Assistant Secretary of Education for Career, Technical, and Adult Education: Who Is Scott Stump?

Sunday, June 03, 2018
Scott Stump

On May 14, 2018, President Donald Trump nominated Scott Stump to be the assistant secretary of education for career, technical, and adult education. Stump has been chief operating officer of Vivayic, Inc., a “learning solutions” company based in Lincoln, Nebraska, since January 2015. The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) is responsible for adult, post-secondary, rural, and vocational education. If confirmed by the Senate, Stump would succeed Johan Uvin, who served from May 2014 to January 2017.


Trump did not get his first pick for this position: Tim Kelly, a Michigan state legislator. Trump was forced to withdraw Kelly’s nomination after several bigoted blog posts written by Kelly became public knowledge. The posts included a proposal to ban all Muslims from air travel until they could “clear their names,” derogatory statements about Head Start parents, and criticism of federal efforts to recruit women into the sciences.


Born July 7, 1967, to Ned and Nancy Stump, Scott Alan Stump grew up in Stroh, a small town in northeastern Indiana. He graduated in 1985 from nearby Prairie Heights High School, where his father worked many years as an agriculture teacher and advisor to the school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) club.


After high school, Stump earned a BA in Agricultural Education at Purdue University in 1990. In 2017, he added an MBA at Western Governors University, a private, online-only school. In 2017, a DOE IG audit found that WGU’s curriculum and distance learning methods failed “to offer [students] regular and substantive interaction with an instructor and, therefore, did not meet the regulatory definition of distance education.” The audit concluded that WGO owes the federal government $712 million for Title IV funding it wrongly received. The Trump administration, which generally favors “competency-based” education, is expected to bury the report, which WGU contested. 


Initially following in his father’s footsteps, Stump was an agriculture teacher at Manchester High School in Manchester, Indiana, from August 1990 to June 1992, where he also worked with the local FFA.


Stump left teaching after 12 years to join the National FFA Organization in Indianapolis, where he worked for 9 years. From June 1992 to January 1996, he was a student services specialist, coordinating the development of content and materials for a number of weekend leadership conferences he designed for FFA members throughout the U.S. From January 1996 to July 2001, he was national officer director and convention manager for the National FFA Organization. He developed, designed and organized national leadership conferences for 49,000 FFA members.


In August 2001, Stump relocated from Indiana to Colorado to work in the Colorado Community College System in Denver, remaining more than 13 years. From August 2001 to December 2007, he was state FFA advisor and program director for agricultural education, where he provided support and technical assistance to ag teachers and administrators at secondary and post-secondary schools.


From January 2008 to December 2014, he was assistant provost for career and technical education, responsible for supporting the entire state system of secondary and postsecondary Career and Technical Education (CTE). During this period, he also served a nine month stint (June 13, 2011 to March 11, 2012) as interim president of Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado.


In 2014-2015, Stump was president of the National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium, now known as Advance CTE.


In January 2015, Stump left public service to become chief operating officer at Vivayic, whose co-founders had long considered Stump a mentor. Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, Vivayic provides education services to corporations and other organizations.


Scott Stump lives near Stoneham, Colorado, with his wife Denise A. (Tappy) Stump, with whom he has two sons and a daughter.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

Trump Taps Former Community College Official for Career and Technical Education Post (by Alyson Klein, Education Week)

LinkedIn Profile

Local “Boy” Makes Good on FFA Roots to Land Job in Trump Administration (by Sheila McCrea, WLKI)

Michigan Rep Loses Federal Dducation Nomination (by Jonathan Oosting, Detroit News)


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