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Policy Speaker from the Institute of Higher Education

The Role of Place and Space in College Completion

Brian Sponsler and Pamela EddyBrian Sponsler, Ph.D., a research analyst at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), visited campus to discuss the influence of recent federal policies regarding graduation targets and the changing dynamic of higher education. IHEP was co-founded in 1993 by Jamie Merisotis—the current President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation.  IHEP and Lumina have been strong advocates for the national focus on increasing graduation rates and have released research based reports on the impact of these goals on student populations and on adjustments made on college campuses  Areas of focus for the association are Access and Success; Accountability; Diversity; Finance; and Global Impact.

Sponsler holds a doctorate from George Washington University, a M.A. from Seattle University and received his B.A. from the University of Puget Sound. Prior to assuming his current role at IHEP, Sponsler worked as both an intern and graduate fellow in the organization, and served as a research assistant at The George Washington University. Additionally, he has worked in the areas of academic advising, college athletic administration and coaching, and nonprofit management.

An expert on various higher education issues, Sponsler is well versed on the politics of higher education policymaking, state-policy adoption and outcomes, and the inter-state spread of policy ideas. His most recent publication for IHEP is titled Easy Come, EZ-GO: A Federal Role in Removing Jurisdictional Impediments to College Education.

Dr. Sponsler presented The Role of Place and Space in College Completion at a campus brown-bag session.  Additionally, he discussed the role of organizational structure on college completion in Dr. Pamela Eddy's class on Organization and Governance in Higher Education.  Dr. Sponsler's visit was co-sponsored by the Charles Teaching Center, The Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy, and the School of Education, Educational Policy, Planning, and  Leadership.