Lumina Foundation for Education

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The Lumina Foundation for Education is, according to the foundation website, a "private, independent foundation... committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college." It has "invested assets in excess of $1 billion," which makes Lumina "among the nation’s top 40 private foundations."[1] Recent grantees include liberal think tank Center for American Progress, the Aspen Institute (whose hosting in 2000 of Elián González led right-wing conspiracy theorists to label it a "training center for a global army of psycho-social change agents"[2]) and the National Conference of State Legislatures.[3] Lumina has also supported the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).[4]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

Lumina was a "Chairman" level sponsor of the 2011 Annual Conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)[5] ($50,000 in 2010)[6] and sponsor of the August 4th, 2011, Plenary Session speech of former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise of the Alliance for Excellent Education.[4]

A Lumina spokesperson told CMD on May 23, 2012, "Lumina Foundation last paid annual dues to ALEC on 10/08/10. No staff member was able to attend meetings in 2011. We decided not to renew our membership, because we were not participating."[7]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Policy Priorities for the States

Lumina "believes that reaching the levels of higher education attainment the nation needs—60% by 2025—requires fundamental changes in all aspects of higher education. Public policy can be the primary driver for creating the change in higher education that the nation needs, but higher education policy itself must be reinvented." To do this, Lumina proposes the three following "priority strategies":

1. Set a specific state goal for attainment, and develop interim measures of progress: The first step to increasing attainment is to set a specific state goal that can be used as a basis for all future decisions affecting higher education in the state. . . . State goals for attainment also lead to the need for interim measures that help to point the way toward the eventual achievement of a state goal. A clearer recognition of the data needed to measure progress and improve system performance is therefore essential. . . . Among the specific approaches states can pursue are:

  • Create unified student unit record systems that link K-12, higher education, and workforce data
  • Collect, publicly report, and use at the campus and state levels common metrics that measure progress in attainment, completion, costs, and affordability

2. Focus scarce state resources on higher education productivity and completion: In this environment, states should target their resources overwhelmingly to produce more college graduates. . . . Among the specific approaches states can pursue are:

  • Reward institutions that focus on students completing quality programs
  • Reward students for completing courses and programs
  • Expand and strengthen lower-cost, non-traditional institution options
  • Invest in institutions that adopt good business practices
  • Create accelerated associate degree programs targeted to working adults and displaced workers, and when possible, expand them to all students

3. Align K-12 and higher education standards and assessment: States are rapidly coming to the realization that the most important outcome of K-12 education is that students be prepared for success in higher education. . . . The definition of college-ready that states should use is simple—that students do not need remediation in college. Among the specific approaches states can pursue are:

  • Align college placement exams with the new common core standards, and offer these exams in high school
  • Establish a state college outreach network that reaches all students by the 8th grade
  • Assure state and institutional financial aid is targeted to the success of low income students[8]

Personnel

Board of Directors

  • Board Chair Marie V. McDemmond, President Emerita of Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA
  • Frank D. Alvarez, President and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, San Francisco, CA
  • Gerald L. Bepko, Chancellor Emeritus and Trustees Professor at Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, IN., and former chancellor of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis
  • James C. Lintzenich, former Vice Chairman and CEO of USA Group; former President and Chief Operating Officer of Sallie Mae
  • F. Joseph Loughrey, Retired Vice Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cummins, Inc., Columbus, IN
  • Jamie P. Merisotis, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation
  • John M. Mutz, Former Chairman of Lumina Foundation, retired Vice Chairman of PSI Energy, former President of Lilly Endowment and former Lieutenant Governor of Indiana.
  • J. Bonnie Newman, former interim President of the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
  • Laura Palmer Noone, President Emerita of the University of Phoenix, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Michael L. Smith, former CFO of Anthem, Inc., Indianapolis, IN
  • Belle S. Wheelan, President, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, Decatur, GA
  • Mark G. Yudof, President of the University of California, Oakland, CA[9]

