A Statement by Brian “Blu” Christopher Kelley
Director, CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG)
It is a privilege and honor to be appointed to serve as Director of the CHEA International Quality Group, known as CIQG. The many experiences during my lifetime that involved traveling to different parts of the world, as well as having the opportunity to live/work and learn in China and Thailand for a good part of this decade, taught me the value of quality assurance.
Prior to making a major geographic move to Asia from the USA, I served as a clinical sales representative for a medical device company. To increase awareness of the need for medical devices, it was imperative to educate the medical doctors, nurses, their respective committees and administrators about the need for quality care throughout hospital systems in large swaths of North America.
After my arrival to China, I was tasked with regularly assessing foreign teachers and their classroom management in a large K-12 educational institution and report the findings to managers who would use the data to complete the internal quality assessment protocols as it prepared to meet with external quality assessment (EQA) bodies. By the end of 2012, I moved on to Thailand, where I was fortunate to secure a post as a Foreign Affairs Officer with the Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment (ONESQA). It was at this public organization, established by Royal Decree in the year 2000, that I learned about the need for quality assurance.
The story I tell many people is simple. I learned about QA by being handed a large bundle of QA manuals that had been translated from the Thai language to the English language. Learning about QA had begun with editing all the manuals for assessors and institutions at all education levels. It took two years to complete the edits. Within a short time, I became more hands-on with activities related to delegation visits from outside the Kingdom of Thailand, assisting with the facilitation of international conferences and its international guests, participating in select Asean Quality Assurance Network (AQAN)-related activities and many other related projects.
In part, my role at CIQG is to encourage and cultivate relationships that will strengthen international understanding and cooperation through collaboration and sharing of international experiences and proven innovations that will be beneficial to improving quality in higher education around the globe, while promoting the CIQG’s International Quality Principles. Additionally, I will be responsible for organizing membership drives that attract accreditation bodies, ministries of education, QA networks, higher education institutions outside the USA and international experts in quality assurance, among other relevant stakeholders, in order to bring more exposure and support for the need to enhance quality culture in higher education.
One of the major issues that will be brought to the forefront is academic corruption in all its forms. It is important to tackle this and many other problems that pose a threat to academic integrity. There will be a variety of activities and programs throughout the year, including Webinars, workshops, camps and the CIQG Annual Meeting. Further, CIQG will serve as a platform to address international research and innovation in quality assurance.
CHEA/CIQG is committed to collaborating with our partners in the international community and to work and develop quality in higher education with a focus on the CIQG International Quality Principles.
I look forward to working with each of you as we build a stronger community.
Brian ‘Blu’ Christopher Kelley
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A national advocate and institutional voice for academic quality through accreditation, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes approximately 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. The CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG) is a division within CHEA focused on quality assurance and accreditation in an international setting.