Debra Humphreys

Vice President of Strategic Engagement

Debra Humphreys, Ph.D., directs Lumina Foundation’s efforts related to student success in attaining high-quality four-year college degrees. She also oversees the foundation’s strategic communications team, working to influence national narratives about learning beyond high school.

More about Debra
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Nine ways funders can increase diversity in higher ed in a world without affirmative action

Debra Humphreys  | 
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s June 29 decision to end affirmative action in college admissions, a group of foundations quickly issued a joint statement condemning the decision, saying, “The Supreme Court’s decision impedes colleges and universities from selecting their own student bo
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A moment of reckoning

Debra Humphreys  | 
The backlash against critical race theory is raging, but we must stay the course in higher education.
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We Must End Either-Or Thinking About Skills

Debra Humphreys  | 
When it comes to building a better learning system, such a perspective presents a false choice that will intensify rather than diminish economic and social inequity, writes Debra Humphreys.
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Community-based programs, first-year seminars, learning communities: How to assure equity and quality in higher ed

Debra Humphreys  | 
New research emerging from a recent project led by the National Association of System Heads provides some useful insights into how, even during the enormous challenges of this pandemic moment, we can assure both equity and quality as we seek to grow the number of people with learning beyond high sch
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Colleges Must Attend to 3 Crucial Areas

Debra Humphreys  | 
In higher ed's pivot during COVID, let's focus on them to ensure quality and equity—and avoid repeating past mistakes.
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Lumina announces grants to 9 states to advance quality and equity

Debra Humphreys, Terri Taylor  | 
Lumina Foundation is supporting efforts in nine states as part of a new national grant program to help develop next-generation approaches to higher-education quality assurance and improvement.
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Higher-ed quality shouldn’t be about elitism—it should be about addressing learning and opportunity

Debra Humphreys  | 
We all know that we have a legacy as a nation of defining educational quality based far too much on prestige and exclusivity. Our systems of quality assurance assumed a particular type of student on a particular type of path. Those assumptions are misaligned with the way students go to college today
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As frustration with higher education grows, states have to step up

Debra Humphreys  | 
For years, opinion polls have suggested a declining confidence among the general public about higher education. One recent poll found that fewer than half of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in higher education.
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Innovation, quality outcomes must be top concerns for college boards

Debra Humphreys  | 
Important changes in our approaches to learning after high school are being led by many college educators and urgently demanded by lawmakers, policy leaders, and the public.
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Podcast: Quality assurance and the future of accreditation

Debra Humphreys  | 
Lumina VP Debra Humphreys discusses the vital role accrediting agencies, federal and state policymakers, public systems, and community colleges play in improving student outcomes.
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Defining and delivering on quality in higher education

Debra Humphreys  | 
Quality in postsecondary education, a growing concern for students and families, is getting a fresh look on several fronts, including in discussions around a proposed overhaul of the Higher Education Act and in several state-level discussions.
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The UMBC hype was great, but now we need to focus on broader issues of quality and equity in higher education

Debra Humphreys  | 
The stunning NCAA upset by UMBC should boost admissions—and create a new cool factor—for a school that already deserves attention for its laudable focus on student success.
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Next-generation quality assurance for tomorrow’s talent

Debra Humphreys  | 
How do we know people are graduating with the skills to get good jobs? As education beyond high school evolves, a new Lumina-supported group is working to define the Essential Employability Qualities necessary to succeed in today's job market.