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Secretary of education asks BYU's Gerrit Gong to serve on national advisory committee

Gerrit W. Gong, a member of the President's Council at Brigham Young University, has been asked to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity by U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige.

The 15-member committee advises the secretary and assesses the process of eligibility and certification of institutions of higher education. All schools that participate in federal assistance programs must be accredited by nationally recognized accrediting agencies.

Gong will be in Washington, D.C., Dec. 2-3 attending the national committee meetings.

It is the duty of this national committee to set forth standards for the use and formation of these accrediting bodies, says Gong, who will serve a three-year term. "By being involved in the evaluation and accreditation of these various accrediting bodies, we have an opportunity to continue to improve the standards and processes for all institutions and individuals involved in accreditation," he says.

As part of his assignment, Gong is interested in gathering input from a wide range of colleges and departments in institutions of higher education. This information, he says, will broaden perspectives on issues of accreditation and institutional eligibility of interest to the secretary of education and the national advisory committee.

President Merrill J. Bateman appointed Gong as assistant to the president for Planning and Assessment at BYU in July of 2001. Gong brought 20 years of experience to this position, including research and teaching posts on the faculties of Oxford, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, as well as the Freeman Chair in China Studies and as the Asia program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

A Joseph Fielding Smith Scholar and Rhodes Scholar, Gong is a summa cum laude graduate of BYU. He also earned a master's and doctoral degree from Oxford University in international relations. His U.S. State Department assignments include serving as a special assistant to two U.S. ambassadors in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China; as special assistant to the under secretary for Political Affairs, which is the State Department's senior career officer; and as consultant to the State Department's policy planning staff.

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