On December 14, nearly 20 of our distinguished alumni gathered in Crystal City, Va., as we launched the new President’s Alumni Council. I co-hosted the event, along with American Public University System (APUS) trustees and alumni Dr. J. D. Polk and Lt. General Tom Conant (USMC, Ret.), for alumni who are key leaders in government and industry. With 65,000+ alumni worldwide and growing, we aim to advance our greater American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU) community through ongoing engagement with them.
Author Archive | Dr. Karan Powell
This week, following the recent arrival of Dr. Vernon Smith as new APUS provost, Mr. Robert Gay (Bob) joined the university as chief operations officer (COO). Bob’s primary role is to lead our focus on strategic enrollment growth, consistent with our established mission to provide an affordable, accessible and relevant education. The COO oversees the strategy of the university and leads and/or interfaces with teams focused on admissions, financial aid, marketing, military, corporate and community college outreach, transfer credit, and alumni relations. To achieve strategic enrollment growth in an ever-changing higher education and learning environment, he will focus on simplifying the prospect and student experience so that it is seamless and free of unnecessary administrative roadblocks.
A university provost leads the academic community of faculty, directors and deans, is responsible for the library and its staff, for academic and instructional design and quality and, ultimately, for ensuring the strategic priorities and goals of academic excellence are achieved with a special focus on learning outcomes assessment. To achieve academic excellence in an ever-changing higher education and learning environment, the provost also leads innovation advancement initiatives for faculty and curriculum.
The Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University School of Education administers the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) in partnership with the Indiana University Center for Survey Research. In November, they released the 2016 annual report, based upon survey results regarding the engagement of first-year students and seniors on campus and compares institutions to all 1,600 participating schools as well as to a defined group of “peer institutions.” The study assesses contributions to student success, including time and effort of students in the learning process and institutional resources provided to support them. The report provided to each institution contains valuable information for internal review and discussion and contributes to continuous improvement of both the student experience and student success.
First Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies, published earlier this year by Kate Andersen Brower, was given to me as a gift upon my appointment as APUS president. It tells the story of ten of our country’s first ladies, including Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Rosalynn Carter, Hillary Clinton, Betty Ford, Lady Bird Johnson, Jackie Kennedy, Pat Nixon, Michelle Obama and Nancy Reagan. At the time, I thought, well, this is interesting, and why this book? I was quickly captivated by the fascinating stories of their unique and similar challenges living in the White House and being in the public eye as first lady.
As a child, Thanksgiving meant a long weekend and time off from school; a big family dinner and many other extras — the house smelled like nutmeg and cinnamon all week; time to play and be with all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles as our house was “holiday central” (my grandmother lived with us); football games and the Macy’s day parade; and preparing for Christmas by putting up the decorative outdoor lights.