Western Academic Leadership Forum



We look forward to welcoming you to beautiful San Diego – one of the most desired travel destinations in the nation – where winding pedestrian routes and bicycles paths are not only plentiful, but popular. Fittingly, this year’s annual meeting, “Academic Leaders on the Race Track: Taking Advantage of the Turns” brings together higher education colleagues and experts to actively discuss the winding trends and challenges facing higher education today.

Considering new and successful pathways in this constantly changing landscape, leaders of California's public systems of higher education, California State University Chancellor Timothy White and California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice Harris will serve as featured guides. Author Steve Sample of The Contrarian Guide to Leadership will be on hand to tour his book and Peter Ewell of NCHEMS will present the Role of Assessment in Assuring Academic Quality. In addition, I encourage you to weave through Thomas Friedman’s book, That Used to Be Us.

As educational leaders we increasingly face encircling issues: demands for increased productivity, decreased resources, greater scrutiny and accountability by the public and policy makers, globalization and the economic impact of education. With plenty of opportunity for collaboration, this year’s conference discussions are certain to enrich our everyday journeys.

Warm regards,

Photo of Ephraim Smith

Ephraim Smith, Forum Chair
Executive Vice Chancellor & Chief Academic Officer, California State University


Who Should Attend

In attendance you will find colleagues eager to share the lessons they’ve learned from tackling a host of institutional and academic challenges, including the ones you’re facing.

  • Provosts, vice presidents and directors of academic affairs, and directors of research from public and private bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral institutions.

  • Chief executive officers and chief academic officers of systems and statewide agencies

  • Other staff with expertise in the meeting topics who are accompanying those above at their invitation.
  • Members of the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders (Alliance).