The Changing Economy and its Impact on Higher Education The world’s economies are changing, which will result in a profound impact on society and higher education. Past and future economic trends will be discussed, along with specific recommendations for changes in curricula from Pre K -12 through higher education. The presenter will also recommend expanding the role of state colleges and universities in addressing state and local workforce needs and being stewards of local community stability and economic growth. About James E. Purcell, Ed.D. James E. Purcell Ed.D. James E. Purcell, Ed.D. has served as executive director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education, since April, 2017. He has served in similar positions in Rhode Island, Louisiana and Arkansas. His higher education experience has spanned more than 25 years in administrative roles for five public, private, two and four-year colleges and universities. The Alabama native holds an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama, a M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Montevallo and a B.S. in Public Administration from Auburn University.