2016 Annual Meeting

Full Program


Location: Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown

Packet Contents

9:00-11:00 a.m.
Forum Executive Committee Meeting
(executive committee members only)

11:00 am-1:00 p.m.
Western Academic Leadership Academy: 2015 Cohort Convening
(cohort, faculty, and Forum Executive Committee members only-with lunch)
Join your fellow colleagues and the faculty for a final convening of the 2015 cohort. Enjoy mini-presentations and small group discussions, share future plans for the Academy, and celebrate the successful completion of its inaugural year over lunch.

11:00 am-1:00 p.m.
Alliance Executive Committee Meeting
(executive committee members only-with lunch)

1:00-2:00 p.m.
Pre-Meeting: The Affordable Care Act: Issues and Answers for Higher Education
Are you struggling with ACA’s regulations and how they apply to adjuncts, graduate students, and exempt employees? Find out about some of these from the presenters and bring your own issues and solutions to share.

Moderator: Jere Mock, WICHE


  • Steven Bloom, American Council on Education
  • Elizabeth Marks, Mercer Health & Benefits
  • Dan Howard, New Mexico State University


2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Pre-Meeting: Accreditation: Its Role and Expectations in the Future
Find out about some of the new priorities for accrediting agencies and how they may affect your institution now or in the future.

Moderator: Perry Brown, The University of Montana


  • Sandra Elman, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Mary Ellen Petrisko, WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

3:45 – 5:00 p.m.
Pre-Meeting: A Conversation with Accrediting Commission Presidents
Join staff from your institution’s particular accrediting agency for some focused conversation on topics of common interest to the group. Be sure to ask the questions that are on your mind and/or share your concerns.

NWCCU: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington
WSCUC: California and Hawai‘i

5:30-6:30 p.m.
Opening Reception

6:30-8:30 p.m.
Welcome Dinner and Keynote: Student Swirl, Faculty Swirl, and Us?
Join us for a provocative commentary on the challenges and opportunities the two- and four-year sectors have now and those likely to arise in the future. What are some good models in both policy and practice that are making a difference for students? What are some predictions that are likely to keep some of us up at night and others sleeping soundly?

Introducers: Neil Moisey, Montana University System and Forum Chair; John Cech, Montana University System and Alliance Chair

Speaker: Kevin Reilly, past president of University of Wisconsin and former presidential adviser for leadership at American Council on Education



7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.
Good Morning and Meeting Overview
Neil Moisey and John Cech

8:45 – 9:45 a.m.
Panel Discussion: Reflections on the Confluence of Our Work
Last night’s keynote speaker painted the big picture of some of the challenges and opportunities we share. The members of this panel will provide their perspectives based on day-to-day experiences in their current roles as chief academic leaders at institutions in the West.

Moderator: Clayton Christian, Montana University System


  • Joe Schaffer, Laramie County Community College (WY)
  • Sona Andrews, Portland State University
  • Loren Blanchard, California State University System
  • Jan Yoshiwara, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

9:45 – 10:00 a.m.

10:00 – 11:15 a.m.
Lightning Round: A Frank Discussion with Colleagues on Hot Topics of Mutual Interest
Join the table with the number corresponding to the first dot on your badge for an opportunity to share perspectives on some hot topics that cross the two- and four-year sectors. Topics to be discussed include:

  • Completion Agenda
  • Equity and Access
  • Competency-Based Education
  • College Safety

Discussion Leaders: Vicki Golich, Metropolitan State University of Denver; Tim Rogers, Chemeketa Community College (OR)

Table Hosts:

  • Renny Christopher, Washington State University Vancouver
  • Joe Cline, University of Nevada, Reno
  • Ken Doxsee, The University of Oregon
  • Mary Ann Keogh Hoss, Eastern Washington University
  • Yi Li, California State University Northridge
  • John Miller, Williston State College (ND)
  • Rick Miranda, Cerritos College (CA)
  • Douglas Murray, New Mexico Military Institute
  • Laurie Nichols, South Dakota State University
  • Louise Pagotto, Kapiolanni Community College (HI)
  • Todd Schwarz, College of Southern Idaho
  • Susan Wolff, Great Falls College MSU (MT)

11:15-11:30 a.m.

11:30 am – 12:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Recruiting and Retaining Talented Faculty
Successful faculty lead to successful students. Join us to hear about some of the most effective strategies for recruiting and retaining the most diverse and talented faculty in today’s dynamic four-year academic environment.

