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Brock to Leave Federal Research Agency for Community College Center

Thomas Brock, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Research and the former delegated director of the Institute of Education Sciences, will leave the Education Department's research agency June 29.

Brock steps in on July 1 as director of the Community College Research Center at Teachers College at Columbia University. He will replace Thomas Bailey, the founding director of the center, who has been tapped as president of Teachers College.

The move marks a return to form for Brock, who before joining IES in 2013 led the young adults and postsecondary education division at the research firm MDRC, where he focused on improving college attendance and completion among students in poverty. 

"Community colleges are a uniquely American institution—offering virtually unfettered access to higher education to millions of students—but are often beset by inadequate funding, low completion rates, and other challenges," Brock said in a statement on the move. "CCRC provides an objective analysis of community colleges' performance, examines the factors that impede their success, and generates ideas and evidence for how they can improve."

Brock had also led the Education Department's research agency for more than a year, waiting for the Trump administration to nominate a new IES director. The Senate confirmed Mark Schneider as the new director in March.

"Tom's deep experience in research and research management have afforded him the technical and executive skills to lead the organization," Bailey said in a statement. "He is widely respected among researchers and research organizations across the nation."


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