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Michael Poliakoff Joins the American Council of Trustees and Alumni

April 6, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael B. Poliakoff, a longtime veteran of higher education reform with a keen understanding of the inner workings of the academy, has joined the organization as its new policy director.

“When it comes to higher ed, Michael Poliakoff gets it,” said ACTA president Anne D. Neal. “He has more than thirty years of experience, both as a professor and administrator on campus, and working on higher education policy at the state and federal level. Michael’s thorough grasp of the academy will be a boon to our efforts to ensure that America’s colleges and universities deliver on their promises.”

“I am overjoyed to join an organization that has so successfully fostered academic excellence and accountability at our colleges and universities,” Poliakoff said. “I have long admired ACTA’s commitment to trustees and to their fiduciary role as guardians of quality and effectiveness in higher education.”

Prior to joining ACTA, Poliakoff served as vice president for academic affairs and research at the University of Colorado and in senior roles at the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Council on Teacher Quality, the American Academy for Liberal Education, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, where he served as deputy secretary of postsecondary and higher education. He has taught at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Hillsdale College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Wellesley College. Poliakoff was formerly a member of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.

Poliakoff received his B.A. magna cum laude from Yale University and went on to study at Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of Michigan, where he earned a Ph.D. in classical studies. He has been a junior fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies, and his research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, and the Alexander Von Humboldt Siftung.

Poliakoff is the author of Combat Sports in the Ancient World (Yale University Press, 1987) and numerous journal articles in classical studies and education policy. He has received the American Philological Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award and the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Distinguished Service to Education Award.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni is an independent non-profit dedicated to academic freedom, academic quality and accountability. Since its founding in 1995, ACTA has counseled boards, educated the public and published reports about such issues as good governance, historical literacy, core curricula, the free exchange of ideas and accreditation in higher education.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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