Vladimir Briller, a director of outcomes assessment at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) who was recently named a Senior Fulbright Specialist, will travel to Kazakhstan to advise administrators there on how to reform the country’s universities.
Briller, who will spend two weeks in the republic, has an expertise in how to assess and accredit universities. He will conduct workshops for university presidents, vice-presidents and assessment experts from 40 universities in Kazakhstan. Briller was invited to the country by way of a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant, which is funding his trip.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to have an impact on educational reform in that country,” said Briller, whose full title at NJIT is director of outcomes assessment in the Institutional Research and Planning Department.
His research focuses on student learning and educational outcomes. He is responsible for refining the performance of various academic departments, especially how NJIT reaches its goal of producing well-educated students in various technological fields.
Briller, who also works as an education consultant for the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will share his knowledge with his academic counterparts in Kazakhstan.
University assessment practices in Kazakhstan are less rigorous and consistent than in America. And the government agencies that accredit the universities are frequently plagued by corruption, he said.
“The group that invited me to visit the country,” Briller added, “is trying to create an outside, non-governmental agency to accredit the schools and I support them in their efforts.”
During his workshops, Briller will discuss all aspects of university assessment, including how to evaluate students, courses, programs, and departments. Briller was born in Ukraine and speaks Russian, a language commonly spoken in Kazakhstan.
Briller, an international expert in education issues, has worked at NJIT since December 1999. Prior to that, he worked as a director of research projects at the Vera Institute of Justice, where he evaluated alternatives to incarceration for illegal immigrants. He also worked as an associate project director for the Education Development Center in New York, where he evaluated economic education training in ten central and eastern European countries for the International Economic Education Exchange Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. He also assisted in designing a curriculum for the World Bank teacher-training project in Romania.
In 1992-1996, as a vice president of the Interactive, Inc., in New York, he managed school and university administrators’ training programs in Russia, Ukraine, Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, and Romania, and he supervised an international team of 52 experts from the United Kingdom, Canada, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Hungary, Australia and America.
He has worked as a senior consultant for the World Bank in Russia and Azerbajjan; for the United Stages Agency for International Development in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan; and for the Asian Development Bank in Kyrgyzstan.
He has published several papers and journal articles and contributed chapters to two books: Challenges of Education in Central Asia, (Information Age Publishing, 2004) and International Handbook on Educational Change (Kluwer Publishers 1998).
Briller, who came to America in 1991, received his doctorate in education from the Teachers College at Columbia University. His dissertation was recognized as Dissertation of the Year by the International Society for Educational Planning. He has a master’s from Kharkov State University in Ukraine, and worked as a school teacher and university instructor in the Ukraine for 17 years.