NWCCU Annual Conference

Promoting Economic and Social Mobility

November 18-20, 2020 – Hosted virtually on Zoom
Event Schedule Speakers Sponsors


Brought to you in part by our sponsors:

Pre-Conference Workshops

Wednesday, November 18th

-Draft Agenda, subject to change-

(Listed in Pacific Time)  
8:30 am – 10:30 am NWCCU Retention, Completion, and Student Success Academy Moderator: Mac Powell, Senior Vice President, NWCCU Presentation by Complete College of America to the 2020 Academy. (Invitation Only)
9:00 am – 11:00 am ALO Training on the 2020 Eligibility Requirements and Standards Moderator: Pamela Goad, Executive Vice President, NWCCU An introductory overview of the 2020 Accreditation Standards, an interactive exercise, and discussion of exhibits and materials in preparation for NWCCU evaluations.
10:30 am – 11:30 am NWCCU Mission Fulfillment Fellowship

Moderator: Mac Powell, Senior Vice President, NWCCU

Presentation Meeting for Year One Fellows. (Invitation Only)
10:00 am – 11:00 am New CEOs Workshop Moderator: Sonny Ramaswamy, President, NWCCU NWCCU’s workshop for Presidents, Chancellors, CEOs, Board Chairs, Commissioners, and State Regulatory Agency Representatives.
11:00 am – 12:00 pm NWCCU Annual Meeting Moderator: Sonny Ramaswamy, President, NWCCU Year in Review of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. (Open to Presidents, CEOs, and/or their designee)
11:30 am – 3:00 pm NWCCU Mission Fulfillment Fellowship Moderator: Mac Powell, Senior Vice President, NWCCU NWCCU Mission Fulfillment Fellows present final projects applying mission fulfillment best practices to an institutional challenge/opportunity at their institution.
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ALO Training on the 2020 Eligibility Requirements and Standards Moderator: Pamela Goad, Executive Vice President, NWCCU An introductory overview of the 2020 Accreditation Standards, an interactive exercise, and discussion of exhibits and materials in preparation for NWCCU evaluations.
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm Presidential Workshop Moderator: Sonny Ramaswamy, President, NWCCU NWCCU’s President presents a panel covering topics that are at the fore of higher education, especially as seen through the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts.
  Impact of the General Elections on Higher Education
Speaker: Terry Hartle, American Council on Education  
  A Student-Focused Approach to Assessing Institutional Financial Health: Confronting Financial Challenges Exacerbated by COVID-19 Speaker: Kasia Lundy and Jourdan Sutton, Ernst & Young – Parthenon  
  Planning for Student Success Speaker: Nick Santilli, Society for College and University Planning  
The Value of Regional Accreditation in the Future
Speaker: Jeff Fox, College of South Idaho (retired)  
  Stewards of Place: AASCU institutions as engines of social and economic mobility Speaker: Mildred García,  American Association of State Colleges and Universities  
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm NWCCU Mission Fulfillment Fellowship
Moderator: Mac Powell, Senior Vice President, NWCCU Presentations by Year Two Fellows. (Invitation Only)


Annual Conference Agenda

Thursday, November 19th

-Draft Agenda, subject to change-

(Listed in Pacific Time)
8:30 am Welcome and Conference Kick-Off
    Sonny Ramaswamy, President, NWCCU
8:45 am Plenary Session One
    Equitable Value: Our shared journey to strengthen the postsecondary student success movement | Patrick Methvin, Director of Postsecondary Success, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Tribal Colleges & Universities: Equity & Justice Reside in Place-based, Cultural Education | Cheryl Crazy Bull, President & CEO, American Indian College Fund
    Investing in Black Academic Lives Beyond Degree Completion | Sharon Fries-Britt, University of Maryland
11:15 am The Beacon Awards
    Thayne McCulloh, President, Gonzaga University and NWCCU Board Chair
1:00 pm Plenary Session Two
    Pandemic as Opportunity: Closing the Equity Gap | Patricia McGuire, Trinity Washington University
    The New Digital Imperative for Education | Rob Acker, CEO Salesforce.org and Nathalie Mainland, SVP & GM, Education Cloud
    Why Student Experience Matters | Jeff Raikes, Raikes Foundation
    Education Transformation in the New Normal  | Anthony Salcito, Microsoft
4:30 pm Wrap-Up, Day One
5:30 pm Optional Reception Rooms


