ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

Higher Education Reform Group Welcomes New Chief of Policy and Programs

Former University of Illinois staff member will lead research, policy, and programming for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni

July 20, 2017 by ACTA

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), the leading independent nonprofit higher education advocacy organization, announced the addition of Karen Hyman as the organization’s vice president of policy and programs. Hyman brings extensive experience in higher education research, planning, policy, and reform. A creative developer of academic programming and curricula, she will lead the development of ACTA’s publications, campaigns, and initiatives to promote academic freedom, excellence, and accountability.

“Karen Hyman brings immense skill as an academic professional and editor, an insider’s knowledge of higher education systems and policy, and a strong personal commitment to liberal arts education,” said Dr. Michael Poliakoff, president of ACTA. “In this new era for governance, leaders like Karen are essential not only to shine a light on challenges, but also to begin to solve them as we work with institutions and boards to improve policy and implement innovative ideas. We are delighted to welcome Karen to our leadership team.”

Before joining ACTA, Hyman served as associate director for the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education (iFoundry) at the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). This initiative aims to infuse undergraduate engineering programs with liberal arts and humanities courses and to promote leadership and deeper learning for the next generation of engineers. She also taught courses which used the Great Books to strengthen leadership and civic-mindedness as an instructor in UIUC’s College of Engineering and served in its computer science department’s offices of public engagement and alumni relations.

“With mounting calls for reform and renewal in postsecondary education, now is the most exciting time to join ACTA’s team,” Hyman said. “I’ve long admired ACTA’s efforts to advocate for improvements desperately needed across the higher education landscape through visionary publications like Governance for a New Era and Free to Teach, Free to Learn. I’m excited to continue research and scholarship that contribute to ACTA’s vital mission.”

Beyond her work at UIUC, Hyman brings a deep commitment to civic and board leadership. She served a six-year term on the University of Chicago Alumni Board, where she chaired the Alumni Awards Selection Committee. In addition, she served on the board of the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation, including a term as president.

Hyman received her bachelor’s degree in general studies in the humanities from the University of Chicago, where she studied with Amy and Leon Kass, the renowned scholars and advocates for liberal education and Great Books. She received her master’s degree from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought.

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