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Liang Zhang is a Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Administration, Leadership, and Technology at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Prior to joining NYU in 2017, he taught at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Vanderbilt University, and Penn State University. He holds a PhD in Economics from Cornell University and a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on higher education economics, finance, and public policy, particularly on the role of governments and institutions in affecting institutional performances and student outcomes. His recent studies include (1) the impact of college education on student outcomes post-graduation, (2) the efficacy of state and institutional policies on college access and success, (3) the changing landscape of the academic labor market and its consequences, and (4) research production at higher education institutions across the globe. His work has appeared in The Review of Higher EducationResearch in Higher EducationJournal of Human Resources, Economics of Education Review, Educational Policy, and Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research.

Selected Publications

  • Shi Pu, Yu Yan, and Liang Zhang (forthcoming). Do peers affect undergraduates’ decisions to switch majors? Educational Researcher.
  • Liang Zhang, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, and Xiangmin Liu (2021). The increasing stratification of faculty employment at colleges and universities in the United States. Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, 26, 73-97.
  • Qiong Zhu and Liang Zhang (2021). Effects of a double major on post-baccalaureate outcomes. Educational Finance and Policy, 16(1),146-169.
  • David Johnson and Liang Zhang (2020). Examining the role of gender in educational policy formation: The case of campus sexual assault legislation, 2007–2017. Harvard Education Review, 90(4), 617-643.
  • Liang Zhang (2020). Evaluating the impact of the Post-9/11 GI Bill on college enrollment for veterans with service-connected disabilities. Teachers College Record, 122(3), 1-44.
  • David Johnson and Liang Zhang (2020). Rational or symbolic politics in higher education? Intrastate and interstate influences on the introduction and enactment of campus carry legislation, 2004-2016. Educational Researcher, 49(2), 114-124.
  • Shi Pu, Yu Yan, and Liang Zhang (2020). Peers, study effort, and academic performance in college education: Evidence from randomly assigned roommates in a flipped classroom. Research in Higher Education, 61(2), 248-269.
  • Yuan-Chi Fu, David Baker, and Liang Zhang (2020). Engineering a world-class university? The impact of Taiwan’s World Class University Project on scientific productivity. Higher Education Policy, 33(3), 555-570.


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