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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.

Creating a Personal Brand through Using the Internet

Today’s industries require college graduates to market their skills well beyond a career resource center. Soft skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, followership, negotiation and specialized training are in high demand. However, graduates possessing these skills must find ways to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Transformation and the Long Game in Higher Education

Over the last week, a spate of articles has been published that detail the grim reality of the challenge being faced by higher education as institutions respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are many other articles that touch upon the same points, the following are ones that have made an impact on how I have been thinking about the challenges that higher ed is facing.

Music and Finding Solace during These Uncertain Times

Is it any wonder that in times like these, we turn to something as primal, as rhythmic and dare I say, soothing to the soul, like music? There has been research that suggests music makes us feel good.

Leadership Using Effective Nonverbal Communication

While the concept of leadership is difficult to define, Robert N. Lussier and Christopher F. Achua, authors of the book Leadership: Theory, Application and Skill Development, present an excellent definition of leadership as “the influencing process between leaders and followers to achieve organizational objectives through change.” But how do we apply such definition to our everyday experiences?

The Possible Future for Small, Tuition-Dependent Colleges

Last month, I wrote about a new book, The College Stress Test, authored by my former professor and dissertation chair Dr. Robert Zemsky, Susan Shaman, and Susan Campbell Baldridge. Using data from the Department of Education institutional reports, the authors constructed a stress test that indicated only 10% of educational institutions face substantial market risk but that another 30% will struggle until they find a way to reduce student costs, change curriculum, and experiment with new modes of instruction.

The Making of a Financial Disaster for Higher Education

Much has been written about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on higher education. At this point in time, most, if not all, colleges and universities have shuttered their campuses and are attempting to continue the semester by teaching online. With the notices to parents (I have two daughters in college) that refunds will be forthcoming for a prorated portion of the semester for room, board, and fees for other services, I became curious about how issuing refunds to students would impact many colleges.

Coronavirus and Its Impact on Higher Education (Podcast)

During the coronavirus outbreak, many colleges and universities have transitioned from traditional classroom environments to teaching primarily online. In this podcast, Dr. Bjorn Mercer talks with American Public University System President Dr. Wally Boston about the impact of coronavirus on higher education.

Finding Your New Normal: Taking Care of Your Mental Health during Uncertain Times

Have you felt overwhelmed, anxious, or confused lately as a result of the coronavirus outbreak? Felt a lack of control or security over what is happening? If you have, you are not alone. It is ok and normal to have these mixed and strong emotions to quickly changing and uncertain times.

Thoughts from the Field: Close or Use Online Courses?

In the face of unprecedented closures in the nation and in the California Community College System (CCC), college administrators rally to keep instruction alive by generating hundreds of online class sessions from current on-ground traditional classes. The world as we know it in online education will likely never be the same. What resources are we pulling together, and what will we learn from this experience? It is up to us to collaborate at a previously unimagined level to figure this out.

Suddenly Teaching and Learning Online for the First Time

Jose has been teaching face-to-face for years and is comfortable standing in front of dozens or even hundreds of students every day. He is the sage who imparts knowledge to those sitting in front of him—some are eager to take in what he shares, while others force themselves to stay focused and take notes.