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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 July 2016, he retired as APUS president and continued as CEO of APEI. In September 2017, he was reappointed APUS president after the resignation of Dr. Karan Powell. In September 2019, Angela Selden was named CEO of APEI, succeeding Dr. Boston who will remain APUS president until his planned retirement in June 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. During his tenure, APUS grew to over 100,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 90,000 alumni. In addition to his service as a board member of APUS and APEI, Dr. Boston is 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, a board member of the Presidents’ Forum, and a board member of Hondros College of Nursing and Fidelis, Inc. 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. Dr. Boston lives in Owings Mills, MD with his wife Sharon and their two daughters.

COVID-19 Changes and a Crusade Against Terrible Advising

Somehow, I missed The Chronicle of Higher Education article titled “A Crusade Against Terrible Advising” when it was published on August 4. According to Scott Carlson, senior reporter, the genesis of the article stemmed from several emails that he received from Dr. Ned Laff, a retired academic advisor whose advising experience included stints at nine different colleges and universities.

McKinsey and the Future Vision for a Post-Pandemic Workforce

In June 2020, the McKinsey consulting group commissioned a survey of global business executives about the post-pandemic future workforce. The survey responses clearly indicate a period of future disruption and change. Millions of low-income people have lost their jobs, and the survey indicates that the mix of post-pandemic jobs will look decidedly different from the pre-pandemic mix.

The Link Between Football Game Attendance and COVID-19

I enjoy watching football, pro and college. The resumption of the NFL season three weeks ago was a welcome respite from watching reruns of last year’s games. But as college football resumed its play, I noticed one difference.

Is It Possible for a Free Market to Deliver Free College?

In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, investor Daniel Pianko pens an opinion piece, stating that higher education is at the stage today that the stock brokerage industry was in 30-40 years ago. (Full disclosure – Mr. Pianko is a board member of APEI, the publicly-traded education company that I led for 15 years.)

Serving on the McDonogh Board: A Retrospective View

Thirty years ago this month, I attended my first meeting as a member of the McDonogh School Board of Trustees. I won’t forget the luncheon at which I was invited to join the Board. The Board Chair, Tom Petty, informed me that board members of non-profit schools needed to contribute at least two of the three Ws to the institution. The Ws represented work, wisdom, and wealth. At the age of 36, I was fairly certain which two were mine.

What Would Happen if Everything Remains Online Forever?

An Inside Higher Ed blogger, Dr. Josh Kim, recently penned an article posing the question, “What if everything stays online forever?” Dr. Kim acknowledges that not everything is online now, and certain functions like construction, maintenance, and hospital services have to remain face-to-face.

COVID-19 Has Forced a Radical Shift in Working Habits

In March, the governors of many states ordered social distancing and remote work for non-essential workers. Companies with offices scrambled to enhance their technology platforms in order to accommodate so many additional people working online and remotely.

What U.S. Colleges’ Spring 2021 Plans Look Like So Far

Over the weekend, I watched college and NFL football. The scenes of fans in the stands for Saturday’s televised college football games were as interesting as the scenes from the field. While it was clear that social distancing and masks had been mandated, it was also clear that more than a few did not take it seriously.

Saving Higher Education: Changing U.S. University Policies

In the recent issue of Washington Monthly, Kevin Carey recommends a different policy architecture for American higher education. He writes that the best time to build it is now.

Higher Ed Finance and the Need to Understand It Thoroughly

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the finances of colleges and universities globally. With many colleges and universities in the U.S. reversing course and going online, some families are asking for tuition discounts. It’s too soon for final reports on enrollments, even as some universities report unprecedented numbers of incoming freshmen who requested an enrollment deferral (also called a gap year). There have been more than a few articles written about the financial impact of COVID-19, and a few more have attempted to rate or rank the financial risk of institutions based on publicly available data. Recently, I read an article written by a professor who argued that institutions should increase financial aid in a situation like this rather than discount tuition.