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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

APLU Support of Cluster Institutions

Active Funding Opportunities

On September 23, 2020, APLU shared a Request for Proposals for seed funding to support collaborative projects. Click here to view the RFP The deadline for proposals is November 23, 2020. All Powered by Publics member institutions are eligible to apply, either individually or in partnership with other universities in their cluster. MSIs are encouraged to apply.

APLU will serve primarily as a backbone organization – providing:

  • Facilitated meetings convening the clusters as well as individual campus visits, supported by a capacity-building grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Technical assistance, including connection with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Solution Hubs for digital learning, advising, and developmental education.
  • Other support, funded through a capacity-building grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including:
  • Some project management support for working groups and other collaborative learning activities, provided through APLU’s new Center for Public University Transformation;
  • A data team to assist with evaluation, data collection, and analysis.
  • A communications team to work with university communications staff to document, disseminate, and promote effective practices; and
  • National leadership, including a national advisory council, to provide governance for the project.
  • Assistance identifying vendors and other technology service providers for implementation of solutions.
  • Some fundraising support to help clusters obtain national and regional funding for specific activities as they are developed.

Project Highlights

  • Nearly 125 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.


Four strategic priorities guide Powered by Publics work. They are:

  1. Taking explicit action to pursue educational equity for low-income, first-generation, and students of color.
  2. Committing to transparency by sharing data and monitoring progress toward equity goals.
  3. Developing common opportunities for cross-cluster learning, sharing, and collective action in the thematic areas of Affordability, Holistic Student Supports, and Teaching & Learning.
  4. APLU and its partners committing to invest in institutional capacity through grants and technical assistance.