State Authorization Reciprocity Initiative (NC-SARA)

2013 September 12
State Authorization Reciprocity Initiative Appoints Executive Director and Board

Boulder, Colorado — Marshall Hill has been appointed the executive director of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), a new initiative that will create interstate reciprocity in the regulation of postsecondary distance education. The initiative, funded by a $2.3 million grant from Lumina Foundation, brings together the four regional higher education compacts – the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, New England Board of Higher Education, Southern Regional Education Board, and Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education – to work to make distance education courses more accessible to students across state lines, as well as making it easier for states to regulate and institutions to participate in interstate distance education.

Hill, previously the executive director of Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education, as well as an assistant commissioner with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and a faculty member at Duquesne, Utah State, and other universities, will oversee NC-SARA, the national effort, headquartered in Boulder, CO. Hill already has broad knowledge of NC-SARA’s goals. He was a member of the Presidents’ Forum/Council of State Governments drafting team for the initiative. He also worked with the regional compacts as they developed their SARA plans and was a member of the National Commission on Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education. “I’m excited about developing and implementing this much-needed solution to the obvious challenges of cross-state authorization of postsecondary distance education,” Hill says. “We’ll be working hard to get SARA up and running as quickly as possible.”

NC-SARA, which will hold its first meeting this fall, will oversee regional efforts to ensure that all SARA entities meet the expectations that have been established for reciprocity and will also establish common operating procedures. Members of the council include:

  • Barbara Ballard, state representative, Kansas Legislature.
  • Helena Stangle Bertram, senior director of government and community relations, DeVry.
  • Chris Bustamante, president, Rio Salado College.
  • Bruce Chaloux, executive director and CEO, The Sloan Consortium.
  • Crady deGolian, director, The National Center for Interstate Compacts, Council of State Governments.
  • Kathryn G. Dodge, founder and principal, Dodge Advisory Group.
  • Dianne Harrison, president, California State University, Northridge.
  • Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president, American Council on Education
  • Larry Isaak, president, Midwestern Higher Education Compact.
  • Arthur F. Kirk, Jr., president, Saint Leo University.
  • Paul Lingenfelter, president emeritus, State Higher Education Executive Officers.
  • David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
  • Teresa Lubbers, commissioner, Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
  • M. Peter McPherson, president, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
  • Patricia O’Brien, deputy director of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
  • Pam Quinn, provost, LeCoy Center for Educational Telecommunications, Dallas County Community College District.
  • George Eugene Ross, president, Central Michigan University.
  • Paul Shiffman, assistant vice president for strategic and governmental relations, Excelsior College; executive director, Presidents’ Forum.
  • Dave Spence, president, Southern Regional Education Board.
  • Michael Thomas, president, New England Board of Higher Education.
  • Leroy Wade, deputy commissioner, Missouri Department of Higher Education.
  • Belle Wheelan, president, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

For more information about NC-SARA, visit


About SARA, WICHE, MHEC, NEBHE, SREB & Lumina Foundation

The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) provides a new, voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. The initiative is administered by the country’s four regional higher education compacts (MHEC, NEBHE, SREB and WICHE) and overseen by the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. States and institutions that choose to participate agree to operate under common standards and procedures, providing a more uniform and less costly regulatory environment for institutions, more focused oversight responsibilities for states, and better resolution of student complaints.

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education ( and its 16 members work collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for all citizens of the West. By promoting innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy among states and institutions, WICHE strengthens higher education’s contributions to the region’s social, economic, and civic life. Our programs—Student Exchange, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, Policy Analysis and Research, and Mental Health—are working to find answers to some of the most critical questions facing higher education today. WICHE’s 16 members include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific territories and freely associated states (the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is the first of the group to participate).

The Midwestern Higher Education Compact ( is a nonprofit regional organization assisting Midwestern states in advancing higher education through interstate cooperation and resource sharing. MHEC seeks to fill its interstate mission through programs that expand postsecondary opportunity and success; promote innovative approaches to improving institutional and system productivity; improve affordability to students and states; and enhance connectivity between higher education and the workplace. Member states are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

The New England Board of Higher Education ( promotes greater educational opportunities and services for the residents of New England. It works across the six New England states to engage and assist leaders in the assessment, development, and implementation of sound education practices and policies of regional significance; promote policies, programs, and best practices to assist the states in implementing important regional higher education policies; promote regional cooperation and programs that encourage the efficient use and sharing of educational resources; and provide leader- ship to strengthen the relationship between higher education and the economic well-being of New England.

The Southern Regional Education Board ( works with 16 member states to improve public education at every level, from pre-K through Ph.D. SREB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Atlanta. Member states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Lumina Foundation ( is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive, and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025.


CONTACT: Marshall Hill Executive Director, NC-SARA 303.541.0237 3035 Center Green Drive Boulder, CO 80301