Friday, November 20th

-Draft Agenda, subject to change-

(Listed in Pacific Time)
8:30 am Plenary Session Three
    30 Million Students by 2030: Growing the Market for Higher Ed | Matt Sigelman, Burning-Glass Technologies
    College Affordability, Student Debt, and Student Success | Sandy Baum, Urban Institute
    To create access, we must have quality | Ana Mari Cauce, University of Washington
    Ensuring Postsecondary Education Leads to Equitable Economic Mobility | Jennifer Engle, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
12:00 pm Wrap-Up and Adjourn


Featured Speakers

Dr. Sandy Baum is a nonresident senior fellow at the Urban Institute and professor emerita of economics at Skidmore College. Dr. Baum earned her B.A. in sociology at Bryn Mawr College, where she is currently a member of the Board of Trustees, and her Ph.D. in economics at Columbia University. She has written and spoken extensively on issues relating to college access, college pricing, student aid policy, student debt, affordability, and other aspects of higher education finance.

Dr. Baum co-authored the College Board’s annual publications Trends in Student Aid and Trends in College Pricing from 2002 through 2019. Through the College Board and the Brookings Institution, she has chaired major study groups that released proposals for reforming federal and state student aid. She has published numerous articles on higher education finance in professional journals, books, and the trade press. She is the principle researcher on the Urban Institute’s website on college affordability and her recent work includes Urban Institute briefs on Federal Work Study, Parent PLUS loans, and college endowments. She is the author of Student Debt: Rhetoric and Realities of Higher Education Financing (Palgrave Macmillan 2016) and co-author with Harry Holzer of Making College Work: Pathways to Success for Disadvantaged Students (Brookings Institution Press 2017).

Ana Mari Cauce is the 33rd president of the University of Washington where she has been a member of the faculty since 1986. A graduate of the University of Miami and Yale University, she is a noted scholar on risk and resilience among adolescents and has received numerous awards for her research as well as the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Before becoming president in 2015, she served as chair of the Departments of American Ethnic Studies and Psychology, as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and as provost, the University’s chief academic officer. In 2008, she played a key role in establishing the Husky Promise, a program that has helped more than 40,000 low-income students attend the UW. Since becoming president, Cauce has put a spotlight on the UW’s work in Population Health across the University, launched the University’s Race & Equity Initiative and been a champion for ensuring the UW and public higher education across the country remain accessible and affordable for all students. As president, and throughout her tenure, she has worked to advance the University’s mission of serving the public good by focusing on the UW’s impact on the lives of the people in Washington and throughout the world. 

Cheryl Crazy Bull, Wacinyanpi Win (They Depend on Her), Sicangu Lakota, is President & CEO of the American Indian College Fund, serving since 2012. A lifelong educator and community activist, Cheryl is an advocate for self-determination focused on Native voice, philosophy, and traditions as the heart of the people’s work in building prosperity for current and future generations.
Cheryl’s experience includes serving Sinte Gleska University as a faculty member, department chair, Dean of Academic Affairs and Vice-President of Administration, St. Francis Indian School as Chief Educational Officer and 10 years as President of Northwest Indian College.

She is on the board of IllumiNative, an organization that focuses on a widespread accurate narrative about Indigenous people, Native Ways Federation, a national association of Native non-profits, and serves on the State Higher Education Executive Officers Organization (SHEEO) Equity Advisory Committee.
She has an honorary cultural degree from Sinte Gleska University, an honorary doctorate from Seattle University, and other awards for her leadership as a Native educator and Native woman.

In 2015 she was named by Indian Country Today magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in Indian Country. In 2017 she was one of two American Indian women leaders honored by National Indian Women’s “Supporting Each Other” group. The Native American Finance Officers Association honored her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in October 2019. In March of 2020, CBS paid tribute to Crazy Bull, along with six other women, as an example of what it means to challenge and overcome stereotypes and biases in their industries as part of a series of CBS CARES public service announcements. Working Mother Media named her the Legacy Awardee at their Multicultural Women’s Conference in July 2020.

Jennifer Engle, deputy director of Data, leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s team responsible for improving the quality and use of data across the education to workforce pipeline. This work aims to empower practitioners and policymakers with the critical information they need to implement evidence-based reforms to equitably improve educational outcomes.

