Lumina Foundation Shifts Focus to Policy Making

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The Lumina Foundation for Education, one of the best-known higher-education philanthropies, is shifting its focus from program initiatives to policy development, according to the group’s president, Jamie P. Merisotis.

Lumina’s state goal, however, is unchanged: to have 60 percent of Americans hold a postsecondary degree by 2025.

Merisotis’ remarks were made at the annual meeting of the State Higher Education Executive Officers in Minnesota. The Foundation will be targeting states because they are in a policy “sweet spot,” according to Meritosis; the changes they make can be big enough to make a difference, but also small enough to manage.

The foundation plans to convene business leaders, lawmakers, higher-education groups and faculty members to reach consensus on policy measures as well as draft model polices for states, including legislation. The group has already been collaborating with the American Legislative Exchange Council to write and introduce bills into statehouses.