Kui Xie, a noted educational psychology and educational technology scholar, became chair of the Michigan State University Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education on July 1, 2023.
Xie was also named a Red Cedar Distinguished Professor. The title recognizes individuals for their cumulative external accolades, scholarly achievement and potential to make a difference. He is one of two in the College of Education to have this distinction. The MSU Board of Trustees formally recognized his appointment to the college at their September 8 meeting.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Xie to the College of Education,” said Jerlando F. L. Jackson, dean and MSU Research Foundation Professor. “His scholarly contributions and impressive support for learners and research align with our college missions.”
Legacy of Leadership
Xie comes to MSU from the Ohio State University.
During his 11 years at OSU, Xie fostered partnerships with 25 middle and high schools across Ohio. He estimates he and his team served over 2,000 teachers and 15,000 students across various initiatives.
At OSU, Xie was the Ted and Lois Cyphert Distinguished Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and an affiliated faculty member with the East Asian Studies Center and the Translational Data Analytics Institute.
Among his contributions, Xie led the co-creation of the first and only fully online master’s program within the College of Education and Human Ecology. Created in 2016, the program ranks in the top-10 in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. Xie also served as chair of the Learning Technologies program and increased faculty retention and student enrollment in the associated Ph.D. program.
Introducing: The Research Laboratory for Digital Learning
He also founded and directed the Research Laboratory for Digital Learning, which he is transitioning to MSU as part of his appointment. Xie will bring the research lab to MSU.
The lab advances his research trajectories: social emotional aspects of learning and technology design and innovation in schools.
Xie’s work has been cited nearly 4,000 times. At time of writing, more than 20 journal articles and book chapters were either published or accepted for publication in 2022 and 2023.
Importantly, the lab is also a space for nurturing professional growth.
Since founding the lab in 2014, he has, in his own words, “built a diverse and inclusive research team … [and] put great effort in recruiting underrepresented scholars, including scholars of color, first-generation scholars and female scholars.”
At MSU, Xie will tie into translational research, or research that extends beyond academic journals and into practice. He has worked with schools to identify challenges specific to their environment to generate research questions. His research, he says, originates from these partnerships to translate school-defined challenges into research questions, and then apply the findings directly into school settings.
“As scholars, we should think about solving educational problems and making a broader impact to change how educational systems work,” said Xie.
Xie is involved in the scholarly community beyond OSU. He has held leadership positions within the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He is the associate editor for The Internet and Higher Education and Frontier in Psychology.
“Kui Xie’s arrival signals the beginning of an exciting phase at the MSU College of Education,” said Jackson.
“Our leadership team has a tremendous amount of expertise and optimism,” he continued. All four department chairs have been appointed within the last four years; Jackson became dean in 2022. “Dr. Xie’s ability to understand motivation, harness analytics and integrate technology into educational experiences is an important facet to future of our college.”