Western Academic Leadership Forum

Message from the Chair

Renny Christopher, Forum chair
Renny Christopher

Welcome to the Western Academic Leadership Forum which brings together provosts at four-year institutions and chief academic officers from system offices in the WICHE region to address issues of common concern that are beyond the scope of a single institution or state. With its unique focus on the West, a region quite distinct within the framework of U.S. higher education, the Forum provides opportunities to discuss and address issues of particular concern to our institutions. In recent years, the Forum has made significant accomplishments including:

  • soliciting the WICHE Commission to take a lead in solving the regulation of online learning that resulted in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA);
  • providing the seed money to launch the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders, a sister organization to ours;
  • developing the Academic Leaders Toolkit repository, a resource of best practices for decision making;
  • establishing the Western Academic Leadership Academy to address the growing need for new academic leaders with the skills and perspectives to take our institutions forward

I am honored to serve as chair of the Forum and look forward to working with the members on important issues of common concern and to hosting our annual meeting here in Vancouver, WA, just across the Columbia river from Portland, OR, April 25-27. The annual meeting program combines sessions by speakers of national prominence with “talkback” and “lightning round” sessions that provide structured opportunities for participants to interact with their colleagues, as well as unstructured opportunities for networking. The small size of the meeting allows for a relaxed atmosphere and in-depth discussions. Several restaurants, galleries, parks and historical sites are within walking distance of the meeting venue.

If your institution is not already a member, please consider joining. Membership is open to all regionally-accredited four-year institutions and related system offices and state agencies in the WICHE region. For information on membership, click here.

Renny Christopher, Forum Chair
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Washington State University Vancouver


Annual Meeting Forum Cover2018 Forum Annual Meeting: Breaking Through the Noise: Messaging for Maximum Impact​ - April 25-27, 2018, Vancouver, WA

(Download Preliminary Program