The Board deliberates on and decides the official action on all recommendations for institutions placed on notice or probation and their removal from such status, withdrawal of affiliation, and application for initial candidacy or initial accreditation, and request for change of institutional control, structure, or organization. The Board issues and removes all show-cause orders. When the Board decides on an official action, it does so by majority vote of those attending a meeting and eligible to vote.
Board of Trustees
Dr. Gary S. Wheeler, President, Glen Oaks Community College
Dr. Gary Wheeler currently serves as the President of Glen Oaks Community College in Michigan. He has had a variety of roles in the Higher Learning Commission Peer Review Corps and chaired many on-site evaluations. He also served on various committees and task forces for the Commission. Dr. Wheeler’s prior experience includes President of Gogebic Community College and Associate Executive Director for the Middletown Campus of Miami University. At Miami University his service also included Acting Executive Director of the Middletown Campus, Director of Continuing Education and Business & Industry Center, and Professor, American Studies and Art History Scholar-in-Residence, Center for American and World Cultures. Dr. Wheeler holds a B.F.A. from the University of Connecticut, an M.F.A. from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. from Union Institute and University.
Dr. David R. Anderson, President, Saint Olaf College
Dr. David Anderson serves as the 11th president of his alma mater, St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Founded in 1874 by Norwegian Lutheran immigrants, St. Olaf is a nationally ranked residential liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, distinctive both for its academic excellence and its history of educational innovation. Dr. Anderson previously served as Provost, Denison University; Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Luther College; Professor and Chair, Department of English, Florida Atlantic University; Associate Professor of English, Texas A&M University; Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Kansas; and Assistant Professor of English, St. Olaf College. Dr. Anderson holds a B.A. from St. Olaf College and a Ph.D. from Boston College.
Dr. Joanne M. Burrows, S.C., President, Clarke University
Sister Joanne Burrows became the 15th president of Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, in July 2006. Throughout her presidency, she has been instrumental in helping the institution clarify its future vision and implement steps to achieve it. Prior to joining the Clarke University community, Burrows served as the chief academic officer of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana, in various roles at Indiana State University, and in positions at Holy Names College in California and College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio. She holds a Ph.D. in higher education from The Ohio State University, a M.A. in theology from the Graduate Theological Union and Jesuit School of Theology, and a B.S. in graphic design from University of Maryland, College Park.
Dr. Michael R. Chipps, President, Northeast Community College
Dr. Michael Chipps is the president of Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska, and previously served as president for Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Nebraska. Prior to these presidencies, he served as vice-president and chief executive officer of North Platte Community College in Nebraska and held multiple instructional, student affairs, and administrative positions in Central Community College in Nebraska. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration, Curriculum, and Instruction with a specialization in Management of Colleges and Universities from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He also holds a M.S. in Education with a specialization in Counseling from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a B.S. in Education with a major in Sociology and a minor in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In addition, Dr. Chipps served 21 years in the United States Army Reserve and retired as a Major in 1995.
Ms. Christine Downey-Schmidt, Former Member, Kansas Board of Regents
A public member of the Board, Christine Downey-Schmidt served on the Kansas Board of Regents from 2005 to June 2013. She was a member of the Board’s Academic Affairs, CEO Assessment, and Fiscal Affairs Committees, and served as Chair from 2007-2008 and as Vice Chair from 2006-2007. A former Kansas State Senator, Ms. Downey-Schmidt was elected to three four-year terms, serving from 1992 to 2004. As a State Senator, she served as the Ranking Minority Member of the Ways and Means, Education, and Agriculture Committees. In addition, she taught for 20 years in the public education system and served as an adjunct professor for seven years at Bethel College in North Newton. She received a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.S. in Education Administration and Supervision from Wichita State University.
Dr. Timothy S. Hartshorne, Professor of Psychology, Central Michigan University
Dr. Timothy Hartshorne teaches in the accredited doctoral and specialist programs in School Psychology and has served as the School Psychology Program Director and the Chair of the Department of Psychology. His research focuses on CHARGE syndrome, a genetic disorder, and he is an internationally known expert in this field. Dr. Hartshorne has also served as Assistant Vice Provost at Central Michigan University as well as Assistant Professor of Counseling and School Psychology at Wichita State University, where he also served as the Director of the School Psychology Program and Graduate Coordinator for the Counseling and School Psychology unit. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in Counseling from Colgate University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Grinnell College.