Introducer: Paul Turman, South Dakota Board of Regents

Speaker: Nancy Aebersold, Higher Education Recruitment Consortium


From One Institution to Another: Smooth Intrastate and Interstate Pathways for Students
Find out how some states are ensuring that their students move seamlessly from one institution to another – both intrastate and interstate.

Moderator: Lita Burns, North Idaho College


  • John Lanning, University of Colorado-Denver
  • Peter Quigley, University of Hawai‘i System
  • Duane Roen, Arizona State University


12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Awards Luncheon
Join us in congratulating the winner of the Fourth Annual Academic Leaders Tool of the Year Award!

American’s College Promise: A New GI Bill for Our Future
One hundred years ago, America made high school universal, and decades of progress is linked to this prescient decision. Seventy years ago, the GI bill helped change working-class citizens who worked with their hands to middle-class citizens who worked with their minds. The College Promise Campaign believes it is again time for our country to make a bold investment in the future by affording responsible students a debt-free education for the first two years of college. Dr. Mellow will outline the current contours of the national campaign.

Introducer: Mike Cartney, Lake Area Technical Institute

Speaker: Gail Mellow, LaGuardia Community College

Heads Up National Video

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

The Lifecycle of Faculty Careers: Building the Business Case for Institutional Work-life Supports
What are the biggest work-life obstacles in various stages of faculty careers? This session will help attendees discern what are the major career stages of the faculty lifecycle, and how institutions can recruit, retain, promote, and retire faculty through policies and best practices. Speakers will present the business case, and how benchmarking & climate surveys can be used to measure success. Based on current research, institutions can cultivate sound practices for faculty work-life balance.

Moderator: Sona Andrews, Portland State University (OR)


  • Jean McLaughlin, American Council on Education
  • Robynn Pease, Oregon State University and CUWFA


The New Math Pathways Project
High failure rates in both developmental and gateway mathematics courses are creating barriers for students. Far too many students are unsuccessful in these courses, and the course content does not build the mathematical skills needed for their future. The Charles A. Dana Center is addressing this problem through the New Mathways Project. Representatives from states that are implementing new math pathways in collaboration with the Dana Center will provide an overview of the process used, lessons learned, and results from their respective initiatives.

Moderator: Rick Miranda, Cerritos College (CA)


  • Amy Getz, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin
  • Bob Mokwa, Montana State University Bozeman
  • Ricardo Moena, University of Cincinnati


2:45 – 3:00 p.m.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

The Long and Winding Road to Faculty Career Success
All universities want their faculty members to be successful and have fulfilling careers, but some seem to be unusually adept at guiding the faculty through the challenges and opportunities of the different stages of this unique profession. Panelists from three universities – and at three different stages of their careers – will provide insight about how their institutions have supported them in ways that have made a difference in their success.

Moderator: Jane Sherman, WICHE


  • Veronica Añover, California State University, San Marcos
  • Kevin Ayotte, California State University, Fresno
  • Jessica Houston, New Mexico State University

Redesigning Developmental Education: New Models with Increased Student Success
A 2012 Complete College America report calls remediation a broken system and suggests a better way – “start many more students in college courses with just-in-time support.” The Chancellor of the WV Community and Technical College System calls it “the quicksand of higher education. Students get in developmental (education) and they never get out.” But a number of states and colleges have implemented major redesigns showing great promise. Student success is increasing. Learn what is working from leaders in these redesign efforts.

Moderator: Tom Sugar, Complete College America


  • Casey Sacks, Colorado Community College System
  • Amy Getz, Charles A. Dana Center, University of Texas at Austin


4:00 – 4:15 p.m.

4:15 – 5:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

High Impact Practices: Making a Difference in Faculty Communities
Take home some great ideas that can make a real difference for you and your faculty! Each speaker will have just two minutes to tell you what worked and why.

Host: Laura Woodworth-Ney, Idaho State University

  • Extending Orientation by Cohort throughout the Tenure Track Process: Coffee and Cookies with the Provost – Sam Gingerich, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Food for Thought – Nancy Tribbensee, Arizona Board of Regents
  • Managing Shared Governance – Graham Oberem, California State University San Marcos
  • A Faculty-Constructed, All-University Rubric for High Impact Practices – Alan Lamborn, Colorado State University
  • Mentoring Faculty Towards Personal and Institutional Success, Risa Dickson, University of Hawai’i System
  • Ensuring the Academic Mission Drives the Bus: Best Practices for Aligning Budget and Resource Planning with Academics – Laura Woodworth-Ney, Idaho State University
  • Provost Forums – Perry Brown, The University of Montana Missoula
  • UNLV General Education Reform: Student Success and Community Engagement – Carl Reiber, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Rolling out the Red Carpet: The Importance of First Impressions in Building Faculty Communities – Daniel Howard, New Mexico State University
  • Retention Boosters – Thomasine Heitkamp, University of North Dakota
  • Blogging: How to Let Everyone Know How and What You Think – Sona Andrews, Portland State University (OR)
  • Telling the Story Over and Over and Over – James Moran, University of South Dakota
  • The Passport: Faculty Collaboration Leading to Successful General Education Transfer – Teddi Safman, Utah System of Higher Education
  • At the Heart of It” – Marilyn Levine, Central Washington University

