Scott Jenkins

Strategy Director

Articles by Scott

Scott Jenkins is the strategy director for state policy at Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. In that role, he leads the development and advancement of the foundation’s state policy agenda. Jenkins has a broad and extensive background in institutional, state, and federal policy development and execution.

Before joining Lumina, he served as education policy director to two governors: John Engler of Michigan and Indiana’s Mitch Daniels. He also served as director of external relations for Western Governors University, and as a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education in the George W. Bush administration. He is a member of the Illinois State University Board of Trustees and a Pahara Fellow.

Jenkins holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in higher education from Purdue University.

More from Scott

Lumina’s policy agenda centers on helping states achieve racial justice and equity

Progress is about partnerships – in racial justice and education as surely as anywhere else. In Lumina’ case, as we embrace a national goal of ensuring that by 2025, 60 percent of working-age adults have a quality credential beyond high school, that means partnering with others and encouraging best practices across the country through our State Policy Agenda.

States have to step up to help colleges face the coming budget storm

American higher education is in the eye of a hurricane. When the pandemic hit last spring, campuses were buffeted by the frantic transition to remote instruction, lost revenue, and emergency spending on health and safety measures. The country made it through the tough early months with unprecedented cooperation between higher education leaders, faculty members, and students—all determined to chart a course through the storm. As limited relief arrived from the federal government, colleges and universities settled unsteadily into a new reality.

States should exert their power to grant college degrees—especially for these three student groups

To jump-start their economies in the wake of COVID-19, states will need to do more than just reopen bars and hair salons. They must help millions of people gain the skills they need to work in a dramatically changed employment market. Most of those post-pandemic jobs in the U.S. will require education and training beyond high school. But higher education, as it operates today, can’t address states’ massive economic recovery needs.

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