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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.

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.

Gentrification in Austin Neighborhoods and Elsewhere

Shortly after moving to Austin, I joined the local neighborhood association. Our neighborhood group is not a homeowners’ association (HOA) with governance over architectural design or modifications, and it is not mandatory to join it. My reason for joining the HOA was to meet new neighbors and stay current with local events, ranging from zoning issues and parking restrictions to neighborhood art walks and new building permits.

Open-Source Intelligence Advances Thanks to Technology

The August 7th issue of "The Economist" has an editorial and a feature article about the advances of open-source intelligence capabilities once reserved for superpowers. Open-source intelligence, also known as OSINT, is not a recent development. However, advances in technology have increased the opportunities for citizens not employed by an intelligence agency to find and disclose information that governments might want to remain classified.

Google Announces Plans to Further Improve Its Search Engine with MUM

Financial Times writer Richard Waters has reported recently announced changes to Google’s search engine. Google says that its multitask unified model (MUM) is a tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and designed to better answer context-related questions. Pandu Nayak, the Google researcher in charge of MUM, explained in an interview that the targeted outcome of using the tool is to meet “fuzzy information needs” by allowing users to input a single question, rather than a sequence of questions designed to narrow down the field of potential answers.

Building an Applied Science to Support Working Learners

In this week’s edition of "The Job" (an Open Campus newsletter written by Paul Fain), I read about a very broad proposal to create an applied science to support working learners. The proposal was launched by Stanford University and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

National Science Foundation Expands Funding for AI Institutes

I recently learned about the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institutes established through funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its partners. According to the National Science Foundation website, these Institutes are the only U.S. government-funded artificial intelligence initiatives outside of the Department of Defense.

Are High Costs and Student Debt for Dental School Justified?

A recent trip to a dentist generated a discussion about my blog and articles that I wrote about the high cost of medical school and law school. The dentist asked me if I had looked at the amount of debt that dentists incur for dental school. He said that the amounts that recent dental school graduates borrow are outrageous.