Articles & Updates

NWCCU Presidential Search

Dec. 18, 2017

The Board of Commissioners of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) invites nominations and candidates for its next president and chief executive officer.
With an anticipated hiring date of April 2018, the Board seeks a collaborative, forward-thinking, visionary, and innovative executive who will be a respected voice and thought-leader in the regional, national, and international conversation for independent accreditation in the rapidly changing higher education landscape.

The NWCCU is one of the seven institutional accreditors of postsecondary degree-granting institutions. A distinguishing hallmark of American higher education is its system of regional institutional accreditation bodies. This system supports the variety and richness of higher education institutions, including private and public, along with non-profit and proprietary frameworks.
While providing oversight to ensure quality, integrity, and reliable student learning outcomes, NWCCU like its partner regional bodies, encourages and supports diversity, flexibility, and creativity among its accredited institutions. Through its work, the Commission fosters continuous institutional improvement and assures the membership and its constituencies, including the public, that accredited institutions are fulfilling their missions in service to their students and the public good.

With headquarters in Seattle, NWCCU covers the largest geographical area of all institutional accreditors, encompassing the vibrant and diverse seven states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, as well as including some institutions in British Columbia, Canada. Its 162-member institutions include public, private, tribal, and international colleges and universities, serving about 1.3 million students.

The mission of the NWCCU is to assure educational quality, enhance institutional effectiveness, and foster continuous improvement of colleges and universities in the Northwest region. The commission accomplishes its mission through analytical institutional self-assessment and comprehensive peer-review based upon criteria that are objectively and equitably applied to institutions with diverse missions, characteristics, and cultures.

The twenty-first century has brought fundamental and profound shifts in the values, nature, and control of higher education in the United States. Considering these challenges and opportunities, the Commission seeks a thoughtful, collaborative, and creative president and chief executive who understands that the delivery, acquisition, and accountability of postsecondary learning are rapidly changing.

Embracing the pioneering and innovative spirit of the Northwest, the president will be a leader who works collaboratively with the Commission, its membership, and regional and national accrediting bodies and governmental agencies to assure the quality and vitality of the 162 institutions accredited by the Commission.

The president will be dedicated to the value derived from a diverse network of post-secondary institutions voluntarily engaged in institutional effectiveness and student learning assessments to support high-quality academic programs and foster student success. The president will be a passionate believer in the power of education to change lives, elevate families, and build better futures through the implementation of high academic standards and practices. The president will be a strong and articulate spokesperson for the values and viewpoints of the Commission to stakeholders, the public, and government agencies regionally, nationally, and internationally.

The president will possess a terminal degree and extensive experience in administration and accreditation.

Committed to expanding the quality and diversity of post-secondary education, the president will work collaboratively with higher education constituents to improve success rates among the diverse populations of students served by NWCCU. As such, the president will lead, facilitate, and implement changes in Commission standards that align with the needs and demands of current and future students.

Finally, the president will oversee the administrative and operational functions of the Commission including the management of staff and volunteers.

A full description of qualifications is included in the leadership prospectus for this search at

Full consideration will be given to all applications received by February 9, 2018. Nominations, applications, and inquiries may be made in confidence. Application materials that include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and contact information for five references (who will not be contacted without permission) must be electronically submitted to

Assisting the NWCCU in this search are Ann Die Hasselmo ( and Jay Lemons (, Academic Search, Inc., Washington, D.C.
Further information about NWCCU is available at

The NWCCU is committed to equal employment opportunity and makes employment decisions based on merit. It will not discriminate based on race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, registered domestic partner, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, and medical condition (including pregnancy or childbirth), genetic characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.