Notable Leaders in Higher Education: John Swallow

Class of 2023

  • Category: Notable Leaders in Higher Education
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 25
  • Undergrad degree/university: Bachelor of Arts in English and Mathematics from Sewanee: The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee
  • Graduate degree/university: Master of Science and Master of Philosophy in Mathematics as well as a doctorate in Mathematics from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

When Carthage College president John Swallow, Ph.D., was named chair of the Higher Education Regional Alliance in fall 2021, he began looking for new ways to expand HERA’s impact across southeastern Wisconsin. 

HERA is made up of 18 of the region’s higher education institutions and partner organizations. It focuses on closing student achievement gaps, increasing degree completion rates and expanding the region’s talent pool. 

HERA recently launched a number of new programs, including setting a combined student retention goal. HERA is aiming to increase retention rates by six percentage points by 2024. 

Swallow, along with three other chancellors and presidents in the region, were the first to commit to reducing equity gaps in higher education by 2030 through the Moon Shot for Equity initiative. 

After learning of employers’ need for advanced training, Swallow prioritized upskilling. HERA launched a micro-credential catalog in December 2022 that includes more than 120 badge or certification programs. The catalog allows working professionals to browse continued learning opportunities.

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