Ms. Solinski has spent over 35 years in higher education as a teacher, writer, and administrator. She received her undergraduate degree with high honors from the University of Chicago and her law degree from DePaul University where she was elected to Order of the Coif. Her focus in law school was higher education law and compliance. However, she notes that her most important accomplishment in law school and immediately afterward was helping an immigrant family from Kosovo achieve asylum and a young man from Liberia locate his family members in UNHCR camps through her volunteer work for DePaul’s Immigration Clinic and Heartland Alliance.
Karen was Research Associate, then Vice President, and finally Executive Vice President of Legal and Governmental Affairs with the Higher Learning Commission, a non-profit agency in Chicago that assures the quality of education offered at more than 980 colleges and universities across the United States. She left the agency in 2018 to expand her career and has since worked for several colleges and universities across the United States in strengthening their internal quality assurance and compliance systems. Currently she is the Interim Compliance Officer at Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, an Historically Black College and University, (HBCU), founded immediately after the Civil War. Karen has written a number of papers and spoken at many conferences focusing on issues related to higher education regulation and compliance. She is a zealous advocate for anti-discrimination and social justice causes, which mark her work as a grass-roots volunteer for a number of organizations that are committed to a better world.