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UMUC Ventures Names Louis C. Pugliese Chief Executive Officer

Veteran EdTech and Higher Education Executive Brings Over 20 Years of Business and Innovation Expertise

Lou Pugliese, UMUC Ventures CEO

BETHESDA, Md., July 23, 2019 — UMUC Ventures, a nonprofit supporting organization of University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) to fund, develop and launch new ventures to advance innovation in higher education, today announced the appointment of Louis (Lou) C. Pugliese as Chief Executive Officer, effective August 5. Pugliese, founding Chief Executive Officer of Blackboard Inc. and a multi-venture entrepreneur, joins UMUC Ventures from Arizona State University (ASU) where he was a Senior Innovation Fellow and Managing Director of the Action Lab, EdPlus, a research and development enterprise for ASU focused on the design and scalable delivery of digital teaching and learning models.

“Lou has spent his career innovating and driving change to improve higher education.  He has a passion for creating more effective learning environments through technological advances,” said Mark Gerencser, Chairman of the UMUC Ventures Board of Directors. “His expertise and commitment to identifying and creating next-generation solutions to improve student outcomes are an ideal fit for the mission of UMUC Ventures. The UMUC Ventures Board thanks Mike Foley for his stewardship of UMUC Ventures during this period of transition and we look forward to welcoming him back as a member of the Board of Directors.”

UMUC Ventures was formed in 2016 under the leadership of UMGC President Javier Miyares and the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. A supporting organization of UMGC, UMUC Ventures is an innovative new business model for higher education that funds, develops and launches new ventures to help higher education institutions compete more effectively in an era of rapid evolution. 

“UMUC Ventures has created a unique, university-based, entrepreneurial model for new innovation that is transformative to our industry” Pugliese commented. “UMUC Ventures brings a fresh perspective to the market in the development and delivery of new solutions that deliver sustainable, affordable, high-quality digital teaching and learning to better serve the changing needs of students and employers.”

Pugliese, a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, joined ASU in 2016 and led the development and execution of the nation’s first higher education digital teaching and learning research center for the study of technology innovation efficacy. Prior to ASU, Lou held senior leadership positions in venture equity and EdTech companies including as Chairman and CEO of Moodlerooms, entrepreneur-in-residence for Novak Biddle Venture Partners, CEO of AnswerLogic, and founding CEO of Blackboard Inc.


UMUC Ventures is an innovative business model for higher education that funds, develops and launches new innovative ventures that help higher education institutions compete more effectively in an era of rapid change. UMUC Ventures is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) supporting organization created by University of Maryland Global Campus to help build the university’s endowment to maintain the affordability of a high-quality UMUC education for adult learners in Maryland and around the world. Learn more about UMUC Ventures.