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Frank Ashley Named College Board’s Senior Vice President of Membership and Higher Education Engagement

NEW YORK — The College Board today announced that beginning May 1, Dr. Frank B. Ashley III will join the organization as its senior vice president of membership and higher education engagement. Ashley, whose extensive experience in education spans more than 30 years across both K-12 and higher education, most recently served as the Texas A&M University System’s vice chancellor of recruitment and diversity.

“Frank is the personification of the American dream –that through hard work and persistence, excellence and opportunity can be achieved,” said College Board President David Coleman. “There is no better person to lead our efforts and make that dream real for students nationwide. Frank’s appointment substantially deepens our partnership with higher education and our ability to work across boundaries to help far more students complete college successfully.”

Ashley’s background has played an instrumental role in his commitment to expanding access and equity in education for all students.  Ashley, who was raised by his mother, was not interested in higher education until his high school English teacher told him he had the ability to be successful in college. A first generation college graduate, he enrolled at Louisiana College during the second year of integration.

After graduating from Louisiana College and earning a master’s degree from the University of Alabama, Ashley began his career as a general science teacher and coach. Ashley — who also earned a doctorate in education, health, recreation and physical education from the University of Alabama — transitioned into higher education, serving in a range of positions at Texas A&M University, including director of admissions and dean of the College of Education and Human Services System. Ashley then moved to the Texas A&M University System, where he served more than 100,000 students and 11 universities each year as vice chancellor of academic affairs and most recently as vice chancellor of recruitment and diversity. 

In his role with the College Board, Ashley will engage and mobilize the College Board’s 6,000- plus member organizations — and those they represent — to improve student outcomes. He will play an integral role in advancing the College Board’s mission of delivering rigorous course work through programs such as Advanced Placement®, expanding access to this rigorous work, measuring rigor through assessments such as the PSAT/NMSQT® and SAT®, and attaining rigor through increased efforts in the higher education space.

“I agree with President Coleman that the College Board’s top priority must be to deliver opportunity,” Ashley said. “We aim to fully engage higher education as well as our other members in this endeavor.”

A former College Board Trustee, Ashley also has served on boards and committees for numerous other organizations, including the North American Society for Sport Management, the Commerce Independent School District, and the Development Education Subcommittee of the P–16 Education Council of the Texas Education Agency. He was also a member of both the Journal of Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics and the International Journal of Sports Management’s editorial boards. Ashley’s writing has been published in various academic journals and textbooks.

Education and community leaders comment on Frank Ashley’s role with the College Board:

Dr. Robert M. Gates, Former President of Texas A&M University, Former Secretary of Defense: “Based on our years working together at Texas A&M University, I know Frank Ashley will be a superb voice for both universities and students at the College Board. Excellent choice.” 

Gov. Rick Perry: “We are proud to have a Texan, Dr. Frank Ashley, representing the challenges and needs of our institutions and their students with the College Board. His history of commitment and service to our state’s institutions will now move to a national stage.”

John Sharp, Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System: “The Texas A&M University System’s loss is the nation’s gain, as we send Frank Ashley to the College Board. The challenges facing higher education are real, but Dr. Ashley’s experience and wisdom will add immediate value to this issue.”

Mrs. Vyrtis Cox, High School English Teacher: “As far as Frank was concerned, there was no black or white. Everyone was just like everybody else, and others felt the same way. An excellent student who fully participated in his passions. It never occurred to me that Frank wouldn’t go to college. I am so proud of him.”


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CONTACT: communications@collegeboard.org  212-713-8052


About the College Board

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.