NTNM | Staff

Staff and Consultants

Below are the WICHE staff and consultants who are available to you as resources in the project’s specific areas – academic affairs, communications, data, financing/financial aid, and student services.


Academic Affairs

Demarée K. Michelau is the director of policy analysis at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The author of numerous education reports, policy briefs, and magazine articles, she has experience in higher education policy on issues such as college affordability and access, accelerated learning options, K-16 reform, and postsecondary remedial education. Previously, she worked for the National Conference of State Legislatures as a policy specialist. Michelau received her bachelor's degree in public law from Northern Illinois University and her master's degree in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate.
dmichelau@wiche.edu or 303.541.0223

Russell Poulin is deputy director, research and analysis, for the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications. WCET accelerates the adoption of effective practices and policies, advancing excellence in technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education. Based in Boulder, Colorado, WCET’s membership represents 46 states and 8 countries. Russ helps find answers to e-learning questions facing WCT members. He also works on projects, such as: directing the Transparency by Design project and its CollegeChoicesforAdults.org website; directing WCET’s work on the management, financing, and services of elearning consortia; and coordinating with the Campus Computing Project on the Managing Online Education survey. Previously, Russ coordinated distance education activities for the North Dakota University System. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics and a Master’s in Statistics and Research Methodology. rpoulin@wiche.edu or 303.541.0305.



Terry Bower, consultant, provides strategic counsel to colleges, universities, and organizations that support them; her areas of expertise include communications strategy, branding and positioning, partnership development, fundraising, program development and management, and training and facilitation. Bower has developed and marketed educational programs at the University of Maryland and the George Washington University, managed fundraising communications at NYU and developed online curricula for the University of Phoenix. She has also worked with a range of higher education organizations, including the College Board, the Lumina Foundation for Education, and the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce, just to name a few. Bower has served as an adjunct faculty member at Mesa Community College and Montgomery College, and is currently an adjunct faculty member at Strayer University Online. She lives in Washington, DC. terrybower1@gmail.com 202.222.5243



James Purcell, director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, previously served as associate vice chancellor for strategic planning and analysis for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Jim actively participated in the development of the Oklahoma State Regents Public Agenda and played a key leadership role in advancing two of the six agenda items: a state-wide adult degree completion program and higher education’s response to the healthcare worker shortage. He has served in positions in institutional research, planning, and assessment in public, private, two-year, and four-year institutions in Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. Academic preparation includes a BS in Public Administration from Auburn University, an M. Ed. in Counseling from the University of Montevallo, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama. Jim’s efforts in institutional effectiveness are wide and varied with extensive experience in student placement, academic and student affairs program review, academic program development, program entrance requirements, course evaluations, grade distributions, student retention and graduation. He has served as a speaker for ACT on student assessment in five states and served as a keynote speaker for six state or regional conferences on institutional research and assessment. He has served as a consultant to more than a dozen college campuses, organizations and businesses. Active in professional organizations, Jim was president of the Southern Association for Institutional Research in 2003-2004.
jpurcell@adhe.edu or 501.416.9492


Financing/Financial Aid

David A. Longanecker has served as the president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education in Boulder, CO, since 1999. WICHE is a regional compact between 15 Western states created to assure access and excellence in higher education through collaboration and resource sharing among the higher education systems of the West. Previously, Longanecker served for six years as the assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to that he was the state higher education executive officer (SHEEO) in Colorado and Minnesota. He was also the principal analyst for higher education for the Congressional Budget Office. Longanecker has served on numerous boards and commissions. He has written extensively on a range of higher education issues. His primary interests in higher education are: expanding access to successful completion for students within all sectors of higher education, promoting student and institutional performance, assuring efficient and effective finance and financial aid strategies, and fostering effective use of educational technologies, all for the purpose of sustaining the nation’s strength in the world and increasing quality of life for all Americans, particularly those who have traditionally been left out in the past. He holds an Ed.D. from Stanford University, an M.A. in student personnel work from George Washington University, and a B.A. in sociology from Washington State University.


Student Services

LeRoy Walser has substantial professional development, training, administrative, evaluation, and instructional experience at multiple levels of education and business including local school districts, federal government, universities, private sector, and social service organizations. He has researched, designed, and implemented new education and work delivery systems based on continuous improvement strategies and quality theories, trained and managed staffs, evaluated projects and programs, and provides organizational development consultations for education and private sector organizations. With expertise at setting up data rich environments where data can be used as an effective management tool, preparing organization staff to be ready for accepting responsibility for managing growth and improvement, and developing strategic collaborations among community organizations.  Dr. Walser is available to apply his knowledge and skills in evaluation, grant preparation, and development strategies for most organizations, and can do it in English or Spanish.  Dr. Walser is CEO of his own Oklahoma based company, Choosing Excellence LLC. flwalser@cox.net or 405.822.6704