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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
Associate Director
of Public Affairs

(202) 478-6038

APLU Support of Cluster Institutions

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.