Western Academic Leadership Forum

WALF 2009 Annual Meeting

Taking Stock: Strategic Leadership in Changing Times

April 22-24, 2009 | Anchorage, AK |
Hosted by: University of Alaska Anchorage UAA logo


Photo of Nicole BallengerNicole Ballenger joined University of Wyoming in 2004 as head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and began serving as Associate Provost in 2005. Previously, she led and conducted economics research at USDA’s Economic Research Service. From 1993 to 1996 Nicole directed the National Research Council’s study of the land grant colleges of agriculture. During 1990-91 she was senior economist for agriculture and trade for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. She received Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in agricultural economics from University of California at Davis and a B.A. in economics from University of California at Santa Cruz.

Photo of Susan CarlsonSusan Carlson was appointed Associate Provost in July 2001. She became Associate Provost for Faculty Advancement and Diversity in 2004. She also served as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost from June to December 2006. Carlson joined the English Department at Iowa State in 1980, after completing her M. A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of Oregon and her B. A. at the University of Iowa.

Photo of Bill CatheyBill Cathey is vice provost at the University of Nevada, Reno with responsibilities associated with instruction and undergraduate programs such as advising, assessment, curriculum, and international programs. He is also the university’s representative on the local K-16 Education Alliance. Prior to administrative duties, he was professor of physics at UNR. Cathey received his BS, MS, and PhD in physics at the University of Tennessee.

Photo of Bill CatheyBill Cathey is vice provost at the University of Nevada, Reno with responsibilities associated with instruction and undergraduate programs such as advising, assessment, curriculum, and international programs. He is also the university’s representative on the local K-16 Education Alliance. Prior to administrative duties, he was professor of physics at UNR. Cathey received his BS, MS, and PhD in physics at the University of Tennessee.

Photo of Michael Driscoll

Michael A. Driscoll has served as the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Alaska Anchorage since June 1, 2006. He serves as UAA’s Chief Academic Officer, a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet, and a member of the Statewide Academic Council for the University of Alaska System. Driscoll is responsible for academic leadership for UAA’s five campuses serving 20,000 students across Southcentral Alaska. Additionally, he is responsible for UAA’s academic offerings leading to occupational endorsements; undergraduate and graduate certificates; associate, baccalaureate, and graduate degrees; and continuing education in a rich, diverse, and inclusive environment. Prior to joining UAA, Driscoll served as professor of electrical engineering, associate dean and executive dean of engineering, and vice provost. He received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Michigan State University. Driscoll is the 2008/09 chair for the Western Academic Leadership Forum (WALF) and has served on its executive committee for the past three years.

Photo of Terry Hartle

Terry W. Hartle directs ACE's comprehensive effort to engage federal policymakers on a broad range of issues, including student aid, scientific research, government regulation, and tax policy. Prior to joining the council in 1993, Hartle served as education staff director for the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources; as director of social policy studies and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; and as a research scientist at the Educational Testing Service. Hartle received a doctorate in public policy from The George Washington University, a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Hiram College. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Northeastern University.

Photo of Sam Gingerich

Samuel (Sam) Gingerich serves as the Chief Academic Officer for the South Dakota Board of Regents working with the Board of Regents, Board staff, and institutional academic leaders to develop and to oversee academic policy for the state system. Prior to this he served as provost at Mississippi University for Women, as interim president and as provost at Mesa State College and he was a faculty member and administrator at Northern State University. Gingerich holds three degrees in chemistry: a Ph.D. from Montana State University, a master’s degree from Cornell University, and a bachelor’s degree from Goshen College.

Photo of Ron Henry

Ron Henry has served as provost & senior vice president for academic affairs at Georgia State University since 1994. He has been instrumental in developing a strong strategic planning process that is linked to budgetary decisions. Current work involves improvement of introductory college courses in science and mathematics through inclusion of activity-based learning and improving student retention through freshman learning communities, supplemental instruction, enhanced advisement, and sophomore connections courses. Previously, he served as provost at Miami University of Ohio and academic affairs vice president at Auburn University. Henry received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Queen’s University, Belfast.

