Western Academic Leadership Forum Sidebar
- 2024 Forum Annual Meeting
- Past Annual Meetings
- Sponsorship Opportunities
- Meet the Forum Team
The New World of Higher Education:
Challenges and Opportunities of COVID-19
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.
Smoothing the Bumps in the Road: How to Better Articulate Articulation
April 9, 2021
12:00 p.m. MTN
As higher education continues to navigate the negative impact COVID-19 is having on student enrollment, leaders must be aware that transfer students are also being significantly affected. Learn from national and state level experts about the latest transfer data and trends, what strategies states/institutions are implementing to better serve transfer students now and in the future, and how to improve transfer pathways to increase student success.
Moderator: Eric Leshinskie, Interim Provost, Maricopa Community Colleges
Panelists: Aisha Lowe, Vice Chancellor of Educational Services, California Community Colleges; Michelle Marks, Chancellor, University of Colorado Denver; Doug Shapiro, Executive Director, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center
California Community Colleges
Aisha Lowe is vice chancellor of educational services at California Community Colleges. Lowe provides leadership for Educational Services division activities including transfer and articulation, curriculum chaptering and approval, equity programs and grants, innovations in teaching and learning, special project management, and system wide technical assistance delivery. Prior to joining the Chancellor’s Office in 2020, Lowe served as associate professor of education at William Jessup University, where she oversaw the thesis research of future teachers in training. Additionally, she served the students of the Los Rios Community College District, Sierra College and CSU Sacramento as an adjunct professor for over eight years. Lowe received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s in sociology from Stanford University where she also received her Ph.D. in education.
University of Colorado Denver
Michelle Marks became chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver in July 2020. A longtime leader and innovator in higher education, she’s already launched a strategic planning process and an equity task force and is revitalizing the university’s efforts in economic development, community partnerships, and digital learning. Marks previously served as vice president for academic innovation and new ventures, vice provost for academic affairs, and as a professor of management at George Mason University. She holds a B.S. in psychology from James Madison University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from George Mason University.
National Student Clearinghouse Research Center
Doug Shapiro is executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which advances student access and success through data and insights from the nation’s largest student-level longitudinal dataset of college enrollment and degree information. The Center publishes reports on enrollment, persistence, transfer and completion, while also providing data and measurement services for schools and researchers. Shapiro has led the Center for ten years, prior to which he held positions as director of institutional research at The New School (NY), and vice president for research and policy at the Minnesota Private College Council. He holds an M.A. in mathematics and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Michigan.
Supporting Rural Colleges through Collaborations
March 5, 2021
12:00 p.m. MTN
While all institutions of higher education have been impacted by and, in response, adapted to the pandemic, rural-serving institutions and their respective communities have faced particularly significant challenges during these times. Among other issues, this panel will address key issues that rural institutions have had to tackle during the COVID-19 pandemic including, but not limited to: health & safety protocols, staffing plans, enrollment challenges, student support services, internet connectivity required for remote delivery, trades/CTE instruction, and community relations. Please join us for a detailed discussion of these challenges, and strategies for tackling them in the spring and beyond.
Moderator: David Shintani, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, University of Nevada, Reno
Panelists: Margarett Campbell, Director of American Indian education/Tribal Liaison/Special Advisor to the Chancellor, Montana State University-Northern; Kyle Dalpe, Provost and Vice President of Finance, Western Nevada College; Sheila Martin, Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU)
Montana State University-Northern
Margarett Campbell has served as director of American Indian education/tribal liaison/special advisor to the chancellor at Montana State University-Northern (MSU-N) since November 2017. She is currently the chief diversity officer and advisor to the chancellor at MSUN. The fourth of five generations having graduated from MSU-N’s teacher training program, Campbell has spent thirty-two years as an administrator of tribally controlled community colleges (Aaniiih Nakoda College and Fort Peck Community College), serving as a faculty member, academic dean, vice president for community services, president and as a trustee. She also brings five years of experience as a K-12 superintendent of two separate public-school districts. Campbell is a graduate of Montana State University-Northern where she received three degrees, an A.S. in business administration, B.S. in business education and M.Ed. in vocational education. Campbell went on to receive an Ed.D. from the University of Montana in May 2003. Additionally, she was recognized with the University of Montana Educational Leadership Excellence Award in 2009 and received the Founder’s Excellence Award from MSU-N in May 2017.
