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Wally Boston

Wally Boston
Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston continues to serve as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and as a member of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.

The Latest College Rankings: Methodologies and Flaws

It’s hard to keep track of college rankings. These days, it seems like everyone wants into the game from which the U.S. News & World Report team made its fame and fortune (note that I did not say “originated” since I believe there were rankings before U.S. News).

Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America

In his cover jacket intro of Alec MacGillis’ "Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America," Craigslist founder Craig Newmark refers to the 1937 Upton Sinclair novel, "The Flivver King: A Story of Ford-America." Newmark contrasts the $30 billion market capitalization of Ford with the $1.5 trillion market capitalization of Amazon. In "The Flivver King," Sinclair blasted Ford for underpaying its workers while forcing them to engage in repetitive and dangerous assembly-line work.

Instructional Spending Proposals vs. Higher Ed Realities (Part II)

In my last article, I reviewed recommendations for instructional spending policies from The Century Foundation, Third Way and Connecticut Democrat senator Chris Murphy. For this article, I will discuss the Veterans Education Project white paper, referenced in a recent Inside Higher Ed article about the limits of instructional spending tests for college accountability.

Instructional Spending Proposals vs. Higher Ed Realities (Part I)

Alexis Gravely’s recent Inside Higher Ed article, “The Debate Over Instructional Spending Policies,” reports on a Veterans Education Project white paper detailing the limitations of instructional spending tests for college accountability.

September 11, 2001 – A Day That We All Remember, 20 Years Later

My colleagues and I were in New York City to negotiate a credit agreement for our employer, Sun Healthcare Group. Our meeting was scheduled for 10 a.m. on September 11, 2001, and was to take place in the offices of Goldman Sachs at 85 Broad Street.

Master’s Degrees: What’s Happening in the Business Market?

A recent article written by Eduventures senior analyst Clint Raine, “What’s Happening in the Business Master’s Market?,” stated that master’s degrees conferrals in the business area had only grown by 3% over the past decade while overall master’s degrees conferrals grew by 11%. In the article, Mr. Raine asked if the lower growth rate in conferrals meant that prospects were losing interest in business or if the lower rate was related to something else.

Finding Fake Students: The Law of Unintended Consequences

Last week, Los Angeles Times reporters Teresa Watanabe and Colleen Shalby co-authored an article indicating that more than 65,000 fake students applied to community colleges in California over the past few months.

Graduation Rates Aren’t the Strongest Indicator of Institutional Success

Institutions of higher education are often compared and judged based on their graduation rates, but it often provides an incomplete picture of institutional success. In this podcast, Dr. Bjorn Mercer and I discuss various metrics used to compare institutions and the many variables that affect those metrics.

Enrollment Increases in Out-of-State Students: Problem or Panacea?

In an August 30, 2021, Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Aaron Klein writes that America’s public universities have been engaged in a “student swap.” More specifically, the highest rated public universities in each state (also known as flagship universities) have increased their enrollment of students from other states in terms of percentages and raw numbers, despite their primary mission of providing an education to their respective states’ residents.

Why Don’t More Institutions Offer Free Textbooks to Students?

Last week, I read an EdSurge article about some colleges providing free textbooks to students. EdSurge reporter Nadia Tamez-Robledo wrote that undergrads spent an average of $1,240 for textbooks during the 2020-2021 school year. The number was $220 higher for students attending two-year colleges.