LAC 2020 Annual Meeting

September 23-25, 2020

Wednesday, September 23


The session explored the financial impacts of the pandemic on states, institutions, and students – ultimately focusing on how scarce resources from all levels—federal, state, and institutional—can be best leveraged and allocated to support student completion. The discussion also considered the interrelated nature of appropriations, tuition, and financial aid in the state-level response to this question.


Demarée Michelau, President, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education


Steffon Gray, Assistant Director, Research and Policy Analysis, National Association of College and University
Business Officers (NACUBO)
Brian Prescott, Vice President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) | PRESENTATION
Rachelle Sharpe, Deputy Executive Director, Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC)


Thursday, September 24


Countless educational trajectories were interrupted by COVID-19 this spring, summer, and fall and the uncertainty around in-person instruction has forced higher education to reckon with new instructional models and modalities at an unprecedented pace and scale. What lessons have been learned so far and how might this shape higher education in the long-term? This session explored this question across three different dimensions: institutional and system approaches, equity considerations, and inter-institutional efforts.

Part I: Institutional and System Approaches

Since the spring, institutions have made incredible strides in responding to an unprecedented challenge, managing an abrupt transition to remote learning and exploring an array of new approaches to educate students this fall. This discussion featured expert perspectives on what worked well, what we need to change, and what we need to think about moving forward.


Russ Poulin, Executive Director, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), Vice President for Technology-Enhanced Education, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education


Tina Parscal, Associate Vice Chancellor for CCCOnline and Academic Affairs, Colorado Community College System
Shannon Riggs, Executive Director of Academic Programs and Learning Innovation, Oregon State University


Part II: Equity Considerations

The pandemic’s disparate impacts by race and ethnicity have magnified long-term concerns related to equity in postsecondary education. With a significant portion of all postsecondary education now occurring in an online format, how can we use student voice, data analysis, and thoughtful planning and resource deployment to ensure that this experience is working for all students – especially those our systems have historically struggled to serve?


Van Davis, Policy and Planning Consultant, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) and Principal, Foghlam Consulting, LLC


Jessica Rowland Williams, Director, Every Learner Everywhere, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) | PRESENTATION
Jory Hadsell, Executive Director, California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative | PRESENTATION

Part III: Inter-institutional Efforts

This discussion focused on inter-institutional initiatives that are developing critical supports for students across a range of institution types including transfer pathways, course exchanges, and more. Panelists shared how they are leveraging collaboration at the state level and beyond to meet student needs in innovative ways.


Christina Sedney, Director of Policy Initiatives and State Authorization, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education


TJ Bliss, Chief Academic Officer, Idaho State Board of Education | PRESENTATION
Veronica Dujon, Director, Office of Academic Policy and Authorization, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission | PRESENTATION
Dave Woolstenhulme, Commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education; Julie Hartley-Moore, Associate Commissioner of Academic Education, Utah System of Higher Education | PRESENTATION


Friday, September 25


The pandemic is reshaping every aspect of our society, from demographics, to college-going trends, to labor markets. Each of these areas has real implications for what higher education will look like in the months and years to come. This session will provide an overview of available data resources that can help us think through both the short- and long-term implications of these changes.


Patrick Lane, Vice President, Policy Analysis & Research, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education


Peace Bransberger, Senior Research Analyst, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
Elizabeth Crofoot, Senior Economist, The Conference Board | PRESENTATION
Pearl Iboshi, Director, Institutional Research and Analysis Office, University of Hawaii System