J. Kyle Dalpe
Western Nevada College
J. Kyle Dalpe serves as the provost and vice president of finance for Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nevada, since July 2019. He is very familiar with higher education in Nevada and has worked for more than 23 years supporting student access and success. Previously, Dalpe served at Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno, NV) in various leadership positions, including director of institutional advancement, associate dean and chief of staff in the president’s office, acting president, dean of the Technical Sciences Division, and as the interim executive director of legislative affairs for the Nevada System of Higher Education for the 2019 legislative session. Dalpe earned a B.A. degree in photojournalism from the University of Connecticut; a M.A. degree in journalism, speech and political science from the University of Texas at Tyler; and a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU)
Sheila Martin is vice president for economic development and community engagement at the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU). She engages with senior university leaders and policy stakeholders on issues relating to talent and workforce development, innovation and entrepreneurship, and social, cultural and community engagement. Prior to arriving at APLU, Martin served as director of the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies and the Population Research Center at Portland State University. She served as Washington State Governor Gary Locke’s economic development advisor and was a program director at RTI International. Sheila earned a B. A. in economics and political science from Southern Illinois University, M.A. in international studies from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University.
Campus Wellness in the COVID Era: Practical Tips and Tools
February 5, 2021
12:00 p.m. MTN
Students, faculty, and staff continue to be impacted by COVID. As the pandemic extends beyond 2020, the effect of “COVID fatigue” is taking its toll on mental wellness. Learn about the long-term impacts of an extended crisis on health and wellness, what challenges this creates for campuses, and what strategies and tools institutions are implementing to support students, faculty, and staff.
Moderator: Laura Woodworth-Ney, Executive Vice President and Provost, Idaho State University
Panelists: Rex Force, Vice President for Health Science and Senior Vice Provost, Idaho State University; André Le Duc, Chief Resilience Officer and Associate Vice President for Safety and Risk Services, University of Oregon; Liza Tupa, Director of Education and Research, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
Idaho State University
Rex W. Force is vice president for health science and senior vice provost at Idaho State University. In this role he oversees the health sciences academic enterprise on the Pocatello and Meridian campuses which include 15 clinics, 400 faculty and staff, and nearly 3000 students. Previously he served as associate dean for clinical research in the Division of Health Sciences at Idaho State and holds a tenured full professorship in the department of family medicine. He is also a professor of pharmacy practice. Force earned his B.S. in pharmacy from Oregon State University and his Pharm.D. degree from the University of Texas and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, after which he completed a two-year clinical research fellowship at Ohio State University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and has an additional certification in health care quality improvement.
André Le Duc
University of Oregon
André Le Duc is the University of Oregon’s first chief resilience officer and associate vice president for safety and risk services. Le Duc is a member of the President’s Senior Leadership Team and serves on the University’s Strategic Enterprise Risk Management Committee. He established the first All-Hazard Higher Education Incident Management Team for the university. Prior to working as a senior administrator, Le Duc served as the founding and executive director of the Oregon Partnership for Disaster Resilience, an applied research center and a coalition of public, private, and professional organizations working toward the mission of creating a disaster resilient state. Le Duc holds an M.S. in community and regional planning from the University of Oregon and B.S. in both geography and environmental policy and planning from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. He is also a graduate of the Department of Homeland Security FEMA National Emergency Management Executive Academy Cohort-1.
Director of Education and Research, Behavioral Health Program
Liza Tupa is the director of education and research for WICHE’s Behavioral Health Program. A licensed clinical psychologist, her career has focused on public behavioral health service delivery. She has expertise in behavioral health service delivery systems in Colorado and other western states, program evaluation, behavioral health policy, management and leadership, and a variety of clinical issues. She has worked in public behavioral health systems, including a community mental health center, Department of Corrections, and a state psychiatric institute. Previously, Tupa served as deputy director of Colorado’s Office of Behavioral Health, providing leadership in community behavioral health programming and public services planning, procurement, and regulation. Her graduate training had a dual focus on clinical work and research, with research specialization in program and assessment tool evaluation. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in public psychology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, studying public mental health service delivery and mental health case law. Her experience includes numerous clinical trainings, teaching college-level psychology, and presentations in the areas of behavioral health systems, communication skills training and assessment, critical incident stress debriefings, and recovery-focused mental health service delivery.
