forward to that," he said.

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