Release Date: March 26, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Laura Perna, PhD, a nationally recognized authority on higher education achievement, will speak at the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education (GSE) Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series.
The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for 4 p.m. March 30 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on the UB North Campus. A reception follows the event.
Attendees are asked to RSVP prior to March 27 by registering online at http://gse.buffalo.edu/faculty/deans-lecture.
Perna, professor and chair of the higher education division of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, is co-author of the “Attainment Agenda: State Policy Leadership in Higher Education,” which offers a framework for understanding how state public policy can promote educational success and level the playing field for higher education opportunity.
Perna says state leaders must consider how particular policies interact to produce expected and unexpected outcomes. She argues that states have the primary responsibility for policies that raise higher educational attainment and improve equity across groups, particularly for individuals from lower-income families and racial and ethnic minority groups.
Her conclusions draw on data collected from case studies of the relationship between public policy and higher education performance in five states: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Texas and Washington.
“Dr. Perna’s research revealing the increasingly vital role played by state governments in providing policy leadership will have an impact nationwide and here in Western New York,” says Jaekyung Lee, PhD, GSE dean and professor. “We invited her to speak here because we want our faculty to engage with distinguished professors at other universities who we can potentially share knowledge and research with.”
Perna holds a PhD in education and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan. Her bachelor’s degrees, in economics and psychology, are from the University of Pennsylvania.
She currently is president of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) and served as vice president of the American Educational Research Association’s Postsecondary Education Division. She is a fellow of the American Research Association and the inaugural James S. Riepe Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
The event is sponsored by the Adelle H. Land Memorial Fund and the Charlotte C. Acer Colloquia on Urban Education.
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