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New leader selected for nation’s go-to source on higher education funding trends

Jim Applegate

Jim Applegate

A new editor has been tabbed to lead Grapevine, one of the nation’s most trusted, longest-standing reports on state funding for higher education. Dr. Jim Applegate has taken over the role following the retirement of Dr. Jim Palmer.

Palmer served Grapevine from 2000–2020 and as a professor for the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations (EAF) at Illinois State University for over 28 years.

Applegate becomes just the fourth editor in Grapevine’s 60-year history. It was originally founded by the late Dr. M.M. Chambers, a former professor for EAF. Since 2010 the publication has been a joint effort between Illinois State’s Center for the Study of Education Policy (CSEP) and the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).

“Grapevine is an invaluable resource that illustrates investment trends in higher education among individual states and the nation. I am humbled to take over this important role from Dr. Palmer, who was a passionate steward of the data for many years,” Applegate said.

Applegate was first hired by Illinois State in 2017 to serve as a visiting professor and researcher for CSEP while simultaneously supporting Palmer’s work on Grapevine. His leadership in higher education and philanthropy spans multiple decades. During this career, his primary focus has been to expand college success for underserved populations. Applegate previously served as executive director for the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), senior vice president of the Lumina Foundation, and the chief academic officer for the University of Kentucky. During his tenure, Kentucky led the nation in higher education attainment increases. He was a University Fellow and received his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Illinois.

“Grapvine’s 60 years of data provide a powerful tool for understanding the waxing and waning of the nation’s support for equitable access to higher education. It also helps us chart a path for the future. As we prepare for the post coronavirus (COVID-19) era, tracking changing investments in higher education will be critical.”

All inquiries, committee work, and statements of public concerns related to Grapevine should be directed to Applegate at jlappl1@ilstu.edu.

About Grapevine
Since fiscal year 1961, Grapevine has published annual compilations of data on state tax support for higher education, including general fund appropriations for universities, colleges, community colleges, and state higher education agencies. Each year’s Grapevine survey has asked states for tax appropriations data for the new fiscal year and for revisions (if any) to data reported in previous years.

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