For Immediate Release

David Tritelli
Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs
202-884-0812 (office)

AAC&U Appoints Gary R. Brown and Ann S. Ferren as New Senior Fellows in the Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment

Feb 7, 2011

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the appointments of Gary R. Brown and Ann S. Ferren as Senior Fellows in the Office of Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment. Gary R. Brown is the former director of Washington State University’s Office of Assessment and Innovation. He is now an assessment consultant at Washington State University, working with colleges and academic departments on focused assessment projects. His current projects include assessment in the university’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Engineering. Ann S. Ferren is the former Provost at the American University in Bulgaria.

In his role as senior fellow, Brown will work on projects of interest related to advancing liberal learning – including assessing student learning, electronic portfolios, the Harvesting Gradebook and other modes for communicating the results of student learning assessment, and networking with the e-portfolios professional community and with those involved in AAC&U’s VALUE project.

“Gary Brown was a valuable colleague during the development of the VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) rubrics,” said AAC&U Vice President Terry Rhodes. “His pioneering work at Washington State to ground assessment of learning in student work, demonstrate shared expectations for learning across departments and programs, involve faculty, students and alumni/employers in assessing student learning, and create simple, yet illustrative visual presentations for communicating assessment results have all been model efforts for many campuses across the country. Drawing on Gary’s experience and expertise in developing and communicating assessment results nationally as we further advance AAC&U’s portfolio of projects on these topics will be invaluable.”

In her role as senior fellow, Ferren will work on issues related to institutional resources and educational priorities in financially challenging times, general education, effective leadership, and other campus-based projects. Ferren will also continue her ongoing work as a planner and faculty member in AAC&U’s yearly Institute on General Education and Assessment.

“Ann Ferren has been breaking new paths to help campuses examine how they use their resources to support learning-centered innovations in creative and efficient ways for many years,” said AAC&U Vice President Terry Rhodes. “Her 2000 publication, Investing in Quality: Tools for Improving Curricular Efficiency, was ahead of its time in encouraging campuses to examine the allocation of resources to support the practices and pedagogies linked to improved student learning. We are delighted that Ann brings her national and international expertise to AAC&U during these challenging economic times.”

Dr. Gary R. Brown was the lead developer for the FIPSE funded Washington State University Critical Thinking Project, and, in collaboration with the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), he joins with colleagues from a variety of professional associations on the Evidence of Impact project. With WSU colleagues, he has been the recipient of six National University Telecommunication Network best research awards on studies ranging from course design, engaging diverse stakeholders, and on faculty attitudes and motivation for using e-portfolios. He was a National Learning Communities fellow and the assessment section editor for Innovate. His current work focuses primarily on the assessment of student learning outcomes for accreditation and, more importantly, for engaging faculty in efforts to improve program coherence and student learning.

Ann S. Ferren has more than thirty years of experience as an academic administrator in a variety of roles including Director of General Education, Dean of Faculty, and Interim Provost at American University in Washington D.C., Vice President for Academic Affairs at Radford University, and most recently as Provost at the American University in Bulgaria. She has served on the Board, participated in many institutes, and written for several AAC&U publications. Her work on academic quality, assessment, and reallocation of resources to support learning and curricular improvement is particularly relevant in the new economic environment of higher education.