Jennifer is a noted national expert and leader in the field. From the Pell Institute to the Education Trust to the Institute for Higher Education Policy, she has focused on improving college access, affordability, completion, and value for underserved students throughout her career. For her, it is a professional passion that comes from her personal experience as the first in her family to go to college. As a researcher and an advocate, Jennifer has focused her work on using data and evidence to call attention to and close equity gaps in education. At the Education Trust, she managed College Results Online and led data collection, analysis, and use for postsecondary leaders in the Access to Success Initiative. At the Institute for Higher Education Policy, she launched the Postsecondary Data Collaborative to organize collective action in the field to improve the quality of national data systems to reflect the experiences of today’s diverse students. At the foundation, Jennifer is currently leading efforts to create a cross-division strategy to improve the education to workforce data ecosystem in the U.S. and to develop a framework for measuring equity gaps in post-college outcomes through the Postsecondary Value Commission.

Jennifer received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Education from American University and lives and works in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Sharon Fries-Britt is a Professor of Higher Education at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar Teacher. Her research examines the experiences of high achieving Blacks in higher education, underrepresented minorities (URMs) in STEM fields and issues of race, equity and diversity.

Her recent research projects have examined the relationship building of Black males and faculty in STEM and within group experiences of native and non-native Blacks in higher education. Dr. Fries-Britt was a member of the American Institutes of Physics (AIP) National Task Force (2018-2020) to Elevate African American Representation (TEAM-UP) in physics. She is a co-principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant (2018-2021) to explore the academic trajectories of Black transfer engineering students from community colleges. She is one of the faculty co-leads of a national case study of the University of Missouri recovery process following the campus racial unrest of 2015. This work in collaboration with the American Council on Education (ACE) has resulted in two national monographs Speaking Truth and Acting With Integrity Confronting Challenges of Campus Racial Climate  (2018) and Leading After a Racial Crisis: Weaving a Campus Tapestry of Diversity and Inclusion (2020).

Prior to her academic career she served as a senior level administrator in higher education and she has consulted extensively with colleges and universities, foundations, governmental agencies, national organizations and private industry on issues of race, equity, diversity and leadership.

Jeff Fox retired from the College of Southern Idaho in May 2020. Prior to being president, he was the CAO and Executive Vice President at CSI and also Accreditation Liaison Officer. He served as an evaluator for the NWCCU from 2008 to 2014 when he was selected as NWCCU Commissioner, and he served in that capacity from 2014 until spring 2020.

Fox has been on various commissions and committees at the regional, state, and local levels in areas of higher education policy and funding, leadership development, and health care. He is past chair of the Idaho Humanities Council and the Friends of Idaho Public Television.

Dr. Mildred García assumed the presidency of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) on January 22, 2018.

As AASCU’s president, Dr. García is an advocate for public higher education at the national level, working to influence federal policy and regulations on behalf of nearly 400 member colleges and universities. She is the first Latina to lead one of the six presidentially-based higher education associations in Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining AASCU, Dr. García served as the president of California State University, Fullerton, the fourth largest university in the state, serving nearly 39,000 students. Prior to her arrival in the CSU, President García served as the CEO of Berkeley College, a forprofit institution, where she was the first system-wide president for all six campuses.

She has held both academic and senior-level positions at Arizona State University; Montclair State University; Pennsylvania State University; Teachers College, Columbia University; and the Hostos, LaGuardia, and City Colleges of the City University of New York. 

Dr. García has received myriad honors and awards, including the Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Hispanics in 2007; the Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s Top 25 Women in Higher Education in 2013; the Distinguished Alumni Award at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2015; and the Dorothy Height Distinguished Alumni Award from the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development in 2018. García was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, the U.S. Secretary of Defense to serve on Air University’s Board of Visitors, and the U.S. Secretary of Education to serve on the Committee on Measures of Student Success. She presently co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Value Commission, chairs the TIAA Inclusion and Diversity Council and sits on the Boards of ETS, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), American Academic Leadership Institute (AALI), and the California Higher Education Recovery Equity Taskforce.

A first-generation college student, President García earned a Doctor of Education degree and a M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Columbia University, Teachers College; a M.A. in Business Education/Higher Education from New York University; a B.S. in Business Education from Baruch College, City University of New York; and an A.A.S. from New York City Community College.

