Since I have established relationships with both Lumina and HCM Strategists, the consulting group in question, and have blogged (and hosted guest blogs) before on the large role that foundations are playing in pushing the higher ed reform agenda, I want to fully disclose as much as possible my role and assessment of this situation.
First, readers of this blog know my work as an expert on college student success, and as an outspoken champion for expanding college access to underserved populations. I am proud of the major role I played in the fight against the New Badger Partnership and other local efforts to prioritize institutional prestige over the needs of Wisconsin residents. I am constantly engaged in the struggle to ensure that public institutions of all types survive and thrive. At this point I have been active in Wisconsin research, policy, and activism circles for more than eight years.
In my work I spending a lot of time interacting with the higher education reform movements nationally. It is for this reason, over the last decade I have engaged with both Lumina and HCM many times. I am also very well-acquainted with the Gates education initiatives, having been both a grantee (to the tune of $1.2 million for the Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study) and a consultant. Moreover, I participant frequently in the bipartisan higher education working group hosted by the American Enterprise Institute and funded by Gates.
Why do I do these things, despite recent evidence that these places have ties to ALEC and others?