DISCOVER SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
Welcome to a New Breed of University. Welcome to NewU.
Partners and Supporters
Accreditation and Licensure
NewU University is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit degree-granting post-secondary educational institution, licensed to operate and issue Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees by the Washington DC Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC).
The Commission strives to be a national leader in licensing, compliance monitoring, and enforcement and outreach that ensures students are protected and approved postsecondary institutions provide quality education and training programs. For a list of FAQs, visit the HELC website here. A complete list of approved institutions is available here.
HELC Contact Information:
1050 First St. NE
Washington, DC 20002
NewU University is a brand new school, and we are opening our doors to our first class of students in Fall 2022. We are bringing much needed reform and innovation to Higher Education for the benefit of students and parents.
Licensure in our nation’s capital by the DC HELC is mandatory, and serves as a transparent and rigid quality control and oversight mechanism. Many people tend to look to accreditation status as an indicator of quality, yet numerous accredited schools continue to close or merge as they fail to innovate the way NewU University does. A list of accredited schools that merged or closed in recent years is available here. We agree accreditation status can serve as an assurance to most of us, but it is not the only signal of quality and it actually does not apply to new institutions. Most people are surprised to learn that regional accreditors do not have a process for evaluating colleges before they have actively enrolled students, and even when that process commences it may take at least 2 years for it to be completed because of accreditor procedural timelines. Because of these dynamics, it is unrealistic to expect brand new universities to be accredited from the start. NewU University is confident we would meet and exceed any and all regional accreditation standards, so we plan to commence and successfully complete the accreditation process with The Middle States Commission on Higher Education or a similarly situated accreditor in due time. We plan to launch our accreditation process in Fall 2022 when we have actively enrolled students, so that a regional accreditor is in a position to engage with us. If we find an accreditor who would work with us sooner, we are committed to starting the process asap.
Because of where we are in our evolution – recruiting our first ever class of students – and because accreditors do not have a process for evaluating new schools before they have actively enrolled students, we strongly encourage our prospective students, parents, counselors, and teachers to look to NewU University’s licensure status and the unanimous vote of approval by DC HELC, which demonstrates that NewU provides quality education on par or better than any other university operating in our nation’s capital including but not limited to Arizona State University (ASU), Bard College, Cornell University, Drexel University, Johns Hopkins University, New York University (NYU), Northwestern University, Stanford University, Texas A&M University, The College of William & Mary, and University of California Berkeley, among others.
Mr. Stratsi Kulinski, founder, President & CEO, and member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Kulinski holds a BA from the American University in Bulgaria, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Alicia Margoles, Corporate Secretary and member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Margoles holds a BA in Business Administration with a major in Sales & Marketing from the University of Georgia, where she was captain of the Women’s Soccer Team. Since then, Alicia also successfully completed a number of top-ranked executive education programs including an Executive Development Program of The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, an Executive Leadership Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and an Executive Development Program at Harvard University.
Ms. Sevda Yontcheva-Kumitski, COO and member of the Board of Directors. Ms. Yontcheva-Kumitski holds a BA from the American University in Bulgaria, an MA from the University of National and World Economy, and an MA from Sofia University.
Ms. Viktoriya Zotova, Treasurer & CFO. Ms. Zotova holds a summa cum laude BA from the St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, and is a MLA candidate (expected May 2021) at Harvard University Extension School, as well as a PhD candidate (expected May 2021) at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She is also an instructor of accounting at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
1991 - 2017
As a first-generation college student, our founder embodies the promise of opportunity through education. His belief that education enriches and empowers lives is the product of his own story, and constitutes a central tenet in his life philosophy.
As an immigrant to the United States, Stratsi – as he is known to friends and colleagues – credits his professional and personal growth mostly to his years at the American University in Bulgaria, initially funded by the United States Congress through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and US and European philanthropists. A member of the very first class of students, Stratsi’s choice of an unproven brand new university seemed risky, and came with financial burdens for his family at the time. But his undergraduate experience was transformative. He went on to graduate, worked across different industries from Radio Broadcasting to Satellite Telecom to Software on several continents and in DC and Silicon Valley, earned his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and even served as President and Board Member of that university where it all started.
These diverse life experiences made possible by a new and unproven university 30 years ago, and the motivation to pay it forward, inspired the very creation of NewU. We hope, in turn, it empowers young people to invest in a life of resilience, pursuit of lifelong learning, and success here at NewU in our nation’s capital.
The Proverbial Napkin
The very first NewU written concept gets commemorated on a piece of paper napkin. A museum-worthy artefact.
Concept Validation, Branding
NewU’s first roadshow takes place, where our concept for an innovative and bold new university gets shared with leaders from academia, government, philanthropists, regulators, and of course, students and parents. Everyone wants to be a college student again when NewU launches.
Our logo, colors, taglines, social media accounts, and website are created.
First Strategic Parnerships
NewU signs agreements with one of the preeminent law firms in the US, Holland & Knight LLP, and with real-estate leader CBRE Inc.
Legal, Tax, Governance, and IT Infrastructure
NewU is incorporated in Washington DC.
The IRS approves our 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt status.
The NewU Board of Directors holds its first meeting.
The US Patent and Trademark Office approves the trademark applications for our name and logo.
Oracle and Salesforce join the list of NewU strategic partners.
Executive Team and Program Development
NewU completes the executive team. It brings together many people with a true passion for education, many of them first-generation college graduates, now with doctoral and master’s degrees and professional success stories on their resumes.
The team bands together, prepares an extensive application for licensing, develops the academic programs, and puts together the marketing and recruiting strategy.
NewU not only survives the COVID-19 pandemic, but thrives.
Licensure and Go-to-Market
NewU is licensed to operate by the DC Higher Education Licensure Commission in a unanimous decision of the 5 Commissioners in testament to our innovative and high quality education and operating model and programs.
We launch our first marketing and recruitment campaign for the very first class of students, and prepare to start in-person classes for Fall 2022.