Dr. Robert C. Helmer, President, Baldwin Wallace University
The ninth president of Baldwin Wallace University, Dr. Robert Helmer has established himself as a dynamic leader in higher education with demonstrated strengths in curriculum development, enrollment, campus life, fund raising, and facility development. Dr. Helmer recently served as president of Lourdes University in Ohio, and prior to that position, served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and a faculty member. Dr. Helmer also served in teaching and research capacities at Marquette University, Indiana University, and Ancilla College. He holds degrees from the University of Notre Dame and The Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, and received a Ph.D. from Marquette University as well as a J.D. from the University of Toledo.
Dr. Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dominican University
Dr. Cheryl Johnson-Odim is Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Her responsibilities include overseeing the hiring and promotion and tenure review of faculty members, curriculum development and oversight of all academic budgets. Her prior experience includes Professor of History and Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Columbia College Chicago and Chairperson of the History Department and Professor of History at Loyola University Chicago. She has also taught at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Dr. Johnson-Odim holds a B.A. from Youngstown State University and a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University; she was also a Fulbright Fellow in Nigeria.
Dr. Joan M. Lescinski, C.S.J., President/CEO, St. Ambrose University
Sister Joan Lescinski is the 13th president of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. St. Ambrose University, founded in 1882 by the Diocese of Davenport, currently enrolls nearly 3,800 students, approximately 900 of which are at the graduate level. Currently, she is leading strategic planning and facilities master planning efforts at the University after the successful completion of a comprehensive campaign for $77 million. Lescinski also served as President of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, the oldest Catholic liberal arts college for women in the country. Prior to that, she was Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean at Fontbonne University in Missouri; Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Avila University in Missouri; and Professor of English at the College of St. Rose in New York. Lescinski earned a doctorate in English literature from Brown University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the College of St. Rose. In addition, she holds certificates in Fundraising Management and Educational Management from Indiana and Harvard Universities, respectively. She is a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Cynthia A. Lindquist, President, Cankdeska Cikana Community College
Dr. Cynthia Lindquist is the president of Cankdeska Cikana Community College, which serves the Spirit Lake Dakota community and her home reservation. She is an adjunct faculty member in Community Medicine & Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Heath Sciences. She was appointed by President Bush to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education and was a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. Dr. Lindquist holds a bachelor’s degree in Indian Studies and English from the University of North Dakota, a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on Indian health systems from the University of South Dakota, and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Dakota.
Dr. Nancy E. Mathews, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Nancy Mathews is currently a professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Director of the Morgridge Center for Public Service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She directed the 2009 Reaccreditation for the University of Wisconsin – Madison and served as a peer reviewer for the Commission. Her prior experience includes serving as the Assistant Unit Leader for the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Assistant Research Professor at Texas Tech University, Research Associate at the University of Georgia-Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, and Biologist at EG&G, Energy Measurements in California. Dr. Mathews holds a B.S. in Biology from The Pennsylvania State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Forest Biology from the State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Ms. Elizabeth Menzer, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, MetaStar
Ms. Elizabeth “Liz” Menzer serves as a public member of the Board and is Vice President of Marketing and Communications for MetaStar, a non-profit entity designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as Wisconsin’s Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) contractor. She also serves as Executive Director of the Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence, which promotes continuous improvement and the use of a “systems” framework to help organizations maximize efficiency, profitability, quality and sustainability, and recognizes great organizations with the Wisconsin Forward Award. She is an Alumni Examiner for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and serves as a Baldrige National Quality Program training facilitator. She was the co-leader of the 2007 Baldrige training case study team, the first case study in the new non-profit eligibility category. She has led two international Baldrige-based site visits and served as a site visit mentor and judge for the United States Army Communities of Excellence program. Ms. Menzer holds a B.S. in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Mr. R. Dale Moretz, Managing Member, Moretz Technologies, LLC
Mr. Dale Moretz serves as a public member on the Commission Board and is the Managing Member of Moretz Technologies, LLC, located in Jackson, Michigan. In this position, he develops new technologies, primarily in the area of automotive fuel efficiency and product improvement. He also serves on the Board of three additional businesses, of which he is part owner, and works directly with those businesses in the areas of strategic management, product improvement, and operational optimization. His prior experience includes Vice President, Director of Product Development, and part owner of Mid-American Products, Inc., a company he co-founded. He also co-founded and worked for Technique, Inc., a company engaged in precision prototyping utilizing leading edge technologies, and Pentar Stamping, Inc. He serves in various public roles for Jackson County, Michigan. Mr. Moretz holds an A.B. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and has attended the graduate school of the University of Michigan.