Weathering the COVID-19 Economic Superstorm
December 4, 2020
12:00 p.m. MTN
The pandemic and recession are forcing institutions to rethink current budgeting practices moving forward. With recent state funding cuts and the future restoration of state education appropriations and tuition revenue in decline, how are institutions responding and what are they doing to be more strategic during these times?
Moderator: Kaylyn Bondy, Vice President for Student Affairs, Bismarck State College
Panelists: Doug Jensen, President, Bismarck State College; Marc Johnson, Past President, University of Nevada, Reno; Michelle Rizk, Vice President of University Relations, University of Alaska System
Bismarck State College
Doug Jensen became president of Bismarck State College on July 1, 2020. Previously, he served as president at Rock Valley Community College in Illinois and before that as the president of the Alabama Technology Network in the Alabama Community College System.
He has more than 25 years of experience in higher education and is a proud community college graduate, earning an A.S. degree from Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, PA, his M.S. and B.S. from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA, and his Ed.D. from Edgewood College in Madison, WI.
University of Nevada, Reno
Marc Johnson’s tenure as president of the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) was marked by record student enrollment and academic achievement, advancement of the University’s research and innovation agenda and a deep commitment to partnering with the state of Nevada to drive business, industry and economic diversification. Johnson received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Emporia State University in Kansas, which named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 1994. His advanced degrees include a master of technology in international development from North Carolina State University, a master of economics from Michigan State University and a doctorate of agricultural economics from Michigan State. Johnson joined the UNR in June 2008 as executive vice president and provost. Johnson just recently stepped down as University of Nevada, Reno president in October 2020 and will join the faculty in the College of Business in Fall 2020.
University of Alaska
Michelle Rizk has served as the vice president of university relations at the University of Alaska (UA) since 2015. Rizk’s strategic approach to decision-making has led to significant progress in UA’s efforts to rectify its federal land grant deficit. Additionally, working in partnership with the UA Foundation, she has successfully enhanced the university’s philanthropic giving; and, she has worked to establish the university’s proactive advocacy efforts across all three universities and community campuses. During her 22-year career at UA, Rizk has gained a deep knowledge of every key university area including finance, information technology, and human resources. She earned her undergraduate degree in international business and Spanish and master’s degree in business administration, both from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Focusing on Racial Justice to Close Equity Gaps in Oregon
November 13, 2020
12:00 p.m. MTN
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 Leadership Circle of America Is All In; 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 president of North Seattle College. Mitsui holds a B.A. in physical education from Western Washington University, and an M.Ed. in educational leadership and policy studies 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.
Keeping an Eye on the Prize: Equity and Inclusion During COVID
November 6, 2020
12:00 p.m. MTN
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:
- Looking at Equity in the Tenure Process – Speaker: Chalane Lechuga, Metropolitan State University of Denver; Moderator: Elizabeth Parmelee, Metropolitan State University of Denver
- Examining Equity on Campus Through the Use of Data – Speaker: Angela Baldasare, Civitas Learning, Former Assistant Provost for Institutional Research at University of Arizona; Moderator: Gail Burd (invited), University of Arizona
- Faculty Free Speech – Speaker: Jean Bannon, German, Burnette and Associates; Moderator: Landon Pirius, Colorado Community College System
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.
Campus and Community Collaborating on COVID-19
October 2, 2020
12:00 p.m. MTN
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:
- Faculty Engagement and Shared Governance within COVID – Moderator: Debbie Storrs, University of North Dakota
- Mitigating COVID on Campuses – Moderator: Carli Schiffner, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
- Contact Tracing to Monitor Community Spread on College Campuses – Speaker: Trudy Larson, University of Nevada, Reno; Moderator: David Shintani, University of Nevada, Reno
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.
Upcoming Virtual Meetings
- February 5, 2021 – Preserving Campus Wellness in the COVID Era
- March 5, 2021 – Supporting Rural Colleges through Collaborations
- April 9, 2021 – Smoothing the Bumps in the Road: How to Better Articulate Articulation
Who May Participate?
Member representatives and select staff from the Western Academic Leadership Forum and Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders are invited to attend.
Questions? Contact Us!
Associate Director, Operations and Program Implementation, Programs and Services
Kay Hulstrom serves as WICHE’s associate director of operations and academic leadership initiatives. She works on a variety of projects including Interstate Passport®, 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.