SPRINGFIELD — Education consultant James Applegate will be the next director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Applegate replaces Harry J. Berman, who is retiring.

Board chairwoman Lindsay Anderson says Applegate's experience fits well with the board's focus on increasing the proportion of Illinois residents who have high-quality college degrees, certificates, or other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.

Applegate will earn $200,000 a year; Berman made $190,000.

Applegate is currently a consultant to educational and philanthropic organizations on increasing college access and success. He was previously vice president of the Lumina Foundation. There he developed funding programs to support national educational attainment.

He was also communication professor and department chair at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Applegate has Ph.D. and master's degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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