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Higher education professor named TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow

ATHENS, Ohio (May 12, 2006) -- Valerie Martin Conley, assistant professor in the College of Education's Department of Counseling and Higher Education, has been named a TIAA-CREF Institute Fellow. Conley is an expert in academic labor market and management issues, as well as institutional research and assessment. Her extensive research on the evolution of faculty retirement makes Conley an invaluable resource for TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

Valerie ConleyCurrently in its second year, the TIAA-CREF Institute Fellows Program now boasts 68 scholars from prestigious institutions all across the country. Conley brings Ohio University to a table that includes scholars from Columbia University, Harvard University, Stanford University and Yale University. TIAA-CREF CEO Herb Allison said, "Our Institute Fellows represent a distinguished group of individuals who have demonstrated thought leadership on issues important to TIAA-CREF, the 15,000 institutions we serve, and the more than three million individuals who entrust their financial well-being to us."

As a fellow, Conley will have the opportunity to assist the institute through activities such as conducting research projects and drafting reports, delivering presentations, briefing senior executives and even serving as a judge for TIAA-CREF sponsored awards. All these initiatives enable Conley to aid the Institute in its stated mission of building knowledge and enhancing understanding of strategic issues related to higher education and lifelong financial security. "This type of relationship building is so important. It is truly a wonderful affirmation to have an organization like TIAA-CREF recognize the value of my work and then seek me out to join their team," said Conley. 

Principal Research Fellow Paul J. Yakoboski is glad to have Conley on board. "We were thrilled when she accepted our offer. Dr. Conley is a recognized expert in the study of higher education. She has demonstrated strong research credentials, a commanding knowledge of her area and a willingness to partner with us. In fact, she's already helping us to plan the subject matter for our annual conference this fall."

Valerie Martin Conley has been with Ohio University's College of Education since 2002. This month, she was named director of the college's Center for Higher Education, having previously served as the center's associate director. Conley received her Ph.D. from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in educational leadership and policy studies: higher education and student affairs. She is a consultant for the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and has served as a member of the Association for Institutional Research's Higher Education Data Policy Committee. Conley is the co-editor of "New Ways to Phase into Retirement: Options for Faculty and Institutions."

For more information on the TIAA-CREF Institute Fellows Program, visit www.tiaa-crefinstitute.org.

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Media Contact: Amy Robison, (740) 593-4465

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