About
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Debra Humphreys, Ph.D.

Debra Humphreys, Ph.D. brings to Lumina a wealth of experience in higher education, communications, stakeholder engagement, and public policy. Debra leads the Foundation's stakeholder engagement and strategic communications work while also providing direction for Lumina's thought leadership efforts as well as the substantive work on postsecondary education quality.

Debra Humphreys received her BA from Williams College and her Ph.D in English from Rutgers University. Humphreys previously served as the senior vice president for academic planning and public engagement at the Association of American Colleges and Universities—a position she assumed in early 2016 after serving for three years as VP of communications, policy, and public engagement, and eleven years as VP for communications and public affairs. Prior to 2001, she 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.

In her work with higher education institutions, Humphreys has conducted academic leadership and faculty workshops on teaching and learning issues and especially on the process of general education reform and developing diversity courses and requirements. She serves on the editorial advisory boards of University Business and Change Magazine, and serves on the boards of the National Survey of Student Engagement and The Economic Club of Indiana. In addition to her expertise on academic planning, communications, general education and diversity in higher education, she has written, taught, and published on African American women's literature, immigrant women's literature, and women and American film history.

Selected recent publications include “Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Challenging Times: Examining Priorities and Proposed Reforms,” co-authored with Paul L. Gaston in Liberal Education (Winter 2016); "Deploying Collaborative Leadership to Reinvent Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century" in Peer Review (Winter 2013); "The Questions We Need to Ask First: Setting Priorities for Higher Education in Our Technology-Rich World" in Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies, edited by Diana G. Oblinger (Educause, 2012); “What’s Wrong with the Completion Agenda—and What We Can Do About It.” in Liberal Education (Winter, 2012); "Liberal Education and the Policy Landscape," co-authored with Carol Geary Schneider in Transforming Undergraduate Education, edited by Donald W. Harward and published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2011; "College Outcomes for Work, Life, and Citizenship: Can We Really Do It All?" in Liberal Education (Winter, 2009).