Michael Hillyard is an independent consultant specializing in higher education strategy, governance, quality assurance, curriculum, accreditation, and regulation. He has performed work on behalf of colleges and universities, accrediting organizations, and foreign governments and institutions.
Hillyard has served in a variety of higher education executive positions. He was President of the University of St. Augustine, a health sciences institution that annually produces the U.S.’s largest and third-largest classes of physical and occupational therapists, respectively, through campus operations in St. Augustine, Boca Raton, and San Diego, as well as distance education and continuing education programs around the world. Hillyard served as President of Rockwell University, a two-campus and distance education provider of career-oriented information technology degree and certificate programs in the Washington, D.C. area. He was Provost and Executive Vice President of the American Public University System (NASDAQ: “APEI”), where he oversaw academic policy and operations for the American Public University’s, American Military University’s and American Community College’s 15,000 students, 350 faculty members, and 160 degrees and programs. He served as Academic Programs Manager and then Dean of the American Military University.
Hillyard’s professional service has included being a member of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Career College Advisory Board, an institutional representative for higher education regulations with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and a certified accreditation evaluator, accreditation team chair, and member of the Research and Educational Standards Committee for the Distance Education and Training Council. He has also provided international expertise on behalf of the Hong Kong government’s accreditation council, Saudi Arabia’s national accreditation commission, the Sultanate of Oman’s academic quality assurance body, Jamaica’s higher education university council, Barbados’s accreditation council, Egypt’s national accreditation authority, and the U.S. State Department’s Southeast Asian Lower Mekong Initiative. His insights have been presented in various forums, to include the annual conferences of the European Association for Distance Learning, the Distance Education and Training Council, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, and the U.S. State Department’s Lower Mekong Southeast Asia Initiative. Hillyard has served as a board member for the U.S. Government’s Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation (FLETA), Stratford University, Waldorf College, Catholic Distance University, Henley-Putnam University, Columbia Southern University, St. Johns County (Florida) Chamber of Commerce, American Red Cross’s Jefferson and Morgan Counties (West Virginia) Chapter, and Float, Incorporated — a producer of offshore oil/gas, port, and power plant platform technologies. He has also served as an advisory board member for Knowledge Transfer: Solving the U.S. College Transfer Problem.
Hillyard’s public service included a brief candidacy for the U.S. Congress and responsibilities as a U.S. Marine Corps Officer — service that was hallmarked in duties at the Pentagon as a national security analyst for the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ Strategic Initiatives Group, membership on the Marine Corps’ Quadrennial Defense Review Task Force, and independent research with the Center for Naval Analysis. His active duty and reserve military experience culminated with the rank of Major.
The author of numerous publications in areas of education, leadership, and national security, Hillyard’s writing has appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Career Education Review, Campus Living, Newsday, Strategic Insights, the U.S. Army War College’s Parameters, and The Journal of Counterrorism and International Security, among others. Hillyard’s five authored books are: Public Crisis Management: How and Why Organizations Work Together to Solve Society’s Most Threatening Problems (2000); Homeland Security and the Need for Change: Organizing Principles, Governing Institutions, and American Culture (2003); a two-volume series, A World of Sources: Insights from a Life of Reading (2009 and 2011); and Cincinnatus and the Citizen-Servant Ideal: The Roman Legend’s Life, Times, and Legacy (2001). The theater and film rights to Cincinnatus and the Citizen-Servant Ideal have been optioned for development of a feature-length box office production.
Hillyard’s education includes the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Miami University (Ohio), Master of Arts in Military Studies from the American Military University, and Master and Doctor of Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He has also completed post-doctoral studies with Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
With his wife (Cara) and sons (Andrew and Alexander), the Hillyard family resides in Jacksonville, Florida.