AERA Consortium of Universities and Research Institutions Convenes for 2017 Fall Policy Meeting
AERA Consortium of Universities and Research Institutions Convenes for 2017 Fall Policy Meeting
Jason Botel (Department of Education) speaks to 
AERA-CURI attendees during luncheon. 

September 2017

The AERA Consortium of Universities and Research Institutions (CURI) met on September 17–18 for its annual two-day fall policy meeting in Washington, D.C. Representatives from more than 55 schools and colleges of education and research institutions attended. The CURI event concluded with an afternoon of deans visiting House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill.

The agenda for the meeting, titled “Demonstrating the Relevance and Impact of Education Research,” featured conversations with editors of leading education news publications, education research funders, and representatives from federal agencies and Capitol Hill.

Scott Jaschik, editor of Inside Higher Ed, and Elizabeth Rich, commentary editor for Education Week, opened the full meeting by sharing guidance on how to best communicate education research through op-eds.  Jaschik and Rich were joined by Diana Hess, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, who described her efforts to build faculty capacity in this area through participation in the Op-Ed Project, which works with universities to train experts to be seen as public scholars, including through op-ed writing.

Attendees met in small groups to discuss a range of topics central to their leadership roles supporting the field of education research from Building the Capacity to Communicate Research to Public and Policy Audiences to Creating Infrastructures for Research Collaboration.

Members of the Education Funder Strategy Group joined AERA-CURI attendees for dinner. Elizabeth Moje, dean of the University of Michigan School of Education, and Bill Tucker, senior advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s College Ready program, teed up the dinner conversation with a compelling exchange about the expectations of foundations and how colleges of education can successfully position themselves to encourage faculty to apply for foundations funding.

The second day of the meeting featured a session highlighting federal funding opportunities at the Institute of Education Sciences at the Department of Education, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health, and the Directorate of Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation.

Mia Tuan (AERA-CURI Executive Committe Chair, 
University of Washington - Seattle) speaks to attendees.

Attendees also heard from congressional staff on current and upcoming education legislation. Jason Botel, acting assistant secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the Department of Education, joined the group for a closing lunch.

Immediately following the fall policy meeting, more than 25 of the deans visited House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill to talk about the importance of federal funding for education research as well as their own education research and relevant and impactful findings.

For the first time, this year there was a pre-meeting session for new deans. Mia Tuan, chair of AERA-CURI and dean of the University of Washington–Seattle College of Education; Jean Quam, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development; and Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, provided their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges they have encountered in their roles as deans. Attendees also enjoyed the chance to hear from one another and make important connections as they face similar situations in their new roles.

The AERA-CURI Executive Committee includes: Chair Mia Tuan, University of Washington-Seattle; incoming Chair Kathryn Chval, University of Missouri-Columbia; Past Chair Lemuel Watson, The University of South Carolina; Members-at-large: Joyce Alexander, Texas A&M University; Gary Crow, Indiana University; Diana Hess, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Maryann Santos, Purdue University.

The 2018 meeting is scheduled for September 16–17 in Washington, D.C.     

2017 Fall Policy Meeting Photo Album
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