Photo of Dennis JonesDennis Jones is President of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), a research and development center founded to improve the management effectiveness of colleges and universities. A member of the staff since 1969, Jones is widely recognized for his work in such areas as: state and institutional approaches to budgeting and resource allocation, strategic planning and decision making, educational needs assessment, formulation of state policy, and the development of educational indicators. He has written many monographs and articles on these topics, has presented his work at many regional, national, and international conferences, and has consulted with hundreds of institutions and state higher education agencies on management issues of all kinds. Prior to joining NCHEMS, Jones served as an administrator (in business and in institutional planning) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his graduate and undergraduate degree from that institution in the field of engineering management.

Photo of Alan Lamborn

Alan Lamborn has been at Colorado State University since 1984.  As Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, he is responsible for matters related to the curriculum, statewide transferability issues, and other areas that contribute to the quality of the undergraduate educational experience.

A professor of political science who specializes in world politics, Lamborn received his B.A. from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.  Prior to becoming Vice Provost in 2005, he was elected faculty representative to the governing board of the CSU System and served as an Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Photo of Kiernan Mathews

Kiernan Mathews directs Harvard University's Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE), a research consortium helping college leaders make their institutions--and by extension, the academy--more equitable and appealing places for new faculty to work. Mathews' previous experience at Harvard includes research for Lawrence Summers'curriculum review and Derek Bok's title, *Our Underachieving Colleges*. Prior to his work in the academy, Mathews directed new technology and education projects at the LEGO Company and Routledge Publishing. He earned an undergraduate degree in classical studies from the University of Houston and a graduate degree in higher education from Harvard.

Photo of David McDonald

David McDonald is the associate provost at Western Oregon University (WOU), focusing primarily on enrollment management, student access, retention, diversity, and student success. Prior to this, he held a number of posts, including serving as WOU’s dean of enrollment management, admissions, and retention; Oregon University System’s director of student services; and assistant dean of graduate studies at the University of California, San Diego. He was also the lead in the development and implementation of the Western Tuition Promise. He earned his undergraduate degrees from the University of Oregon – he was the first in his family to graduate from college – and his graduate degree in public policy from the University of Washington.

Photo of Paul Thayer

Paul Thayer has worked on access and retention issues at Colorado State University since 1975. Currently serving as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Special Advisor to the Provost for Retention, he has worked previously as Director of Undergraduate Student Retention, Executive Director of the Center for Advising and Student Achievement, and Director of the Center for Educational Access and Outreach. He is a member of the Governor’s Statewide P-20 Education Council. Thayer received his B.A. in history from Williams College and an M.P.A. and Ph.D. in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.

Photo of Fran Ulmer

Fran Ulmer has spent 35 years in public service at the local, state, and national level.  She served in elective office for eighteen years, as the mayor of Juneau, as a state representative and as Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, where she became a nationally recognized leader in election reform (Alaska became the first state to replace the punch card system with an optical scanning ballot counting system on a statewide basis in 1998).  She served as Director of Policy Development for the State of Alaska, managing diverse programs, including coastal management, intergovernmental coordination, and public participation initiatives.  At the national level, Ms. Ulmer served as a member of the Federal Communications Commission's State and Local Advisory Committee, and the Federal Elections Commissions' State Advisory Committee, and on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission for over a decade. She currently co- chairs the National Academies of Sciences Voter Registration Task Force, and is a member of the Aspen Institute's Climate Change Commission, the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Board of Trustees of the Alaska Nature Conservancy, among other boards and commissions. She earned a J.D. cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School.  She has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics, Kennedy School of Government, where she taught and mentored students, and a Distinguished Visiting Professor and Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  Since May of 2007 she has served as Chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage.