Debra Humphreys

Vice President of Strategic Engagement

Articles by Debra

Debra Humphreys, Ph.D., directs efforts related to student success in attaining high-quality four-year college degrees at Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. She also oversees the foundation’s strategic communications team, working to influence national narratives about learning beyond high school.

Before joining Lumina in late 2016, she served as senior vice president for academic planning and public engagement at the Association of American Colleges & Universities. She also served as director of programs in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Global Initiatives at AAC&U, where she directed programs on diversity, equity, and women’s issues in higher education.

Humphreys has decades of experience in higher education reform focused on improving teaching and learning, curricular redesign, state and federal policy, and quality assurance. In her work with higher education institutions, Humphreys has conducted academic leadership and faculty workshops on teaching and learning, with special focuses on reform of general education and diversity courses and requirements.

Humphreys earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from Williams College and master’s and doctoral degrees in English from Rutgers University. She serves on the editorial advisory board of Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning and serves on the board of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

More from Debra

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

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 bodies and fully addressing systemic racial inequalities that persist.”

Community-based programs, first-year seminars, learning communities: How to assure equity and quality in higher ed

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 school.