News & Media

Executive Director’s Note

By Julia Michaels

As we close out the year, I’m pleased to report that we’ve made some progress toward our fourth and final strategic priority for Powered by Publics: investing in institutional capacity through grants and technical assistance. This week, we announced the awardees of our Powered by Publics Seed Funding competition for collaborative projects. Although the pool of funding was small, we received 17 high-quality proposals from across 11 clusters, which were reviewed by an independent committee for selection and funding. We are excited to support six clusters with the following projects (to see the institutions participating in each cluster, click here):

  • $30,000 to the Southeastern Cluster (Cluster 5), for Understanding Transfer Credit Efficiency in North Carolina
  • $30,000 to the Tech Cluster (Cluster 12), for A Competitive, Winner-Take-All Equity Challenge
  • $30,000 to the Western Land-grant Cluster (Cluster 2), for Curricular Analytics and Equity
  • $27,000 to the Metropolitan Cluster (Cluster 7), for Proactive Advising at Metropolitan Universities
  • $22,000 to the Western Coalition (Cluster 1), Faculty as Change Agents for Equity and Student Success
  • $11,000 to the Data Integration Cluster (Cluster 13), for the Data Maturity Matrix

Congratulations to the awardees and thank you to all who submitted a proposal! We look forward to supporting implementation of these projects in 2021 and continuing to fundraise around them in our conversations with higher education grant makers.

Earlier this year, you heard about our Intermediaries for Scale grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will provide free technical assistance to campuses in response to a data-informed assessment. Regrettably, we had to delay the Spring 2020 launch of the RFP for this opportunity due to COVID-19 and the urgent needs of our member campuses. I’m pleased to share that we’ll be launching this RFP in early January 2021 – please be on the lookout for an email announcement in the new year with further details and information about an introductory webinar.

The Powered by Publics team is also gearing up for our virtual convening the second week of January. If you have not already done so, please register here. I strongly encourage you to consider leading an “unconference” session – these sessions are informal, peer-led conversations on topics of common interest. They usually require minimal preparation, although you’re encouraged to bring your own resources and expertise to the table. If you have an idea for a conversation topic, please share it here by January 4: bit.ly/pxp-unconference

Finally, I’d like to give a huge shout out to everyone on the Powered by Publics team who skillfully shepherded their clusters through a profoundly difficult year. I owe a debt of gratitude to our cluster managers: Lynn Brabender, Julia Chadwick, Alcioné Frederick, Tia Freelove-Kirk, Kate Michaels, Dr. Denise Nadasen, Melissa Rivas, and consultant Dr. Jim Woodell. Many thanks also to Mike Brost and Allie Maniglia on our Public Affairs team for supporting our communications, to the APLU Events team for their outstanding logistical support, and to Dr. Denise Nadasen and Grayce McGregor for leading our Core Data Metrics collection and analysis efforts.

Have a safe and restful holiday break, and l look forward to working with you all in the new year!

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