Officers

  • Jamie P. Merisotis, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • James Applegate, Vice President, Program Development
  • Samuel Cargile, Vice President, Grantmaking
  • J. David Maas, Vice President, Finance and CFO
  • Dewayne Matthews, Vice President, Policy and Strategy
  • Holiday Hart McKiernan, Vice President, Operations and General Counsel
  • Juan (Kiko) Suarez, Vice President, Communications and External Affairs[10]

Staff

Office of the President

  • Jamie Merisotis, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Lori Drzal, Executive Assistant
  • Holly McKiernan, Vice President, Operations and General Counsel
  • Courtney Brown, Director of Organizational Performance & Evaluation
  • Marilyn Raines, Legal Assistant
  • Molly Martin, Operations and Learning Officer
  • Nushina Mir, Evaluation Officer
  • Mary Williams, Director, Evaluation
  • Jill Wohlford, Director, Operations and Learning

Communications and External Affairs

  • Juan (Kiko) Suarez, Vice President, Communications and External Affairs
  • Lucia Anderson, Communications Officer
  • Kirsten Cuniffe, Convening Associate
  • Teresa Detrich, Director, Communications
  • Nancy Eaton, Convening Officer
  • Haley Glover, Director, Convening Strategy
  • Matthew Jenkins, Communications Associate
  • Dave Powell, Director, Communications

Program Development

  • James Applegate, Vice President, Program Development
  • Candace Brandt, Grants Management Associate
  • Samuel Cargile, Vice President, Grantmaking
  • Kevin Corcoran, Program Director
  • Susan Johnson, Program Officer
  • Jeanna Keller Berdel, Program Officer
  • Marcus Kolb, Program Officer
  • Thomas Major, Jr., Program Officer
  • Amie Michael, Grants Assistant
  • Sheri Ranis, Program Director
  • Barbara Rodriguez, Administrative Assistant
  • Tina Gridiron Smith, Program Officer
  • Terri St. John, Administrative Assistant
  • Holly Zanville, Program Director

Policy and Strategy

  • Dewayne Matthews, Vice President, Policy and Strategy
  • Lisa Dunham, Administrative Assistant
  • Elizabeth Gutierrez, Director, State Policy
  • Lindsay Jancek, Policy Officer

Finance and Administration

  • J. David Maas, Vice President, Finance and CFO
  • Indira Anand, Director, Information Technology
  • Apra Arnold, Administrative Assistant
  • David A. Brown, Director, Accounting and Controller
  • Micky Clymore, Facility Services Assistant
  • Cody Coppotelli, Investment Officer
  • Monique Crowell, Accounting Officer
  • Shelley Lloyd, Director, Administration
  • Christina Morales, Accounting Associate
  • Eileen M. Scott, Director, Investments
  • Ryan Shaffer, Information Technology, Projects Officer[11]

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Lumina Foundation for Education
P.O. Box 1806
Indianapolis, IN 46206-1806

Office Address:
Lumina Foundation for Education
30 South Meridian Street
Suite 700
Indianapolis, IN 46204-3503

Phone: 317.951.5300
Toll free: 800.834.5756
Fax: 317.951.5063
Contact Form: http://www.luminafoundation.org/about_us/contact_us/

References

  1. Lumina Foundation, About Us, organizational website, accessed August 8, 2011
  2. Berit Kjos, Elián at the Aspen Institute, Kjos Ministries, May 2000
  3. Lumina Foundation, Grants, foundation website, accessed August 12, 2011
  4. 4.0 4.1 American Legislative Exchange Council, "Solutions for the States," 38th Annual Meeting agenda, on file with CMD, August 3-6, 2011
  5. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 4, 2011
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council, Sponsorship Opportunities at ALEC's Annual Meeting, organizational website, 2010, accessed August 4, 2011
  7. Rebekah Wilce, Scantron 15th Corporation to Dump ALEC, PRWatch.org, May 22, 2012
  8. Lumina Foundation, Lumina’s Policy Priorities for the States, foundation website, accessed August 12, 2011
  9. Lumina Foundation, Leaders, foundation website, accessed August 12, 2011
  10. Lumina Foundation, Leaders, foundation website, accessed August 12, 2011
  11. Lumina Foundation, Our Staff, foundation website, accessed August 12, 2011
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This is a list of groups or individuals associated in some capacity with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).