Since 1953, Utah has partnered with and benefited from WICHE through regional collaboration, resource-sharing, sound public policy, and innovation.

WICHE Commissioners

*indicates Executive Committee member

Patricia Jones

CEO, Women's Leadership Institute and Member of the Utah Board of Regents

* Ann Millner

Senator, Utah State Legislature

David Woolstenhulme

Commissioner of Higher Education, Utah System of Higher Education

Legislative Advisory Committee

Melissa Ballard

Representative, Utah State Legislature

Michael McKell

Senator, Utah State Legislature

Kelly Miles

Representative, Utah State Legislature

* Ann Millner

Senator, Utah State Legislature


Provides strong return on investment

  • 1,038 Utah residents saved $8 million in 2019-20 through the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) and the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). These WICHE programs provide significant student savings on nonresident tuition at 170+ Western U.S. public colleges and universities.
  • In 2019-20 WICHE Student Access Programs provided Utah a 980 percent return on investment, relative to the state’s annual WICHE dues.
  • Utah students and their families have saved $93 million since the state began participating in WUE.
  • The Master Property Program (MPP) helps institutions reduce their insurance premiums and improve their coverage. The MPP includes more than 170 campuses with total insured values of over $100 billion.

Helps Utah attract students from other states

WICHE maps highlighting Utah student migration
WICHE maps highlighting Utah student migration
  • WUE and WRGP incentivized 3,211 students this year to invest their tuition dollars in Utah.

Bolsters Utah’s health workforce

  • Through the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP), students from Utah can enroll in participating programs in another state while receiving substantial tuition support. Currently, Utah supports students in optometry and podiatry.
  • With support from the Utah Medical Education Council, WICHE’s Behavioral Health Program (BHP) is working with partner agencies to develop a broad and culturally relevant training program to support the preparation and retention of doctoral-level psychologists in Utah. The BHP is facilitating development, helping ensure the program meets American Psychological Association accreditation standards, and assisting with the accreditation process.
  • WICHE, partnering with the University of North Dakota, administers the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC). The Mountain Plains MHTTC serves the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming by establishing a collaborative network that strengthens the capacity of different systems, organizations, and treatment practitioners involved in the delivery of mental health services.

Helps Utah allocate resources efficiently with data and policy analysis

  • WICHE offers various data and policy resources to support better-informed decision-making. WICHE’s research projects and collaborations cover postsecondary completion, closing attainment gaps, adult learners, and multistate data-sharing to support educational planning and workforce development.
  • WICHE staff serve as expert resources and provide technical assistance on finance, financial aid, articulation and transfer, strategic planning, student demographics, and more.
  • Our website features Benchmarks, an interactive dashboard featuring the most recent data available on the West’s progress in improving access to, success in, and the financing of higher education, as well as other useful resources.
  • WICHE’s quadrennial Knocking at the College Door report is regarded as the foremost U.S. resource for projections of college-ready students. An abundance of information can be found on the Knocking website, including publications, reports, projections data, interactive data dashboards, recorded webinars, presentations, and Utah’s state profile.

Fosters idea sharing

  • WICHE’s Legislative Advisory Committee provides valuable insights on trends and promising practices to Utah’s legislative leaders as they build partnerships with leaders in other Western states.
  • Four Utah institutions are members of the Western Academic Leadership Forum (the Forum), a consortium of academic officers at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral institutions and chief executives and academic officers for systems and state governing boards. Utah members include Dixie State University, University of Utah, Utah System of Higher Education, and Utah Valley University. Greg Benson, Utah System of Higher Education, serves on the Forum executive committee. Academic leaders at community colleges (cc) and technical schools and at systems and state governing and coordinating boards associated with two-year institutions are members of the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders (the Alliance). The Utah member of the Alliance is Salt Lake Community College. Clifton Sanders, Salt Lake Community College, serves on the executive committee of the Alliance. Both the Forum and the Alliance exchange ideas and information, share resources and expertise, and collaborate on regional initiatives.
  • Independence University, Salt Lake Community College, University of Utah, Utah Education Network, Utah State University, Utah System of Higher Education, and Western Governors University are all members of WCET, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, the leader in the practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. WCET’s growing membership includes almost 400 institutions, higher education agencies and systems, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and corporations in all U.S. states and several Canadian provinces. Through its Frontiers blog, convenings, and active online discussions, WCET keeps members informed of the latest in policy change, regulations, and trends in educational technology. WCET also offers a host of resources related to educational technology and faculty support including advice and guidance for institutions on how to transition their face-to-face offerings to emergency online alternatives and how to increase quality in these courses over time.
  • The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary, state-led initiative designed to establish comparable standards for U.S. states and territories regulating postsecondary distance education. SARA expands access to postsecondary educational opportunities, while ensuring meaningful consumer protections for students and reducing regulatory red tape for institutions. WICHE is responsible for coordinating the membership of SARA states in the West through the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA). See nc-sara.org/directory for a list of member institutions.
  • The State Authorization Network (SAN) provides institutional support in managing state regulations related to online courses and programs. Utah’s members are: Brigham Young U.-Utah, Broadview U., Dixie State U., Eagle Gate College, LDS Business College, Midwives College of Utah, Newmont U., Rocky Mountain U. of Health Professions, Salt Lake CC, Snow College, Southern Utah U., Stevens-Henager College, U. of Utah, Utah SARA Private institutions, Utah State U., Utah System of Higher Education, Utah Valley U., Weber State U., Western Governors U., and Westminster College.
  • At the outset of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, WICHE quickly reacted, shifted to remote work, and continues to advance our mission. WICHE is facilitating peer-to-peer videoconferences for higher education leaders to connect and identify solutions to common challenges, to follow legislation passed in response to the crisis, and to identify emergency funding for students and higher education institutions. The WICHE BHP is hosting webinars that offer guidance to support the mental well-being of their students, and WCET is providing updates and resources to help institutions address issues that arise due to the COVID-19 outbreak.