As COVID-19 continues to impact campuses and states, the Forum and Alliance have decided, in the best interest of its members, to offer a virtual meeting series during the 20-21 academic year in lieu of hosting the Joint Annual Meeting face-to-face in New Mexico. With the theme of The New World of Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities of COVID-19, the six-part series will kick off on Friday, October 2nd with presentations and discussions offered by higher education experts, community members, and practitioners. Several of the webinars will include additional breakout sessions for members to convene and share best practices as it relates to the identified topics.
Nationwide the pandemic has exacerbated persistent equity gaps in social infrastructure. The intersection with the current upheaval following the killing of George Floyd has exposed the fundamental role that racism plays in sustaining these inequities in all social systems including education. Oregon’s Governor has established a Racial Justice Council to guide foundational policy reform to dismantle the structures of racism that sustain these disparities. In light of these events, panelists will engage in a discussion of the Oregon experience that spans state, higher education agency and institutional perspectives.
Moderators: Patrick Crane, Director, Office of Community Colleges & Workforce Development, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission; Veronica Dujon, Director, Academic Planning and Policy, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission
Panelists: Mark Mitsui, President, Portland Community College; Rudyane Rivera-Linstrom, Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission; Larry Roper, Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University
Portland Community College
Mark Mitsui became president of Portland Community College in September 2016. Prior, he served as deputy assistant secretary for community colleges at the U.S. Department of Education. He currently leads Oregon’s largest higher education institution and is focused on equitable student success. He also serves on the We Are Still In Leaders Circle; as a commissioner on the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities and the board of the American Council on Education. Before DC, he served as president of North Seattle College where he was the founding chair for Asian Pacific Islander Association of Colleges and Universities. Before this, he served as vice president of student services at South Seattle College. Mitsui holds a B.S. in physical education from Western Washington University, and an M.A. in education from the University of Washington.
Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission
Rudyane Rivera-Lindstrom is the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s first permanent director for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). In this new role, Rivera-Lindstrom leads equity and diversity efforts both internally and externally for the agency, supporting the HECC’s goals for equitable outcomes in postsecondary education, helping staff uphold the equity lens in policymaking, budgeting, and supporting the HECC agency to become more inclusive, diverse, and equitable for all employees. Rivera-Lindstrom brings 26 years of service in education and extensive expertise in equity change and leadership, most recently serving as education equity and high school success coordinator for the Clackamas Education Service District since 2017. She completed a bachelor’s in social and behavioral studies, a master of education from Portland State University, and an education administrative credential and doctoral coursework at George Fox University.
Oregon State University
Larry Roper is professor emeritus of language, culture, and society at Oregon State University. He served as coordinator of the social justice minor and has centered his leadership on equity, inclusion, and intercultural relationship development. He previously served as vice provost for student affairs and interim dean of liberal arts. He is currently a commissioner with the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission and on the Governor’s Education Recovery Committee. He is co-editor of the recently published monograph, Centering Dialogue in Leadership Development (2019). Larry has degrees from Heidelberg University, Bowling Green State University, and the University of Maryland.
Diversity, inclusion, and equity is a goal for leaders across higher education. This session explores how COVID-19 has created additional challenges for leaders as they strive to create more inclusive campuses. Panelists will discuss how COVID-19 has impacted different groups with a focus on our indigenous communities. Breakout sessions will offer participants opportunities to share ideas for recruiting and retaining faculty of color and supporting their pathways to promotion, the use of institutional data in making decisions regarding equity and inclusion on campuses, and supporting faculty free speech in a time of social and political unrest and racial violence. This is an opportunity to learn from one another and our indigenous leaders in higher education.