Turning the Rhetoric of Equity into Institutional Practice
Suddenly the word EQUITY is ubiquitous. Everywhere there is talk about the equity imperative in higher education. The need to close equity gaps in educational outcomes has risen to the top of policy agendas. But claiming equity as a higher education priority is necessary but insufficient to bring about comprehensive change. Tools are needed to attain equity in results. The focus of this session is on the Center for Urban Education’s evidence-based practices that can turn an institution’s aspiration for equity actionable and measurable.

Introducer: Mike McFarlane, Great Basin College (NV)

Speaker: Estela Bensimon, University of Southern California

5:15-6:30 p.m.
Interstate Passport Open House
Stop by to enjoy some light refreshments and meet some Alliance and Forum members involved in the Interstate Passport. Find out how your state or institution could get involved in this exciting initiative!

6:15 p.m.
Dinner on your own or sign up to participate in a networking dinner!

Networking Dinner Hosts/Topics:

  • Lita Burns: Prior Learning Assessment – Are We Making Progress?
  • Mike Cartney: No Cost Community College #FREECOMMUNITYCOLLEGE
  • John Cech: Lessons Learned on Getting Faculty Engaged and Bought into the Math Pathways Conversation
  • Mike McFarlane: Going the Distance
  • Peter Quigley: Co-Requisite Scale Up as a Solution to Developmental Education Challenges
  • Joe Schaffer: Case Management for Intensive Advising
  • Laura Woodworth-Ney: Top Concerns of Today’s University Provosts
  • Jan Yoshiwara: Guided Pathways


8:00-9:15 a.m.
Forum Breakfast and Membership Update

Alliance Breakfast and Membership Update

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

To Strive, To Seek, To Find, and Not to Yield: Supporting Mid- and Late-Career Faculty Productivity and Engagement
This session will explore why faculty productivity often declines at predictable stages in a faculty member’s career and how universities can create processes, incentives, and support structures to enhance scholarly productivity and engagement at critical junctures.

Introducer: Gail Burd, University of Arizona

Speaker: Dave Attis, Education Advisory Board


Economic Development Strategies: Community Colleges Working with Industry and Workforce
An important role of community colleges is to provide training programs that lead directly to jobs in the community. To do so, requires that academic leaders work effectively with representatives of local industry, workforce centers, and other stakeholders to define needs, shape programs, and monitor their success. What are some of the popular trends in economic development where community colleges are playing a strong role? How are these trends playing out in the healthcare and IT sector in particular?

Moderator: Clifton Sanders, Salt Lake Community College

Speakers: Nneka Jenkins, Aspen Institute; Barbara Damron, New Mexico Higher Education Department; Kristen Nichols, Oracle


10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

10:30 – 11:15 a.m.
Welcoming All: Building Inclusive Communities in Colleges & Universities
Moving into a faculty position is the culmination of years of work, and new faculty members are typically highly enthusiastic and energized. Maintaining that enthusiasm and making sure that they feel connected to, and valued by, the department they are entering requires careful planning and attention. Small things make a difference, so attention to detail is critical, but perhaps nothing is more important than a department head who genuinely engages his/her faculty and practices inclusivity every day.

Introducer: Dan Howard, New Mexico State University

Speaker: Caroline Turner, Sacramento State University

11:15-11:45 a.m.
David Longanecker, Unabridged
As WICHE’s president winds down his long and very productive career, he’ll share some of his reflections, insights, and forecasts. Don’t miss this chance to ask him the really hard questions!

Introducer: Teddi Safman, Utah System of Higher Education

Speaker: David Longanecker, WICHE


Joint Meeting Wrap-up and Adjournment

Recommended Advance Reading

Whistling Vivaldi
by Claude M. Steele, University of California, Berkeley

Redesigning America’s Community Colleges
by Thomas Bailey, Community Colleges Research Center

Moving the Attainment Agenda from Policy to Action
by Keith Witham, Megan Chase, Estela Mara Bensimon, Debbie Hanson & David Longanecker (2015), Moving the Attainment Agenda from Policy to Action, Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 47:4, 6-15,