The Swail Letter is written by Dr. Watson Scott Swail, the President & CEO of the Educational Policy Institute, a Virginia-based research firm. Dr. Swail also serves as a Principal in SwailLandis, a high-level consulting firm to institutions of higher education.

Dr. Swail (center) with Former SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher (l) and EPI Vice President Kimberly Landis (2015)

Dr. Swail has been involved in Education for the past 35 years as a middle school teacher, curriculum developer, teacher trainer, graduate school instructor, policy analyst, and program evaluator. He is noted for developing the Swail Geometric Framework for Student Retention, which provides a model for institutions of higher education to improve their service to students and increase graduation rates. The model is used at institutions around the world in their strategic planning.

He has conducted research for dozens of organizations, including the Lumina Foundation for Education, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the US Department of Education, and dozens of institutions of higher education and school districts across the US and Canada. He is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and professional development workshops on issues of educational opportunity, college access and affordability, and future issues in education. He has also helped raise over $100 million for state projects in the past 15 years.

Dr. Swail is a prolific writer with an occasional blog (The Swail Letter). He has published several books, including Stop Making Sense: A Collection of Thoughts and Other Random Musings on Education (January 2018), Educated Thoughts (2015), Finding Superman: Debating the Future of Public Education in America (2012), Retaining Minority Students in Higher Education (2003), and Memory, Reason, and Imagination: A Quarter Century of Pell Grants (1998). The ROI of Higher Education is expected out in 2018, as is Retention 101: Solutions for Student Success.

Dr. Swail earned his Doctor of Education from The George Washington University in Washington, DC, a Master of Science in Education from Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, VA, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Manitoba, in Winnipeg, MB. He is a dual citizen of the US and Canada. He is an accomplished singer/songwriter, much less accomplished golfer and tennis player, and an avid Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals fan(atic).

Dr. Swail (third from left) moderating session at 2010 OECD Conference in Paris