John J.K. “Jay” Cole, PhD
Senior Advisor to WVU President Gordon Gee
West Virginia University
Adjunct Professor, Higher Education Administration
Jay currently serves as Senior Advisor to WVU President Gordon Gee. He is also a Fellow in WVU’s Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics. From 2008 to 2015, he served as Chief of Staff in the WVU President’s Office. Prior to that, he served as director of federal policy for The College Board in Washington, D.C., and spent seven years in West Virginia state government as Deputy Secretary of Education and the Arts and the Governor’s education policy advisor. He earned a PhD in Higher Education and Public Policy at the University of Michigan, a MA in Educational Policy and Leadership from The Ohio State University, and a BA in Political Science and History from WVU. His awards and honors include a Mirzayan Fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences, selection as a young leader in the European Union Visitors Program, a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship from the US Department of Education, and a Harry S Truman Scholarship from the Truman Scholarship Foundation. He is co-author of a RAND monograph on higher education philanthropy and has given presentations at the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the European Association for Institutional Research, and the American Educational Research Association. His teaching and research areas include governance and policy issues of higher education.