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Campus News

Liu to lead learning, assessment efforts

By SARA R. SALDI

Published June 26, 2014

Xiufeng Liu, professor and associate dean for interdisciplinary research in the Graduate School of Education, has been named the inaugural director of the new Office of Educational Innovation and Assessment (EIA), a unit within Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

The appointment is effective July 1.

EIA was created through a merger of the Teaching and Learning Center and the Office of Assessment.

Xiufeng Liu

Xiufeng Liu

As a long-time UB faculty member and administrator, Liu’s extensive institutional knowledge, experience and credentials made him stand out among a group of exceptional candidates considered by the search committee, says A. Scott Weber, senior vice provost for academic affairs.

“Xiufeng Liu has distinguished himself as a progressive, experienced thought leader in the area of pedagogy,” says Weber. “I am confident that he will provide critical guidance to the campus on instruction and achieving learning outcomes so that UB faculty can reimagine the use of classroom time and put our general education courses at the forefront of innovative delivery.”

Weber adds that Liu will position EIA to serve as a nexus for campus-wide efforts to further elevate the scholarship of and research support for pedagogical advancement and improved learning.

Liu says he is honored to be given this opportunity to serve the university.

“Excellence in teaching, learning and assessment exists across the campus,” he says. “I look forward to working with faculty, students and staff in further promoting evidence-based best practices in university teaching and learning as a part of Realizing UB 2020 initiatives.”

Provost Charles F. Zukoski notes that one of UB 2020's primary objectives is "to offer an exceptional educational experience for our students that instills targeted values and capabilities to prepare our graduates to be productive and responsible global citizens."

“The Office of Educational Innovation and Assessment, under Professor Liu’s leadership, will promote and support the educational excellence and innovation that will help us achieve this objective,” Zukoski adds. 

As director, Liu will provide oversight for instructional development opportunities for faculty, regardless of teaching modality, while offering effective support through a variety of instructional technology and design elements.

Liu also will be charged with developing and implementing a cohesive and comprehensive program that includes, but is not limited to, excellence and innovation in teaching, the scholarship of teaching and learning, learning outcomes assessment at the classroom and program level, the effective use of technology in the classroom, and expanding the quality, diversity and scope of faculty development opportunities.

Liu joined the UB Department of Learning and Instruction in 2002. Prior to coming the university, he served as a high school science teacher and research associate in China, and as a tenured faculty member at St. Francis Xavier University and University of Prince Edward Island in Canada.

In addition to serving as associate dean in GSE, he was interim chair of the Department of Learning and Instruction, and a board member of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), a worldwide organization that promotes teaching and learning through research.

He is known widely for his scholarship in the areas of measurement and evaluation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, student science-concept development and opportunities to learn in science.

Liu’s research has been supported by a number of government and corporate institutions, including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Spencer Foundation.

He has more than 80 publications, including nine authored and edited books.

He is associate editor for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and is on the editorial board of Science Education, the Journal of Science Education and Technology, and the International Journal of Environmental and Science.