Western Academic Leadership Forum

Western Academic Leadership Academy




Photo of Sona AndrewsSona Karentz Andrews has over thirty-five years of experience as a higher education university faculty member and administrator. She has held many leadership positions, including vice chancellor of the Oregon University System and provost and vice president for academic affairs at two large universities. Andrews has held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Boise State University and Portland State University. She has served and continues to serve on local, state, regional and national task forces and boards. She earned her undergraduate degree in geography from Worcester State College (Massachusetts) and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in geography from Arizona State University.

Photo of Renny ChristopherRenny Christopher is vice chancellor of academic affairs at Washington State University Vancouver. She was previously associate provost at California State University Channel Islands. She holds a B.A. in English from Mills College, a master’s in linguistics from San Jose State University, and a Ph.D. in literature from the University of California Santa Cruz. Before she earned her Ph.D., she worked as a printing press operator, typesetter, carpenter and horse wrangler. Her teaching and research interests focus on issues of race, class, and gender in U.S. literature and culture. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Barcelona, Spain, in 2000.

Photo of Dan Howard Dan Howard has been New Mexico State University’s executive vice president and provost since August of 2013. Howard started his career at NMSU as an assistant professor of biology in 1988. A distinguished member of the faculty, he earned recognition as a Regents Professor and served as head of the department of biology. Under his leadership, the biology department’s home in Foster Hall was renovated and expanded, and the department secured the first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Improvement of Undergraduate Science Education grant at NMSU. Before becoming provost, Howard spent five years at the University of Colorado Denver as dean of the college of liberal arts and sciences.

Photo of Jim MoranJim Moran joined the University of South Dakota as provost and vice president for academic affairs in July 2014. Moran previously was interim president of Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and assistant vice president in the University of Tennessee System Office. At Tennessee, he was dean of the College of Human Ecology and vice president for the Research Corporation. He also served as department head at Oklahoma State University and faculty at Virginia Tech and the University of Oklahoma. Moran received B.A.  from Duke, M.S. from the University of Oklahoma and a PhD from Oklahoma State in Child and Family Studies.


Photo of Laura Woodworth-NeyLaura Woodworth-Ney was named Idaho State University’s executive vice president and provost August 14, 2016.  Previously, she served as the provost and vice president for academic affairs and as ISU’s associate vice president for academic affairs for three years before that. Woodworth-Ney’s former administrative appointments at ISU include chair of the department of history and co-director of women studies. She also served on the ISU faculty senate, both as a senator and as an elected member of the faculty senate executive committee. Woodworth-Ney, who has been at ISU since 1999, has authored more than 30 articles, book reviews, and scholarly essays, as well as three books (several co-authored). Woodworth-Ney earned a bachelor degree in English from the University of Idaho, and a Ph.D. in American history and public history from Washington State University.