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World's Premier Cross-Cultural Scholarly Society Moves to UAlbany

Locating the Secretariat of the Comparative and International Education Society on the UAlbany campus reinforces the global engagement of the School of Education

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ALBANY, N.Y. (November 18, 2010) -- The University at Albany's School of Education is the new home of the Secretariat of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), the world's premier scholarly society of cross-cultural study and academic achievement. The three-year residency program will provide additional opportunities for graduate students and faculty international scholarship activities.

The CIES Secretariat, which moves from Florida International University, enhances UAlbany’s School of Education's goal to extend the global engagement of its Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies (EAPS) through the new Institute for Global Education Policy Studies (IGEPS). Among the active projects and initiatives undertaken at IGEPS are research on global textbook and assessment policies, educational reform in Australia, and a study of American institutions opening branch campuses in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

The location of CIES at UAlbany will match the international nature of the Albany campus.

The location of CIES at UAlbany will suit the international nature of the campus population and its emphasis on cross cultural studies.

"We are very excited by the relocation of the CIES Secretariat to the University at Albany. The momentum of the University's many international efforts will enhance the Society's goals of increasing global awareness of education issues and advancing cross-national scholarship and social development around the world," said Maria Teresa Tatto, CIES president and associate professor at Michigan State University.

School of Education committed to global outreach

"Those lessons learned abroad," said School of Education Dean Robert Bangert-Drowns, "can be applied to policies and practices in New York State and across the nation.

"Hosting the CIES Secretariat is an exciting extension of the School’s commitment to educating teachers, administrators, and policymakers on how to be aware of global context and informed by education systems around the world," he said.

Lane leads Secretariat

The CIES Secretariat's residency at UAlbany will be headed by Jason E. Lane, assistant professor of educational administration and policy studies and a fellow with the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, and Alan Wagner, professor and former chair of educational administration and policy studies. Lane and Wagner will serve on the Society’s executive leadership team as secretary and treasurer, respectively.

The effort to relocate the Society to the University at Albany was led by the faculty of EAPS, in conjunction with other faculty in the School of Education, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of International Education.

SUNY supports cross-cultural studies and outreach

Significant support for the initiative came from SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and Mitch Leventhal, SUNY vice chancellor for global affairs. In the coming months, the Secretariat will be working with the SUNY Office of Global Affairs to help advance the reach and work of the Society alongside SUNY's global engagement agenda and trajectory.

Further support for the Secretariat will be provided by the co-authors of the proposal -- UAlbany faculty Aaron Benavot, Pamela Théroux, Daniel Levy, Kevin Kinser, and Gilbert Valverde (who currently serves on the CIES Board of Directors) -- and substantial contributions from other EAPS faculty.

Faculty focus on international studies

The School of Education’s leadership in cross-national policy research is reflected in the extensive international research portfolios of faculty involved in hosting the CIES Secretariat and of other EAPS faculty.

Benavot and Valverde have engaged in significant research and policy work on K12 curriculum, textbook and assessment policies around the world. Levy's ongoing study of private higher education has culminated in the well-regarded Program on Research in Private Higher Education (PROPHE). Wagner draws on cross-national experience to examine how learning and its financing are spread over the life-cycle. Théroux is currently working on issues of educational reform in Australia. Kinser and Lane have recently engaged in a global study of American institutions opening international branch campuses in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Their work can be found at GlobalHigherEd.org.

Founded in 1956, CIES is the largest and oldest scholarly organization in the world dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding, scholarship, academic achievement and societal development through the international study of educational ideas, systems, and practices. The Society's members include more than 2,000 academics, practitioners, and students from around the world. The Society publishes the prestigious Comparative Education Review (CER) with the University of Chicago Press. Benavot, from EAPS, serves as the co-editor of the CER.

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