Author Archive | Dr. Karan Powell

retired president of APUS Karan Powell

Reflections on Transitioning to Retired President of APUS

On September 29, APEI CEO Dr. Wally Boston sent the following email to staff: 

After 15 years of distinguished service to APUS as a trustee, dean, provost, and president, Dr. Karan Powell informed the Board of Trustees and me that she is retiring from APUS effective October 15. While her term was scheduled to run through June 30, 2018, Karan and the Board considered the importance of launching a search as soon as possible given the reaccreditation visit with the HLC currently scheduled in August of 2018. During the remainder of her term through June 2018, Dr. Powell will work on transition activities including: providing consulting services, representing APUS in the higher education community as an ambassador of good will, and providing guidance on accreditation related matters as requested.

So today, October 16, 2017, is my first day as APUS “president (retired)”. While moving on from APUS is bittersweet, the decision of the board to search for a new president now rather than in June 2018, on the eve of our Higher Learning Commission accreditation site visit, is the right decision for APUS. As I have said to the leadership team and staff in the past two weeks, my aim was to build a strong university by helping build strong leaders. That legacy lives on in them and the opportunity they now have to lead and take the university to the next level, and I look forward to celebrating this legacy next spring with the larger APUS community.

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NUTN network leadership Powell

Women in Leadership: Thoughts from NUTN 35

Participating on a panel of women leaders at the NUTN conference on October 11 in San Antonio provided the opportunity for reflection on our journey as leaders. The panel was facilitated by Dr. Pam Quinn, provost of the LeCroy Center, Dallas County Community College District. My co-panelists included Dr. Diane Melby, president of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, and Dr. Adelina Silva, vice chancellor for student success, Alamo Community College District.

What an amazing group of women leaders! In addressing our personal pathways to leadership and the most important characteristics to achieve it, it was fascinating to hear the ways our stories intersected. Common themes included never setting out on a path for a particular position, i.e., who really grows up thinking “I will become a provost, president, or chancellor?” This is especially true for those of us who are first-generation college graduates.

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digital literacy Powell

Digital Information Literacy: Preparing Students, Graduates, and Alumni for the Workforce

APUS programs are designed so that students can demonstrate proficiency in several learning areas upon completing their academic course of study. These proficiencies include applied learning, intellectual skill, specialized knowledge, broad knowledge, civic learning, and digital information literacy. While a focus on each of the learning areas required of graduates at all degree levels is essential, this post is focused on digital literacy proficiency.

By focusing on digital literacy, APUS aims to set our students apart from other graduates seeking employment and/or career advancement by developing and enhancing our student’s ability to communicate precisely and creatively using tools to engage, interact, and create visually effective and professional artifacts. Creativity and competence in the selection and safe, ethical use of digital resources are essential skills in the workplace for all employees – now and for the future. In fact, digital skills are emerging as a key job skill for the future – a future that is already here.

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retired president of APUS Karan Powell

The Charlottesville Imperative

Like most Americans, I was both saddened and disturbed by the recent tragedy in Charlottesville. While these events left me feeling aghast and somewhat speechless, I nonetheless felt compelled to write in solidarity with college, university presidents and leaders nationwide, and especially with President Teresa Sullivan and our nearby neighbors at the University of Virginia and greater Charlottesville. The violence and atrocities, including the death of an innocent bystander, are reprehensible. There is no place for hatred and violence of any kind on our campuses or in our communities and, in fact, these actions are contrary to the core values we value and uphold as both educators and as citizens.

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retired president of APUS Karan Powell

What Is the Solution to the High Cost of a College Degree?

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured a new venture that will offer free courses for college credit as part of a “freshman year for free” initiative. Last April, the state of New York announced that it would make college “tuition-free” for the middle-class at both two- and four-year colleges. In early August, Rhode Island, in turn, announced free community college. US News and World Report in 2012 reported on 12 colleges who exchange tuition for some sort of service and were cited as “tuition- free” institutions. And lastly, BestColleges.com recently reported the top 10 best colleges with free tuition. 

In a time of increased focus on affordability and completion, the questions that need to be addressed include: Is college really free? Who will pay for it? What is the value of college to students? To society?

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retired president of APUS Karan Powell

What Is the Value of a College Degree Today?

Tis the season for traditional colleges to begin their fall terms. Students across the country and around the world will begin college for the first time. Some will be returning for yet another time, hoping to complete a program of study or degree after time away or following prior, incomplete attempts for personal and/or professional reasons. This consideration notwithstanding, the question remains among those deciding whether or not to attend college: What is the value of a college degree today? In this post and the subsequent one, I will further explore and pose an answer to this question.

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