Joint Annual Meeting - Forum and Alliance


At the Confluence: Academic Leaders Steering Their Communities Forward

April 20-22, 2016
Missoula, MT

* Download the 2016 FINAL Program


Presentations and Handouts 

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.

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.

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?

  • Kevin Reilly, past president of University of Wisconsin and former presidential advisor for leadership at American Council on Education



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. 

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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

  • 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, University of Montana
  • 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.

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.

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?

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.

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!

Packet Contents



Participant List

Forum Member List

Alliance Member List

Forum Executive Committee Agenda

Alliance Executive Committee Agenda

Forum Membership Meeting Agenda

Alliance Membership Meeting Agenda

Western Academic Leadership Academy