Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Council on Postsecondary Education

Press Release Date:  Thursday, August 28, 2008  
Contact Information:  Release Date: Aug. 28, 2008
Contact: Lee Nimocks
Phone: 502-573-1555 ext. 244

(FRANKFORT, Ky.) -- Dr. Jim Applegate, vice president for academic affairs at the Council on Postsecondary Education, has accepted a position as senior vice president for the Lumina Foundation on Education in Indianapolis. Lumina’s board of directors approved his appointment yesterday, and he will begin his new duties on Oct. 1.

Lumina, with assets totaling $1.5 billion dollars, is one of the few major foundations focused entirely on higher education with a mission to serve low income, minority and adult learners.  To date, Lumina has awarded more than $300 million in grants to advance the work of higher education.

In his new position, Applegate will play a key role in defining the foundation’s funding programs over the next decade as well as strategically investing resources to dramatically increase education attainment in the United States.

“Jim's ability to cultivate new relationships will expand Lumina's horizons and give us new venues for achieving the goal of dramatically increasing the number of Americans with high-quality postsecondary degrees," said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina's president and chief executive officer. "His proven track record for promoting public engagement and outreach in postsecondary education as well as increasing college persistence and graduation rates will assist Lumina as we strive to mobilize people and ideas on a broad scale."

Richard Crofts, interim president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, said, “Jim has served Kentucky exceedingly well and we are indeed grateful. He has devoted his career at the Council to leading a broad array of initiatives that are focused on raising the educational attainment of Kentuckians, from creating access to ensuring student success.”

“While we are saddened with his departure, we are heartened that our colleague will have the opportunity to make a major impact on higher education, not only in Kentucky, but across the nation,” said Crofts. “This is a tremendous opportunity for him and we know he will be extremely successful.”

Applegate came to the Council in 1999 from the University of Kentucky where he was a tenured full professor and served as chair of the department of communications, a position he held since 1984. Previously, he served as professor of communication at UK.

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity the Council on Postsecondary Education has provided me over the last decade to be a part of one of the most innovative and successful postsecondary education reform efforts in American,” said Applegate. “As a native Kentuckian, I am proud of the success we have had in increasing college access and success during this first phase of reform.

“I have been privileged to work with a staff that is mission driven and passionate about creating better lives for Kentuckians,” he added.

Among his numerous accomplishments over the last nine years, Applegate:

  • Brought more than $32 million dollars in external funding to the Council to support college access and success initiatives.
  • Led the Council’s Program Productivity Reviews resulting in closure of more than 200 academic programs and restructuring of more than 400 to increase degree production.
  • Assisted in the successful launch of Kentucky’s State P-16 Council.
  • Led the launch of one of the first and most successful state level college access campaigns targeting minority, low income traditional and adult learners with GoHigherKy in 2000.
  • Brought the federal GEAR UP program to Kentucky now helping more than 18,000 middle/high school students, mostly low income, succeed in college.
  • Helped lead Kentucky’s nationally recognized efforts to support college success for adult learners.
  • Led in the management of the Council’s highly successful economic development partnership with the KSTC creating new jobs and business startups across Kentucky.

Applegate earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown College and a master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois.


Related Content

Jim Applegate bio (78K PDF)

Jim Applegate photo (1.4MB JPG)


Last Updated 8/28/2008