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Kelchen Nationally Recognized for Research in Higher Education Policy

Robert Kelchen has a highly regarded national reputation for insights into higher education policy. Reporters from the New York Times, Politico, Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed regularly seek out his expertise when covering current trends in the higher education landscape. In fact, Kelchen conducts around 200 interviews with reporters yearly and was named a 2023 Top-200 in Public Influencer by Education Week. He has a knack for taking complex issues in higher education and making them accessible to a broader audience.

A portrait of Robert Kelchen in front of the Claxton Education Building. Kelchen has fair skin, short, light brown hair, and is wearing a burgundy and white plaid shirt and burgundy pants.

Now, Kelchen has been recognized by the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) for his research on higher education finance, accountability policies and practices, and student financial aid. ASHE’s Council on Public Policy in Higher Education has selected Kelchen for its Excellence in Public Policy Higher Education Award.

According to ASHE, “This award recognizes excellence in work at the nexus of academic scholarship and policy practice. This award focuses on research and/or practice in the policy field that advances the public policy discourse in higher education and/or evidenced-based public policies and equity-focused public policy.”

“It’s great that ASHE has recognized Robert’s significant policy work,” said Ellen McIntyre, CEHHS Dean. “He is known nationally, of course, but has already made an impact here in Tennessee. Everyone I meet in higher education praises his work.”

Kelchen serves as head of the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This award from ASHE is just one of many accolades Kelchen has received in his career.

“I’m thrilled to be receiving this award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education,” said Kelchen. “The goal of my work is to help people make informed decisions about higher education, and I’m grateful that I have been able to talk with so many policymakers, journalists, and institutional leaders during my career. It makes my work fun to do!”

Kelchen will receive the award in November at the 2023 ASHE Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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