Degree Qualifications Profile and Tuning Advisory Group

Lumina Foundation has assembled an Advisory Group representing a broad spectrum of postsecondary education organizations to provide strategic advice on the promotion, growth and future implementation of the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) including its companion process, Tuning. Effective March 2, 2015, the following members have been appointed to a two-year term on the Advisory Group:


Paul L. Gaston – Kent State University


Paul L. Gaston serves Kent State University as its sole Trustees Professor. In this role, he pursues a broad commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research in higher education reform, public policy and the humanities. As the author of The Challenge of Bologna (2010), he speaks often on European higher education reform and its lessons for the world. He is the co-author (with Jerry Gaff) of Revising General Education (2009) and General Education and Liberal Learning (2010). One of four authors of the DQP, he serves as a consultant to Lumina Foundation and makes frequent presentations describing the development and potential uses of the DQP. He earned both a master’s and Ph.D from the University of Virginia, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.


Amber Garrison Duncan – Lumina Foundation


Amber Garrison Duncan serves in a dual role at Lumina Foundation, as Evaluation Officer and Strategy Officer. Her work focuses on managing evaluations and applying findings to inform Lumina’s work to reach Goal 2025. She also serves on Lumina’s strategy work group focusing on new systems of quality credentials in higher education, including the Degree Qualifications Profile and Tuning. These activities allow her to draw on her 15 years of experience as a campus-based student affairs professional, designing co-curricular learning experiences and leading assessment. She has researched and written on general education, assessment, Latinas in higher education and women in leadership. She has a bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University, a master’s degree from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D in educational leadership from the University of Oregon.



Brian K. Bridges – United Negro College Fund (UNCF)


Brian K. Bridges is vice president for research and member engagement, at United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and leads the organization’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI). In this role he serves as UNCF’s chief research officer, principal editor and contributor for FDPRI’s publications; he also manages internal and external projects involving capacity building, evaluation and assessment. Before joining UNCF, Bridges served as vice provost for diversity, access and equity at Ohio University and as associate director of the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity (CAREE) at the American Council on Education (ACE). He also served in various roles at the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), including associate director.


Tia Brown McNair – AAC&U


Tia Brown McNair is the senior director for student success in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U). She takes a leading role in advancing AAC&U projects and meetings on student success and making excellence inclusive. McNair directs AAC&U’s project, Advancing Roadmaps for Community College Leadership to Improve Student Learning and Success. She co-leads a newly funded LEAP project, “Advancing Underserved Student Success Through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning.” McNair chairs AAC&U’s Equity Working Group that is part of the General Education Maps and Markers (GEMs) project that represents a large-scale, systematic effort to provide design principles for 21st-century learning and long-term student success. She is a co-author of Assessing Underserved Students’ Engagement in High-Impact Practices. Prior to joining AAC&U, McNair served as assistant director of the National College Access Network (NCAN) in Washington, D.C. McNair earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and English at James Madison University and holds a master’s in English from Radford University and a doctorate in higher education administration from George Washington University.


Helen L. Chen – Stanford University


Helen L. Chen is the director of e-portfolio initiatives in the registrar’s office at Stanford University, where she also serves as a research scientist in the Designing Education Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She earned her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and her doctorate in communication with a minor in psychology from Stanford. Her current research interests and scholarship focus on entrepreneurship and persistence in engineering education; assessment of innovations in active learning spaces; and the pedagogy of electronic learning portfolios (e-portfolios) and reflective practice in higher education.


Norman Jones – Utah State University


Norman Jones is a professor of history and the chairman of general education at Utah State University, where he leads DQP and Tuning efforts. He chairs the Utah Regents’ General Education Task Force, organizing Utah’s annual faculty conference on general education. He serves on the College Board’s AP higher education advisory board and on the advisory board of the Faculty Collaboratives project at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). He is deeply involved in the Tuning efforts in Utah and with the American Historical Association. In 2012 he was awarded the Jerry Gaff Award for Faculty Leadership in General Education by the Association for General and Liberal Studies. In 2014 he was named a senior fellow of AAC&U. He continues to teach, and has published many books on the history of Tudor England.


Peggy L. Maki


Peggy L. Maki is a higher education consultant specializing in assessing learning. She has presented more than 550 workshops, keynotes and webinars in the U.S. and abroad. She has served as consultant to the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education and to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. She has also served on AAC&U’s advisory board for its VALUE Project and as a member of its Quality Assurance Group. Her handbook on assessment, Assessing for Learning: Building a Sustainable Commitment across the Institution, was published in 2004. In 2007 she co-edited The Assessment of Doctoral Education. In 2010, the second edition of her assessment handbook was published, along with her edited collection of faculty perspectives on assessment, Coming to Terms with Assessment. Commissioned by AAC&U, she has just completed one of the organization’s 2015 centennial publications on VALUE. She is currently working on a new book on assessment. She is the recipient of a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.


Aaron Thompson – Kentucky Council


Aaron Thompson is executive vice president and chief academic officer for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He is also a professor of sociology in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. Thompson has a doctorate in sociology, focusing on organizational behavior and race and gender relations. Thompson has more than 25 years of leadership experience in higher education and business and has held leadership roles on nonprofit boards for many years. He has researched, taught and/or consulted in areas of diversity, leadership, ethics, multicultural families, race and ethnic relations, student success, first-year students, retention, cultural competence and organizational design. He has authored more than 30 publications and numerous research and peer-reviewed presentations.


Ralph Wolff


Ralph Wolff joined the staff of the WASC Senior College and University Commission in 1981 and served as its president from 1996 through August 2013. During his tenure as president, WASC became recognized as a leading innovator in accreditation. He currently serves as an independent policy consultant focusing on accreditation reform and policy development, competency-based education and other innovations to improve access, completion and quality. He also has begun a major study comparing structures and practices of quality assurance agencies globally, including an emphasis on international branch campuses. Wolff is a member of the University Quality Assurance International Board (UQAIB) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also is a member of the boards of trustees at Palo Alto University and at the United States International University Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. He also is one of the founding members of the World University Consortium.


Resources Partners

Natasha Jankowski – National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment


Dr. Natasha Jankowski, Associate Director and Research Assistant Professor with the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, has presented at numerous national conferences and institutional events, and written various reports for NILOA. Her main research interests include assessment and evaluation, organizational evidence use, and evidence-based storytelling. She holds a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Illinois, an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Kent State University, and a B.A. in philosophy from Illinois State University. She previously worked for GEAR UP Learning Centers at Western Michigan University and worked with the Office of Community College Research and Leadership studying community colleges and public policy.


Brad C. Phillips – Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC)


Brad C. Phillips, president/chief executive officer of the Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC), leads the organization’s focus on improving educational practice and outcomes in schools, colleges and universities, including its facilitation of Tuning USA. Phillips has pioneered the collaborative collection and sharing of data across educational segments; the effective use of meaningful data; and its connection to faculty use and institutional change. He is a frequent keynote speaker and has authored many articles. He also serves as a data facilitator for Achieving the Dream, a national organization that works to increase student success at community colleges. Phillips is the founder of both the California Partnership for Achieving Student Success (Cal-PASS) and IEBC.


Robert Sheets – George Washington University


Robert Sheets is a research professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP) and is a researcher and consultant in postsecondary education, workforce development, and economic development policy at the federal and state levels. His current projects address business model innovation in higher education and workforce development, federal student financial aid, and the changing postsecondary credentialing marketplace in the United States. Before coming to GWIPP, he served as director at research and business innovation services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sheets received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri and his doctorate from the University of Illinois.