Partnering with WICHE since 1953
Executive Director, Arizona Board of Regents
John Arnold was named executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents in July 2018. He is responsible for guiding the board’s strategic plan, with ambitious goals to increase educational attainment by 2025 and to advance the public higher education enterprise to serve students and impact Arizona’s economy. Arnold had served as interim managing director of the board beginning in May 2018, and had joined the board office in March 2015 as vice president of business management and financial affairs, developing financial policies and procedures for the university enterprise, addressing capital development and state budget requests, and coordinating systemwide analysis of complex financial issues.
With more than 20 years serving Arizona, Arnold brings significant public service experience and a deep commitment to higher education to the position. He has an exceptional background in financial affairs and a proven track record of leadership, having served as Gov. Jan Brewer’s state budget director, a role in which he was instrumental in providing fiscal direction and solutions for the state during the Great Recession, and in implementing the budget and advising the governor on related matters. Throughout his career, he has worked with leaders in education from K-12 to college. As director of the Arizona School Facilities Board, he managed programs for new school construction, building renewal, and energy savings. Arnold is married with five children. He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and his master’s degrees in accounting and public administration from Brigham Young University.
President, Northern Arizona University
José Luis Cruz Rivera is the 17th President of Northern Arizona University (NAU). Before joining NAU in 2021, Dr. Cruz Rivera served as President of Lehman College of The City University of New York (CUNY) and as Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost of the 25-campus system. He has also served as provost of California State University, Fullerton, vice president of Higher Education Policy and Practices at The Education Trust in Washington, D.C., and Chief Student Affairs Officer for the University of Puerto Rico system.
A leading national advocate for policies to expand opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all students—especially those who have historically been underserved—Cruz Rivera is a frequent keynote speaker and writer on higher education issues and serves on several regional and national boards of organizations that work to advance equitable educational policies and practices. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
President/CEO, Midwestern University
Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., has since 1995 been president and chief executive officer of Midwestern University, an upper-division institution specializing in graduate-level health professions with two campuses (in Downers Grove, IL and Glendale, AZ) enrolling 7,200 students. Previously, Goeppinger had been a tenured professor and director at Loyola University Chicago for the Institute of Industrial Relations and Center for Organizational Development. Prior to her time in academia, she worked in the private sector as a management consultant in health care and organizational development and held corporate management roles in human resources and training. She has served Midwestern University since 1985, initially serving on the board of trustees and as chairman of the board. She is a member of numerous boards of directors in the Greater Phoenix and Downers Grove areas, and among other honors was named as one of 25 most admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal for her leadership, dedication to, and impact on higher education. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, and her master’s degree in industrial relations and doctorate in comparative international policy from Loyola University in Chicago.