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Annual Meeting, September 12-13, 2019

Courtyard Portland City Center | Portland, Oregon

Future-Facing Policy: Considerations for a New Era in Higher Education

MEETING AGENDA

Thursday, September 12

Reflecting Back to Look Ahead

The LAC was founded 24 years ago, meaning many who were born the year of the first LAC meeting have now completed their postsecondary education and entered the workforce. Participants discussed what legislatures have gotten right over the past two decades of postsecondary policy and what they should be doing differently moving forward.

Facilitator:
Christina Sedney, director of policy initiatives and state authorization, Western Interstate Commission for
Higher Education

Using Data to Shape Policy: Now and in the Future

To create policy for the future we must understand how it is working today. How are states using data to track the effectiveness of their policies and to guide the development new ones? What might this look like moving forward? This session provided an overview of the data capacity Western states currently have and examples of how states are using their data to develop and refine policy, followed by a discussion of how legislators can leverage data to shape policy.

Moderator:
Demarée Michelau, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
Christine Thompson, president  and CEO, Expect More Arizona | PRESENTATION
Dustin Weeden, senior policy analyst, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
(SHEEO) 
| PRESENTATION

Crafting Sustainable Higher Education Infrastructure

Investment in infrastructure is not a new topic, but it is a critical one for shaping what higher education will look like and how it will function in the years to come. This conversation explored models of capital funding that take into account not just buildings and maintenance, but also key considerations such as technology and state goals.

Moderator:
Christina Sedney, director of policy initiatives and state authorization, Western Interstate Commission for
Higher Education

Speakers:
Ben Cannon, executive director, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission
Representative Mark SanfordNorth Dakota
Van Davis, policy and planning consultant, WCET, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Mission Differentiation vs. Mission Creep Revisited

In 2008 WICHE released “Mission Differentiation vs. Mission Creep” a policy brief detailing the importance of mission differentiation in higher education in order to efficiently meet state goals. Eleven years later the issue remains a critical one, as more and more Western states expand the scope of their institutions’ offerings – from community colleges offering bachelor’s degrees to regional universities expanding their research capacity and graduate education programs. This session explored considerations for legislators as they think about the increasingly blurred lines between higher education sectors and both the opportunities and challenges this presents for the future.

Moderator:
Demarée Michelau, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
David Lassner, president, University of Hawai’i | PRESENTATION
Senator Ann MillnerUtah | PRESENTATION

Friday, September 13

WICHE’s Role in the Future of the West

WICHE leadership shared their vision for how each of WICHE’s units will contribute to a thriving postsecondary education ecosystem in the West in the coming years.

Moderator:
Demarée Michelau, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
Patrick Lane, vice president, policy analysis & research, Western Interstate Commission for Higher
Education

Jere Mock, vice president, programs and services, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
Van Davis, policy and planning consultant, WCET, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
Liza Tupa, director of education and research, behavioral health program, Western Interstate Commission for
Higher Education

Serving Students in a New Era

It is clear from demographic trends that our state’s higher education institutions must adapt to better serve a new generation of students – one more likely to be working, to be attending part-time, and to shift into and out of postsecondary education depending on their life circumstances. This group faces significant barriers to completion related to affordability and food and housing insecurity. This session shared Oregon’s innovative approach to serving this new—and growing—group of students by leveraging federal benefits.

Moderator:
Cam Preus, executive director, Oregon Community College Association

Speaker:
Mark Mitsui, president, Portland Community College | PRESENTATION

Better Together: Effective Partnerships Between Legislators & Higher Education Leaders

Each state in the West has a unique relationship between its legislators and its higher education leaders, shaped by many factors ranging from varied postsecondary governance structures to differing demographics and economies. Yet no matter the state, building long-term relationships between the higher education sector and the legislature is a critical component in crafting effective, student-centered policies for the future. This session examined how these relationships work—and how they can be strengthened—in different state contexts.

Moderators:
Bennett Boggs, chief of staff, Colorado Department of Higher Education
Demarée Michelau, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education