Terry W. Hartle is one of America’s most effective and experienced advocates for higher education. At ACE, where he has served for more than 20 years, he directs comprehensive efforts to engage federal policymakers on a broad range of issues including student aid, government regulation, scientific research and tax policy. His work involves representation before the U.S. Congress, administrative agencies and the federal courts. As an expert voice on behalf of colleges and universities, he is quoted widely in the national and international media on higher education issues.

Given ACE’s historic role in coordinating the government relations efforts of some 60 associations in the Washington-based higher education community, Hartle plays a central part in developing public policy positions that impact all colleges and universities, and also oversees the Council’s external relations functions.

Prior to joining the council in 1993, Hartle served for six years as education staff director for the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, then chaired by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Prior to 1987, he was director of social policy studies and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a research scientist at the Educational Testing Service. Hartle has authored or co-authored numerous articles, books, and national studies and contributes regular book reviews to The Christian Science Monitor. He is a member of the Smith College Board of Trustees.

Hartle received a doctorate in public policy from The George Washington University (GWU), a master’s in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in history (summa cum laude) from Hiram College. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree by Northeastern University. He has received the GWU President’s Medal, the Hiram College Alumni Achievement Award, and has been inducted into the Hiram College Athletic Hall of Fame. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.​​​​​​

Kasia Lundy is a partner in the Education practice of EY-Parthenon, a division within Ernst & Young LLP (EY), and the U.S. Higher Education Lead for EY. She has 25 years of experience overall and has spent the last 17 years working closely with higher education institutions. From 2003 to 2009, Kasia served as Chief of Staff to three Harvard University presidents. In this role, she oversaw the operations of seven units reporting to the President’s Office and was responsible for driving strategic initiatives university-wide on behalf of the president and provost.

Since rejoining EY-Parthenon in 2009, Kasia has focused on education sector engagements in both K-12 and higher education. Kasia’s education clients include private foundations, state education agencies, school districts, state departments of higher education and coordinating boards, public university systems, public higher education institutions and private non-profit higher education institutions. Her higher education engagements have included strategic planning, governance and organization structure design, revenue-generating strategies (online strategies, program development, alternative revenues), academic outcome improvement strategies, operational efficiency improvement strategies, and mergers and acquisitions support (target identification, due diligence, programmatic and financial analysis, negotiation support, and integration support).

Kasia received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. She serves on the board of Inspire, a national volunteer organization that provides consulting services to nonprofit organizations focused on education and youth development. She is a frequent writer and speaker about higher education strategy and transformation initiatives.



Patricia McGuire has been president of Trinity since 1989. Previously, she was the assistant dean for development and external affairs at Georgetown University Law Center where she was also an adjunct professor of law. She began her career after law school as the project director for the Street Law clinical program at Georgetown. President McGuire serves on a number of boards including the Consortium of Universities, Cafritz Foundation, Catholic Charities DC, and the Ameritas Holding Company. Her prior board service includes the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Meyer Foundation, the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, United Educators and numerous other organizations. In 2018 she received the Association of Catholic Colleges Distinguished Service Award.

In 2016, the TIAA Institute honored President McGuire with the Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence. In 2015 President McGuire received the Carnegie Award for Academic Leadership from the Carnegie Corporation. In 2012 she received the Henry Paley Award from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. In 2010 she received the Alexander Meiklejohn Award for Academic Freedom from the American Association of University Professors. She holds honorary degrees from several universities including Georgetown, Howard, Chatham, Emmanuel, Saint Michael’s, Liverpool Hope, and others.

She has received recognition in the Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, Washington Business Journal and other media outlets. In 2007 she was named “Leader of the Years” by the Greater Washington Board of Trade. She earned her law degree at Georgetown and her baccalaureate degree cum laude at Trinity.

Patrick Methvin, director of Postsecondary Success in the United States Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, oversees work designed to significantly increase the number of Americans achieving a post-high school credential and eliminate educational attainment disparities by race and income.

Previously, Patrick served as deputy director for the Postsecondary Success strategy, focusing on the adoption and scaling of innovations associated with improving student success and institutional sustainability. Prior to joining the foundation in 2013, Patrick served as a principal in the Boston Consulting Group’s Social Impact and Consumer Goods Practice Areas. In the Social Impact Practice, Patrick supported higher education institutions in managing operating model changes necessitated by their rapidly changing funding environments. He also supported K-12 transformation at the state, district, and charter school organization levels.