Moderator: Debbie Storrs, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of North Dakota
Panelists: Cynthia Lindquist, President, Cankdeska Cikana Community College; Donald Warne, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Director of the Indians Into Medicine (INMED), University of North Dakota; Sweeney Windchief, Associate Professor, Montana State University
Breakout Session Topics:
Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College
Cynthia Lindquist has been president of Cankdeska Cikana (Little Hoop) Community College (CCCC) since 2003 and is currently chair, for the North Dakota Association of Tribal Colleges (NDATC). Lindquist also serves on the executive committee for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). CCCC provides higher education opportunities to the Spirit Lake Dakota reservation in North Dakota. Lindquist received her B.A. in Indian studies from the University of North Dakota, a Master’s in public administration with an emphasis on tribal health systems from University of South Dakota, and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from University of North Dakota.
University of North Dakota
Donald Warne is the associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion as well as the director of the Indians Into Medicine (INMED) and master of public health programs, and professor of family and community medicine at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota. He also serves as the senior policy advisor to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board in Rapid City, SD. Warne is a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from Pine Ridge, SD and comes from a long line of traditional healers and medicine men. He received his M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and his M.P.H. from Harvard School of Public Health. His work experience includes: several years as a primary care physician with the Gila River Health Care Corporation in Arizona; staff clinician with the National Institutes of Health; Indian legal program faculty with the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University; health policy research director for Inter Tribal Council of Arizona; executive director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board; and chair of the department of public health at North Dakota State University.
Montana State University
Sweeney Windchief (Nakoda) is a member of the Fort Peck Tribes in northeastern Montana and serves an associate professor, joining Montana State University in 2013. His research interests fall under the umbrella of indigenous intellectualism to include indigenous methodologies in research and indigenous student persistence in higher education. His teaching privileges include critical race theory, indigenous methodologies in research, and law and policy in higher education. He earned his Doctor of Education in educational leadership and policy at the University of Utah in 2011. He and his wife Sara have two sons who help keep things in perspective.
The impact of COVID on higher education and the surrounding communities has yet to be fully realized. The speakers on this panel will discuss the challenges of navigating the intersection of science and policy during a pandemic and provide insights on moving forward in the COVID era.
Moderator: Brock Tessman, Deputy Commissioner, Academic, Research & Student Affairs, Montana University System
Panelists: Hilary Godwin, Dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, University of Washington; Kathryn Hanley, Regents Professor, New Mexico State University; Joshua Wynne, Chief Health Strategist, State of North Dakota; Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean, University of North Dakota
Breakout Session Topics:
University of Washington
Hilary Godwin joined the University of Washington in 2018 as dean of the School of Public Health and professor of environmental and occupational health sciences. Prior to that, Godwin spent twelve years on the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health and ten years in the department of chemistry at Northwestern University and held a number of different leadership positions at both institutions. She earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and a B.S. in chemistry with honors from the University of Chicago. She is deeply committed to promoting the health of all people, locally and globally.
New Mexico State University
Kathryn A. Hanley is a Regents’ professor of biology at New Mexico State University (NMSU), where she investigates the evolution, ecology and control of emerging viruses in the laboratory and the field. Her studies have shed light on the risk of emergence of mosquito-borne viruses around the world. Before joining NMSU, Hanley was a researcher at the National Institutes of Health as part of the team that developed the NIH dengue virus vaccine, currently in Phase III clinical trials. Hanley received her B.A. in biology at Amherst College and her Ph.D. in biology at University of California, San Diego.
University of North Dakota
Joshua Wynne received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine, completing residencies in internal medicine and cardiology at Harvard Medical School’s Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. In 2004, he was recruited to the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS). He has been UND’s vice president for health affairs and dean of its SMHS since 2010. He served as UND interim president from 2019 -2020 and was appointed as North Dakota’s chief health strategist in June, 2020. He heads the state university system’s Smart Restart Task Force on campus reentry during COVID-19.
Member representatives and select staff from the Western Academic Leadership Forum and Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders are invited to attend.
Manager, Institution Services, Programs and Services
Kay Hulstrom serves as WICHE’s manager of institution services. She works on a variety of projects including Interstate Passport®, Online Course Exchange, the Western Academic Leadership Forum, and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders. The latter two are membership organizations for the chief academic officers of WICHE-region two and four-year institutions and system offices. She holds a B.S. in finance from Colorado State University.