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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.

Educational Accountability: Using Practitioners’ Expertise

In my recent post about Opportunity America’s paper recommending higher education accountability measurements, I noted that the framework proposed by the Opportunity America research panel needed a lot more substance before I could support it. I was particularly troubled by the notion of using “completion” as a required tool to hold institutions accountable without any definition of completion. In particular, there should be more specific indications of which students are included in the denominator and which students are included in the numerator.

How Should We Ensure Accountability in Higher Education?

Last week, Washington think tank Opportunity America released a white paper, “Accountability in Higher Education: For-Profit Colleges and Beyond.”

Michael Bloomberg Backs Charter Schools with a Major Grant

Mr. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City and former candidate for U.S. president, notes that before the pandemic, about two-thirds of U.S. students were not reading at grade level and that the trend is getting worse.

The Math Wars: Improving Numeracy among American Students

I’ve written before that I subscribe to "The Economist" because it provides a neutral perspective on life in the United States. Earlier this summer, I wrote about the success of states that have reverted to teaching phonics in order to enable students to read better. The article that inspired my phonics post was published by "The Economist." In the November 6 edition, "The Economist" called attention to America’s abysmal performance teaching math in an article titled “The Maths Wars.”

The Great Upheaval – Is the Beginning of the End in Sight?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a review of "The Great Upheaval." Written by Arthur Levine and Scott Van Pelt, the book provided an excellent explanation why an industry that has not changed for hundreds of years will be forced to transform itself or die.

The College Degree Is in Shambles (or Is It?)

I suggest that the best thing that the federal government could do is to encourage stronger preparation of high school graduates for college.

A Private School Finance Primer: Summary and Recommendations

I spent nearly two decades serving McDonogh, the private school where I served as a Board member or Board committee member. During those two decades, the school’s financial picture improved as McDonogh transformed itself.

A Private School Finance Primer – Capital, Land, and Endowment (Part 4)

With the growth in McDonogh’s student enrollment initially stimulated by the addition of a kindergarten in 1992, the Finance Committee continued to refine its operating model. The Committee also continued communications to the Board about the school’s finances and how some of the strategic needs should be funded.

A Private School Finance Primer – Expenditures and Staffing (Part 3)

As I discussed in my previous article about student enrollment, McDonogh’s Lower and Middle Schools had a fixed structure for staffing, based on the number of primary sections assigned to each grade. There were specialty teachers in Art, Music, and Shop for each of the schools, and the Lower School had teaching assistants for each of the kindergarten sections.

A Private School Finance Primer – A 10-Year Operations Model (Part 2)

As we developed the 10-year operating projections for The McDonogh School, it was important to communicate and, in some cases, educate the Board members on the interrelationships between the various operating and financial components.