Brian Rowan is the Burke A. Hinsdale Collegiate Professor in Education, a research professor at the Institute for Social Research, and a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan. A sociologist by training (PhD, Stanford University), Rowan’s research has focused on the organization and management of schooling, paying special attention to the measurement and improvement of teaching quality.
Over the past 10 years, he has been principal investigator of several large-scale survey and video studies of teaching practice, including the Study of Instructional Improvement, the Description of Reading Instruction in the United States, Understanding Teaching Quality, the Measures of Effective Teaching-Extension project, and the Pilot of Educator Effectiveness Tools in Michigan. His current research includes a randomized field trial of an early grades reading intervention, an evaluation of a high school instructional improvement program (known as Excellence for All initiative), and a study of online high schools in Florida. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Education and past recipient of the William J. Davis award for outstanding scholarship in the field of educational administration. He also has served on the editorial boards of top scientific journals in the field and consulted widely with U.S. federal government and U.S. private research organizations. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1991, he was a senior research director at Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, in San Francisco, California, and chairperson of the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University.