Dr. James Applegate
Center for the Study of Education Policy
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations
Dr. Applegate spent his career in higher education and philanthropy developing policies and practices to dramatically increase college success, especially for underserved groups. He currently is a Visiting Professor in the Center for Education Policy at Illinois State University. He previously served as the executive director for the Illinois Board of Higher Education. As the state higher education executive officer, Jim led a $2 billion higher education enterprise and efforts to dramatically increase college attainment, improve college affordability, and close opportunity gaps in Illinois. Jim served as vice president and head of grant making for the Lumina Foundation. There he led development of new approaches to support increased degree production, fairness, and productivity in higher education. He advocated for improving education policy at the international, federal, state, and institutional levels. From 2000-08, Jim was chief academic officer for Kentucky. During his tenure Kentucky led the nation in higher education attainment increases. Jim was a professor and department chair at the University of Kentucky. He was an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow and serves on advisory boards for numerous higher education organizations. He was a University Fellow and received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.