WCET Welcomes New 2017 Steering Committee Members

WCET is thrilled to announce the incoming members of our Steering Committee and the continuing members of our Executive Council. The newly elected members will begin their terms at the 2017 WCET Annual Meeting in Denver, CO, October 25 – 27, 2017.

The Steering Committee is representative of the WCET membership, makes recommendations on programmatic issues of interest to the membership, and leads and/or contributes to activities in support of WCET's programs and membership.

WCET congratulates the following individuals on their election to your cooperative’s Steering Committee:

Brenda BoydBrenda Boyd, Senior Academic Director, Program Services, Quality Matters, joins the Steering Committee as a Member at Large Representative. As Senior Academic Director, Program Services for Quality Matters (QM), her responsibilities include oversight of all QM professional development and quality assurance services, including updating the QM Rubric. Brenda’s career includes experience at a community college and two universities, giving her a broad understanding of the best practices used in different types of institutions. She has also led faculty and professional learning communities and worked collaboratively with faculty to co-create over 40 online courses. QM is a non-profit organization dedicated to the improvement of online education.


Van DavisVan Davis, Corporate Representative, is the Associate Vice President of Higher Education Policy & Research at Blackboard where he works on policy issues including CBE, distance education, learning technology, workforce alignment, college affordability, and educational trends. He manages Blackboard’s partnership with WCET and works closely with WCET staff on policy and research projects. Before joining Blackboard, Van was Director of Innovations in Higher Education at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board where he led the development of the first CBE bachelor’s degree in Texas and one of the first multi-institutional CBE programs in the nation. Van also directed Texas’ adult degree completion project, course redesign program, online faculty professional development program, and Texas’ digital learning objects repository. Van speaks extensively on education policy and trends, CBE, and affordability and serves on the Journal of Competency Based Education’s editorial board, UPCEA’s advisory board for the National Center for Online Education, and the board of PelotonU, a 501c3 that supports adult learners enrolled in online CBE programs by providing financial aid and on-the-ground academic and social support services. Van was a history professor and academic administrator and holds a Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S. History with an emphasis in civil rights from Vanderbilt University.


Fred HurstFred Hurst, Vice President for Academic Advancement, Western Governors University, joins the Steering Committee as a Member at Large Representative. Fred serves as a national spokesperson for WGU and competency-based education to the higher education, policy, and quality assurance communities. Fred develops and manages partnerships with higher education institutions, policy organizations, associations, and foundations. Prior positions include Senior Vice President for Extended Campuses at Northern Arizona University (NAU) and architect for NAU’s Personalized Learning competency-based education initiative; Executive Director of the Florida Public Postsecondary Distance Learning Institute. He served as vice chair of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance as an appointee of the U.S. House of Representatives and served the Higher Learning Commission as a member of the Institutional Actions Council (IAC), team chair and consultant-evaluator. Fred received the WCET Richard Jonsen Award in 2013.


Mark JenkinsMark Jenkins is a new Member at Large Representative and Director of eLearning and Open Education, for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Mark has been involved in educational technology and policy for 20 years as a planner, builder and manager of eLearning organizations and programs. He has a long history of strategic planning, organizational transformation, development and promotion of outcomes-based learning, and policy development. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) is a State agency that oversees 34 community and technical colleges. Mark is Director of the eLearning & Open Education group which collaborates with system stakeholders on legislative, technology and policy initiatives to increase student access to and success in E-Learning. With Dr. Boyoung Chae, he was awarded the 2015 Open Research Award for Open Education Excellence, presented by the Open Education Consortium. He has been an invited speaker and participant at national OER conferences and educational technology meetings. Mark is a leader in promoting accessibility in online courses and serves as the Accessibility Coordinator for SBCTC.


Cali MorrisonCali Morrison, your new Proprietary Institution Representative, is the Associate Dean of alternative learning and manages and implements American Public University System’s vision and strategy for creating and sustaining innovative approaches to learning in accordance with the established goals, mission, and strategic plan of the University. Cali manages and leads the current Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) program, the “Momentum”competency-based education program, and is key to expanding offerings such as microcredentials consistent with the emerging vision of APUS and alternative learning best practices in higher education. Other contributions to the greater community include serving on the editorial board for Internet Learning (a peer-reviewed journal), publications in open-access journals and trade publications, serving as a subject matter expert for higher education media as it relates to technology-enhanced higher ed. Prior to joining APUS, Cali served the WCET community as a staffer for 7.5 years, producing communications and managing grants. Cali is passionate about improving access to higher education through innovative and demonstrated models and shouts from the digital rooftops about two soapbox issues, #NoDigitalNatives and #NoSilverBullets and participates in #3wedu & #DLNchat, as well as EdSurge LOOP.


John OpperJohn Opper, new Member at Large Representative, has 13 years of experience working for the Postsecondary Education Planning Commission as a Policy Analyst and Director. He served as Executive Director of the Florida Distance Learning Consortium for 12 years until its merger with the Florida Virtual Campus in 2012 at which time he became Executive Director for Distance Learning and Student Services. He has authored policy studies and recommendations in undergraduate education, academic libraries, funding policy and educational technology. In addition, he has served on a variety of state, regional and national workgroups and boards. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Armstrong State University, a Masters in Education from the University of Georgia, and a PhD from Florida State University.


Jeff RosenJeff Rosen is a new Member at Large Representative who serves as Vice President for Accreditation Relations and Director of the Open Pathway for the Higher Learning Commission. At the Commission, he helped to build the approval protocol for the Commission’s oversight of competency-based education programs, both credit-based and direct assessment, and worked with the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) to articulate best practices in the field. With a background in continuing higher education and workforce development, he has spoken at annual conferences sponsored by UPCEA, WICHE, and C-BEN, and written on the “completion agenda” and the public good. At the Commission, he directs the Visiting Scholars and Interns program, and through the Open Pathway’s Quality Initiative process, promotes the Commission’s commitment to Civic Engagement. Given the widespread growth of online learning, he is particularly interested in how to extend that commitment to the online environment and to competency-based programs. Before joining the Higher Learning Commission, Jeff served as a research university dean, professor of art history, and elected Trustee of a public community college.


Kara Van DamKara Van Dam, new Member at Large Representative, has been an active member of WCET for nearly a decade, and is the co-chair of the WCET annual meeting’s Academic Leadership Forum. Kara serves as Vice Provost and Dean of the Undergraduate School at University of Maryland University College. In this role, she ensures that the school, its faculty, staff and students - overseas and stateside - are supported in rich learning environments, and that the school's more than 30 bachelor's degrees and undergraduate certificates help students develop as competent and confident people and professionals. Previously, she served as UMUC’s vice provost for The Learner & Faculty Experience where she led a large team to design optimum learning experiences for students; and to recruit and retain highly qualified faculty who are supported in effective, innovative instructional methods. In 2015, Kara was a recipient of the 2015 WOW Award for an Open Educational Initiative.


See the continuing Steering Committee Members.

The Executive Council serves as the strategic advisory group to the Executive Director on matters related to membership, annual dues, strategic priorities, policies, and other issues. See the continuing Executive Council Members.