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University of Wisconsin Madison
Powered by Publics

Julia Michaels
Executive Director
Center for Public
University Transformation
(202) 478-6071

Media Contact:
Mike Brost
Assistant Director
of Public Affairs
(202) 478-6038

Advisory Council

The Powered by Publics advisory council meets quarterly to provide high-level leadership and strategic guidance for the initiative. The council is comprised of a diverse array of higher education experts, business community leaders, as well as a student representative. Topic-specific subcommittees and task forces are also expected to meet to provide guidance in the future as well. 

Below is the roster for the full Powered by Publics Advisory Council:

  • Robert Anderson, President, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.
  • Michelle Cooper, President, Institute for Higher Education Policy.
  • Antonio Flores, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
  • Claire Jacobson, Director, Taking Student Success to Scale: High Impact Practices, National Association of System Heads.
  • Christine Keller, Executive Director, Association for Institutional Research.
  • Jennifer Keup, Director, National Resource Center, University of South Carolina.
  • Dane Linn, Vice President of Immigration, Workforce & Education, Business Roundtable.
  • George Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change, American Association of State College and Universities.
  • Demarée Michelau, President, Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education.
  • Christopher Mullin, Director, Strong Start to Finish.
  • Cedric Mutebi, Student Representative, Wayne State University.
  • Ameilia Parnell, Vice President for Research and Policy, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
  • Deborah Santiago, Chief Executive Officer, Excelencia in Education.
  • Karen Stout, President and Chief Executive Officer, Achieving the Dream.
  • Kathy Thompson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Frontier Set HBCU Intermediary, based at the University of South Alabama.
  • Josh Wyner, Vice President, Founder, and Executive Director, Aspen Institute, College Excellence.

Project Highlights

  • 130 change-ready universities and state systems
  • 16 transformation clusters
  • 3 million undergraduates

Project Goals

  • Produce hundreds of thousands more graduates by 2025 with an emphasis on underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students.
  • Cut in half the achievement gap by 2025 for underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students while increasing access.
  • Share key data, learning, and effective practices to drive innovation and transformation across the higher education sector.


APLU’s overall proposed strategy for organizational change contains three core elements:

  • Align APLU’s existing degree completion initiatives into the Center for Public University Transformation to focus efforts and accelerate shared goals;
  • Collaborate with member universities and, where appropriate, community colleges to scale evidence-based strategies and incubate new solutions for student success that can be applied across a diverse set of institutions; and
  • Build a set of national partnerships to diffuse lessons learned and drive progress across the higher education sector.