Western Governors University Hires New Strategic Partnerships Manager for Michigan
MICHIGAN (MAY 23, 2023) – Western Governors University (WGU), an accredited, affordable and non-profit online university, recently named Robert Upton, Jr. as Strategic Partnerships Manager (SPM) of WGU’s Central Region, which includes Michigan. Upton brings a strong track record of working with higher education where he led student recruitment and strategic partnerships.
In Upton’s new role, he will develop and sustain relationships between the university and Michigan employers, community colleges, organizations and municipalities to provide pathways to flexible and affordable higher education options for students across the state. Upton’s new role with WGU comes as Michigan continues to work toward closing its skills gap by having 60% of working age adults obtain a skills certificate or college degree by 2030.
“We are thrilled to welcome Robert to the WGU team as he brings a wealth of invaluable experience that will propel us forward as we continue to reach more Michiganders and help them skill-up and climb the career ladder,” said Alison Bell, Regional Vice President of WGU. “His previous experience in working with underserved, diverse populations and overseeing recruitment will no doubt make him an integral part of our team.”
Before joining the WGU team, Upton played a key leadership role in advancing strategic partnerships with professional organizations and leading student recruitment efforts in areas of healthcare, nursing, education and business as a university development counselor for Grand Canyon University. Prior to that, he worked for Indiana Wesleyan University as a corporate representative where he oversaw student recruitment efforts and partnership development across Michigan.
“I have always believed that higher education should be accessible and affordable to everyone,” said Upton. “WGU perfectly encapsulates those values, and I look forward to contributing to their reputation by connecting potential students with attainable opportunities.”
Upton graduated from Michigan State University and now resides in Grand Rapids, Mich. with his wife, Sandra. They have two adult children, Alexis and Devin.