Patrick holds an MBA from the Wharton School, a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar.

Jeff Raikes is the co-founder of the Raikes Foundation with his wife, Tricia. The foundation works toward a just and inclusive society where all young people have the support they need to reach their full potential. The foundation also works to increase the effectiveness of philanthropic giving through its Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative.

Based in Seattle, the Raikes Foundation focuses on creating a more equitable education system so that all students can thrive, preventing and ending youth homelessness nationwide, and helping individual donors and philanthropic organizations increase the impact of their giving.

From 2008 to 2014, Jeff was the chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led the foundation’s efforts to promote equity for all people around the world. During his more than five years there, Jeff set strategic priorities, oversaw significant growth of the organization, and facilitated relationships with key partners. In 2011 he was named the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Executive of the Year.

Before joining the Gates Foundation, Jeff was a member of Microsoft’s senior leadership team, which sets overall strategy and direction for the company. Jeff was president of the Microsoft Business Division and oversaw the Information Worker, Server & Tools Business and Microsoft Business Solutions groups. He previously served as group vice president of the Worldwide Sales and Support Group, where he was responsible for providing strategic leadership for Microsoft’s sales, marketing, and service initiatives. Before that, he served as senior vice president of Microsoft North America.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University.

Anthony Salcito, as Microsoft’s Vice President of Education, works to help empower educators and inspire students to achieve more. He aims to transform the way we learn with the support of the best technology to help build critical skills for the modern, global workplace.

Prior to taking the role of Vice President, Education in 2009, Salcito was general manager of education in the United States, supporting schools and universities across the country. During this time, he helped launch the company’s cornerstone education programs. He was also at the center of Microsoft’s involvement in the creation of the School of the Future – a pioneering partnership with the School District of Philadelphia and now the first of many Microsoft Showcase Schools around the world.

Salcito spent his early years at Microsoft architecting high profile product launches for Windows NT and Windows 95. He is involved with a variety of outreach projects; has served on the board of directors for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Western Governors University, Stevens Institute of Technology WebCampus, and currently serves on the boards of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Teach.org and the European Foundation for Management Development.

With a belief that educators will forever be the heroes of the classroom, Salcito authors Daily Edventures, which highlights the inspiring stories of educators, students, education thought leaders and school leaders from around the world. He has also helped author a book on Education Transformation which serves as a reference guide for schools looking to drive innovation to enhance student outcomes.

Dr. Nicholas R. Santilli,  serves as Senior Director for Learning Strategy for the Society for College and University Planning. In this role, he drives the development of learning content for individual practitioners and institutions looking to build the professional competencies of their faculty and staff. He is also the lead for the SCUP Planning Institute, the premier professional development program to create institutional capacity for integrated planning in higher education.

Dr. Santilli is professor emeritus of psychology at John Carroll University. In addition, he held several positions in academic administration at John Carroll University, including Interim Provost and Academic Vice President and Associate Provost for Accreditation, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness. He was also Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Notre Dame College of Ohio.

In 2003, Dr. Santilli completed the prestigious American Council on Education Fellowship.  The ACE Fellowship is the signature higher education leadership program and spent a year working with college and university presidents, provosts, and vice presidents on topics including; strategic planning and assessment, budgets and finance, government relations, admissions and financial aid, and leadership in higher education.

Dr. Santilli has been a member and officer on several community and professional boards.  He was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the ACE Fellows program of the American Council on Education. Prior to joining the SCUP staff, he co-chaired two SCUP annual conferences; served on the SCUP Board of Directors for three years, two years as chair, and served as a Planning Institute facilitator.

Matt Sigelman is CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, a leading labor market analytics firm. For more than a decade, he has led Burning Glass in harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence technologies that have cracked the genetic code of the job market.  Powered by the world’s largest and most sophisticated database of jobs and talent, Burning Glass delivers real-time data and breakthrough planning tools that inform careers, define academic programs, and shape workforces. Burning Glass has helped to fill millions of jobs and its data drive initiatives for more than a dozen state and national governments. Matt is consulted frequently by national media, by researchers, and the White House. He served previously with McKinsey & Company and Capital One. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard.

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