Western Academic Leadership Forum

Message from the Chair

Laura Woodworth-Ney, Forum chair

It is a distinct honor to serve as Chair of the Academic Forum of WICHE.  I want to thank my predecessor, Roberta (Bobbie) Derlin, Associate Provost, New Mexico State University, and our WICHE colleagues for supporting and maintaining a vibrant, meaningful organization committed to innovation and progress in higher education. The Academic Forum has long stood for the academic values of the WICHE membership institutions, while providing a venue for ongoing support, open dialogue, and collaboration. 

The Forum has become known for its unique annual conference, which brings together leading scholars and thinkers in higher education to tackle our most compelling challenges.  The Annual Meeting is small enough to allow for the true exchange of ideas, and large enough to ensure the generation of significant and ongoing professional contacts and networks.  The April 2015 meeting will be held in downtown Boise, Idaho, and will take advantage of Boise’s unique cultural offerings, including the food and history of the Basque Block.

As Forum participants, academic leaders have access to a learning community that supports new ideas and continuing professional growth.  We're excited about launching our new Western Academic Leadership Academy in the summer of 2015. The Academy will provide a strong foundation for understanding the broader context in which a chief academic officer and an institution operates, including the intersection with governing boards and external communities. It will offer a particular focus on the development of “hands-on” skills within academic affairs, fiscal affairs, student affairs, and external relationships.

If your institution isn’t a member, please consider joining us.  Membership is open to all regionally accredited four-year institutions in the WICHE region. Your active engagement in maintaining strong collegial support among academic leaders for quality and improvement in higher education in the West is both needed and much appreciated.

Laura Woodworth-Ney, Forum Chair
Provost and VP for Academic Affairs, Idaho State University