Colleagues’ Choice Innovation Award

Call for Submissions

As we look at the state of higher education in 2024, faculty, staff, and institutions are paving the pathways to brighter futures by being more creative and resourceful than ever. The Western Academic Leadership Forum Executive Committee welcomes nominations for the 2024 Colleagues’ Choice Innovation Award.

The purpose of the Colleagues’ Choice Innovation Award is to publicly recognize and elevate the innovative achievements among four-year institutions and systems in the West that advance equity for student success.


Faculty, staff, and administrators at any four-year institution or system in the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education region may nominate an innovative solution created or led by themselves or a peer. For a full list of states and territories in the WICHE region, please visit: https://www.wiche.edu/our-region/


The winning submission will be:
• Recognized at the Annual Meeting and allowed to speak about their innovation. Registration fee and travel up to $1500 will be covered.

The top five submissions will be:
• Highlighted in the Annual Meeting program
• Highlighted in a WICHE press release
• Highlighted on the WICHE/Forum website
• Highlighted in an episode of WICHE’s forthcoming podcast
• Invited to participate in a panel webinar for Forum members in summer 2024

Share your innovations with colleagues!

Submissions will open in July 2023. Stay tuned! 

What a great way to recognize the contributions of
your talented staff

2023 Colleagues' Choice Award Winner

Eastern Oregon University (EOU) has received the Colleagues’ Choice Innovation Award for its program that focuses on training culturally responsive teachers who work with students from diverse backgrounds. tudents from diverse backgrounds make up a third of the student population in Oregon public schools. The Oregon Teacher Pathway (OTP) program at EOU offers high school students dual credit courses in introduction to education and culturally responsive practices, as well as a weekly field experience tutoring elementary school students. The goal of the OTP program is to strengthen the workforce pipeline of quality, trained, and diverse educators. Research shows that students of color achieve higher academic success when they are exposed to teachers of color and teachers trained in culturally responsive practices. Dr. Nathan Lowe (center), who accepted the award on behalf of his colleagues at EOU; Gail Burd (left), University of Arizona and Executive Committee Chair; and Debora Halbert, University of Hawai’i System, Vice Chair of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Selection Committee.

Read the Press Release