Academic Partnerships Appoints Mike Purcell as Executive Vice President of International Business Development

Jun 04, 2013, 10:00 ET from Academic Partnerships

DALLAS, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Academic Partnerships (AP), one of the largest representatives of online learning in the United States and around the world, today announced that it has appointed Mike Purcell as executive vice president of international business development.  In this role, Mr. Purcell will be responsible for establishing and maintaining partnerships with universities around the world as AP rapidly expands into international markets.  He will report to AP Chairman and CEO Randy Best.

Mr. Purcell joins AP from Pearson Embanet (formerly Embanet-Compass Knowledge Group), where he was executive vice president of business development.  In that role, he was a member of the company's executive management team and was responsible for all external relationships, including the development of partnerships with higher education institutions and strategic relationships with key industry participants.  During his several years with the organization, Mr. Purcell implemented the company's Business 2 University program, which has become one of its key service offerings, and developed and executed the company's strategy of expanding the reach of nationally-ranked not-for-profit academic institutions in North America.   

"I am delighted that Mike has joined the Academic Partnerships team," said Randy Best.  "His deep understanding of the higher education space, coupled with his significant sales and operational experience, will be of tremendous value as AP works to ensure that institutions around the world are poised to benefit from the tremendous opportunities presented by online learning."

Before joining Pearson Embanet, Mr. Purcell was senior vice president of sales at Software Secure, a leading provider of secure and cost-effective computer-based testing solutions for traditional and distance learning environments in higher education and certification programs.  As the first individual to hold that position, Mr. Purcell markedly increased revenues, partnerships, and product usage each year and spearheaded the introduction of a number of market-leading technology solutions.

Mr. Purcell has also held senior management positions at other higher education service providers, including Sungard Higher Education and Collegis.

He also spent nearly two decades at IBM, where he held senior management positions in both sales and operations.

Mr. Purcell holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Cornell University. 

About Academic Partnerships 
Academic Partnerships (AP) helps universities convert their traditional degree programs into an online format, recruits qualified students, and supports enrolled students through graduation.  Serving more than 40 public universities in the United States and numerous top foreign institutions, AP is guided by the principle that the opportunities presented through distance learning make higher education more accessible and achievable for students in the United States and around the world.  The company was founded by social entrepreneur Randy Best, an 18-year veteran of developing innovative learning solutions to improve education.  For more information, please visit

Jaquelyn M. Scharnick
Academic Partnerships


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