Dr. Margaret M. Murdock, Professor of Political Science, University of Wyoming
Maggi Murdock is currently Professor of Political Science at the University of Wyoming. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at Wyoming since 1975. She has served as a lecturer at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy and a visiting faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College (MN). Her prior administrative experience includes serving as the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Outreach School at the University of Wyoming. In this position she was responsible for institutional coordination of outreach programs and managed the Outreach School, which delivers UW degree and certificate programs through distance technologies, oversees Wyoming Public Radio, and provides technology support services. She also served as Dean of the University of Wyoming/Casper College Center. Dr. Murdock holds a B.A. in Political Science from Creighton University in Nebraska and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Political Science from Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Mr. David Nething, Former State Senator, State of North Dakota
A public member of the Board, Dave Nething was a member of the North Dakota Senate from 1966 to 2012 and served as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also served as President Pro Tem of the Senate and was Senate Leader. He is a retired lawyer. Senator Nething has also served as chair of and in other roles for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, on the National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education, and on the National Advisory group for “Making Place Matter.” Senator Nething is a veteran of the Korean War, and graduated from Jamestown College and University of North Dakota law school.
Mr. Ronald L. Taylor, Director and Senior Advisor, DeVry, Inc.
Mr. Ronald Taylor is the Co-Founder and retired Chief Executive Officer of DeVry Inc. He has served on the board of directors of DeVry Inc. since 1987 and on the board of its predecessor company since 1973. Mr. Taylor and a partner co-founded Keller Graduate School of Management (KGSM) in 1973, which acquired DeVry Inc. in 1987 and became a public company in 1991. He was the company’s Chief Operating Officer from 1973 until 2002, when he became co-CEO, and was subsequently appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2004. He retired as CEO in November 2006 and became Senior Advisor to the company. Mr. Taylor earned his master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University in 1971 and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University in 1966. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and served for more than three years as state chair of the U.S. Department of Defense Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Mr. J. Guadalupe Valtierra, Chancellor Emeritus, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana
Mr. Guadalupe Valtierra is currently Chancellor Emeritus of the northwest region of Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. As Chancellor, he was the Chief Executive Officer and responsible for the overall supervision of administrative, managerial, and fiscal functions for the seven county region that includes four campuses located in Gary, Valparaiso, East Chicago, and Michigan City. He provided vision, leadership, and quality assurance for all programs and services delivered throughout the regional with over 6,000 students and 500 courses per semester. Mr. Valtierra’s previous experience includes Regional Dean of Student Affairs and Regional Dean of Academic Affairs at Ivy Tech State College, Director of Purdue University Calumet Upward Bound, Groups Specialist Assistant-Academic Advisor of Indiana University-University Division, and positions at Indiana University School of Education. Mr. Valtierra is an Attorney Member of the Indiana Bar. He holds a J.D. from Indiana University School of Law, a Master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, and an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education from Purdue University.
Mr. James F. Williams, Dean of Library Administration, University of Colorado at Boulder
Mr. James Williams has been Dean of Libraries at the University of Colorado at Boulder since 1988. His current responsibilities include the strategic planning, administration and management of seven libraries on the Boulder campus. His career includes 13 years as a Medical Librarian and 26 years in research library administration. Prior to his deanship at the University of Colorado, he was the Associate Dean of Library Services at Wayne State University, where he also served as the Director of Health Sciences Library and concurrently served as Director of the Kentucky-Ohio-Michigan Regional Medical Library Network. Mr. Williams holds baccalaureate and graduate degrees from Morehouse College and Atlanta University.
Dr. David A. Wissmann, Professor of Sociology, Avila University
Dr. David Wissmann is currently Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Law and Justice Studies at Avila University. He is responsible for the overall leadership and management of the department and has primary teaching responsibilities for undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics and undergraduate courses in research methods. He has also held the positions of Director of the Weekend College and Director of Alternative Programming at Avila University. Current projects include research in the organ donation attitudes and behavior of native persons in British Columbia and a leadership position at Avila in the areas of assessment of student learning and institutional effectiveness. Dr. Wissmann served the Commission as a peer reviewer for many years prior to his appointment to the Board. He holds a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.