Articles & Updates

Commission Announces Interim President

Nov. 30, 2017 ⋅ Categories: NWCCU, President

To: Presidents and ALOs of Member and Candidate Institutions

From: Dr. Joe Brimhall, Chair NWCCU

Subject: Appointment of Dr. Marlene Moore as Interim President

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has appointed Dr. Marlene Moore as President of the Commission for an interim period beginning November 1, 2017, while it conducts a national search for a permanent president. Dr. Moore has served on the Commission and its Executive Committee since 2016. Over the past twenty years, she has worked with NWCCU as an evaluator, chair of evaluation teams, and workshop facilitator. She is a strong academic leader who has an astute understanding of the relationship between our higher education institutions and institutional accreditation.

Dr. Moore’s academic career spans forty years as a biology professor and administrator at University of Portland and Willamette University. Before retiring, she was Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College at Willamette. A native Texan, she earned her Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine before moving to Oregon for post-doctoral studies at Oregon Health Sciences University.

As a first-generation college student from a family that did not believe in educating women, she personally has experienced the transformative power of higher education. That education was made possible to her through scholarships, grants, and federal support for students from low-income families. Dr. Moore says that her greatest joy as an academic professor and administrator has been the opportunity to give-back to the enterprise of higher education through her teaching, advising, administrative positions, and work with institutional accreditation. She lives in Oregon with her husband Zia Yamayee (Emeritus Professor and former dean of the Schools of Engineering at both Gonzaga and University of Portland).

The Board of Commissioners would also like to express its appreciation to President Sandra Elman for her 21 years of distinguished service. Among her many accomplishments, she will perhaps be most remembered for her steadfast commitment to upholding the norms and values of academe, the integrity of the Commission, and honoring the unique character of each institution. We wish her the very best in the years ahead.

Dr. Marlene Moore may be reached at Please join me in welcoming her to this position.