Omaha, Neb. — The Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska has appointed Greg Welch as associate director of research and evaluation.
Welch will work closely with Iheoma Iruka, director of research and evaluation, and other Buffett Institute staff to expand and implement the Institute’s research agenda with particular focus on its two signature programs, the Achievement Gap Challenge and Early Childhood Workforce Development. He will have a key role in preparing reports on the Institute’s research and disseminating the work of the Institute’s signature programs.
Welch comes to the Buffett Institute from the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools (CYFS) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he leads the Nebraska Bureau for Education Research, Evaluation and Policy and has been a research professor since 2008.
“We feel very fortunate to have Dr. Welch, who has deep expertise in research and evaluation—particularly in Nebraska—as well as connecting research to policy and practice,” Iruka said. “Dr. Welch has extensive experience collaborating with a variety of researchers across the University of Nebraska system, including those within the early childhood arena and those addressing the needs of children in poverty.”
While at UNL, Welch played a major role in the design and implementation of the evaluation for the Superintendents’ Early Childhood Plan, the first initiative of the Buffett Institute’s Achievement Gap Challenge. The plan’s goal is to reduce or eliminate income- and race-based achievement gaps for children from birth through Grade 3 in the Omaha area.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Buffett Institute and look forward to expanding the collaborative work and relationships I have developed during my time at CYFS in support of the Institute’s mission,” Welch said. “My goal is to connect meaningful, empirically based research and evaluation studies to practitioners and policymakers tasked with making important decisions that will impact Nebraska’s children.”
Welch’s research has focused on using advanced methodological approaches to address educational policy-related issues. In addition to serving as a research associate professor at the Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics, Welch is an adjunct faculty member for the Quantitative, Qualitative, and Psychometrics Methods Program in the UNL Department of Educational Psychology.
Before coming to Nebraska, Welch spent three years as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Research in Education at the University of Kansas. Welch received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in applied statistics, both from the University of Wyoming, and a master’s degree and doctorate in research methodology in education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Welch began work at the Institute on Nov. 1.