Our Research Chairs

ETS's reputation as the world's leading educational measurement organization rests on decades of pioneering research. The five ETS Research Chairs honor today's leaders in the field and pioneers of educational measurement.

"The five Research Chairs — and the scholars who hold them — are among ETS's most precious resources," says Ida Lawrence, Senior Vice President of Research & Development at ETS. "The chairs highlight the fact that ETS is a significant organization in terms of innovation and scientific status. You could say that the scientists holding the chairs are keeping us in touch with the future."

Over the past decade, ETS has named some of the nation's leading experts in educational measurement to fill its Research Chairs. Current holders of the Research Chairs are:

Robert J. Mislevy

Robert J. Mislevy

The Frederic M. Lord Chair in Measurement and Statistics
Created in 2000, this chair was named after a pioneer in psychometrics who has been called the "father of Modern Testing." Robert J. Mislevy assumed the chair in 2010, taking over from the first holder of the chair, Paul M. Holland. Mislevy was a professor in the department of Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation at the University of Maryland, College Park when he was recruited back to ETS.

Michael T. Nettles

Michael T. Nettles

The Edmund W. Gordon Chair for Policy Evaluation and Research
Created in 2003, this chair honors a pioneer in educational assessment who The New York Times referred to as "the premier Black psychologist of his generation." In 2004, ETS President Kurt Landgraf appointed Michael T. Nettles, Senior Vice President of ETS's Policy Evaluation & Research Center, as the first holder of this chair. Nettles, an expert on fairness in the educational system, worked as a research scientist at ETS from 1984 to 1989 and returned in 2003 to head ETS's policy research division.

Michael T. Kane

Michael T. Kane

The Samuel J. Messick Chair in Test Validity
Created in 2008, this chair honors a pioneer in the field of educational measurement and a leading authority in validity theory who worked at ETS for over three decades. Michael T. Kane was appointed to the Messick Chair in 2009. Previously, he was Research Director at the National Council of Bar Examiners. He also has served as Vice President of Research and Senior Research Scientist at American College Testing as well as Director of Test Development at the National League of Nursing.

Randy E. Bennett

Randy E. Bennett

The Norman O. Frederiksen Chair in Assessment Innovation
This chair was created in 2010, and is named after a pioneer in constructed response, performance assessment and simulation. Randy E. Bennett assumed the Frederiksen Chair in 2010. He started at ETS in 1979 and specializes in research that applies advances in cognitive science, technology and measurement to create new approaches to assessment.

Irwin S. Kirsch

Irwin S. Kirsch

The Ralph W. Tyler Chair in Large-Scale Assessment
ETS created the newest chair in 2012 and it is named after an educational adviser to seven U.S. presidents. Tyler is also considered the father of the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP. Irwin S. Kirsch first joined ETS in 1984 and assumed the chair in 2012. He is a leading expert on large-scale assessments and works closely with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on the Programme for International Student Assessment and the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies.

Download a free brochure to learn more about the esteemed scholars who hold the ETS Research Chairs.