New Boisi Professor Appointed
By Stephen Gawlik
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
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
"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,"
"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
"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
"This move represents a family reunion and we are
looking forward to that," he said.