Western Academic Leadership Forum


Calibrating Your Leadership Through New Landscapes

April 22-24, 2015
Boise, ID



Photo of Jose CruzJosé Luis Cruz is the provost and vice president for academic affairs of California State University, Fullerton. He is a frequent keynote speaker and writer on higher educational issues and has testified on these issues before the U.S. Congress. Previously, Cruz served as vice president of higher education policy and practice of The Education Trust in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw the national Access to Success Initiative and was involved in separate efforts to regulate the for-profit college industry and to protect the Federal Pell Grant Program. He is a former vice president for student affairs of the University of Puerto Rico system and served as chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and dean of academic affairs at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. Cruz earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez and master’s and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a National Science Foundation Career Award recipient.

Photo of Waded CruzadoWaded Cruzado serves as the 12th president of Montana State University, an institution recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as one of 108 universities for its “Very High Research Activity.” Cruzado has significantly reshaped the face and future of the state’s first land-grant institution. An inspirational speaker on the role of land-grant universities, she has become a well-known champion of the land-grant’s tripartite mission of education, research and public outreach. Prior to coming to MSU, Cruzado served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University (NMSU), and later as provost and vice president for academic affairs, as well as NMSU’s interim president from 2008-2009. Cruzado has a master of arts in Spanish and a doctorate in the humanities, both from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Photo of Mike DriscollMichael Driscoll became president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2012. He has focused on orchestrating a student experience that connects research and learning with solving real problems in society, paving the way for engaged learning outside the classroom and in the community, and emphasizing face-to-face learning that is enhanced by technology. Driscoll currently chairs the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Committee on Economic and Workforce Development. He played a lead role in writing the recently adopted statement on the economic importance universities have in their host regions. Before assuming IUP’s presidency, he served as executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of Alaska Anchorage and was president of the Western Academic Leadership Forum in 2008-2009.

Photo of George KuhGeorge Kuh directs the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) co-located at the University of Illinois and Indiana University. Founding director of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Kuh has written and consulted extensively about learning outcomes assessment, institutional improvement, and student engagement. His most recent books are Ensuring Quality & Taking High-Impact Practices to Scale (2013) and Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education (2015). Recipient of nine honorary degrees and numerous awards from professional societies, in 2014 he received the President’s Medal for Academic Excellence, the highest honor the Indiana University president can bestow.

Photo of Dan MadzelanDaniel T. Madzelan joined American Council on Education in 2014 as associate vice president for Government Relations. In his role, Madzelan helps advance ACE’s advocacy on behalf of the higher education community, particularly the array of federal policies and issues critical to the missions of American colleges and universities and the students they serve. From 2009–10, Madzelan served as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he was charged with primary responsibility for administering a $2.6 billion program budget providing financial support to colleges and universities and their students, and had policy and program budget responsibility for the Title IV student financial aid programs that provided nearly $130 billion in grant, loan and work-study assistance to more than 14 million postsecondary students and their families. Previously, he was a longtime director of the forecasting and policy analysis service in the department’s office of postsecondary education. Madzelan is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a bachelor of arts in economics with a concentration in mathematics and statistics.

Photo of Timothy RenickTimothy Renick is vice president for enrollment management and student success, vice provost, and professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Since 2008, he has overseen the university’s enrollment and student success programs. During this time period, the university has set records for the number and percent of underrepresented (63 percent) and Pell (58 percent) students enrolled, and has increased its graduation rates by 11 percentage points overall and by 18 points for underrepresented students. Degrees conferred have increased by 1,700 annually. A Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Renick holds his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Photo of Ed VenitEd Venit is a senior director with the Education Advisory Board (EAB). He serves as the firm’s leading expert on student success, retention and graduation, advising, financial aid, and data analytics. In this capacity, he leads the research team supporting the Student Success Collaborative, a consortium of over 100 institutions leveraging data analytics and sharing best practices to transform academic advising and student success decision-making. Venit holds a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from Duke University and a bachelors degree in biology, also from Duke.

Photo of Jane WellmanJane Wellman is an independent policy analyst specializing in public policy and postsecondary education in the United States. She is an expert in state and federal policy for higher education, with particular expertise in public budgeting, cost analysis and cost management, institutional governance and change management. Wellman has held numerous leadership positions in higher education in the nonprofit and government sphere, including: executive director of the National Association of System Heads; founding director of the Delta Cost Project; vice president for government relations for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; deputy director for the California Postsecondary Education Commission; and staff director of the California Assembly Ways and Means Committee. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.