Thank You to Ellen Wagner as She Leaves WCET Executive Directorship

Published by: WCET | 1/9/2014

Tags: WCET, WCET Annual Meeting

Late in 2013, WICHE President, David Longanecker, announced that Ellen Wagner is stepping down as Executive Director of WCET as of December 31.  Here is Dr. Longanecker’s announcement to WCET members and a link to a “thank you” that he recorded for Ellen:

Photo of Ellen Wagner
Ellen Wagner

In November 2009, Ellen Wagner accepted my offer to become the Executive Director of WCET.  Through a contract arrangement with Sage Road Solutions, Ellen and her business partner, Beth Davis, have provided exceptional leadership to WCET over the past four years.   Under Ellen’s guidance, WCET has re-established itself as a major national organization in the higher education and technology field.  She’s brought a new vitality to WCET, has helped to build a strong and ever growing membership base, and, with the support of an outstanding staff, has advanced WCET’s influence and reputation as a trusted intermediary on issues related to online, distance education, and e-learning.  

WCET is as solid and strong today as ever.

One of Ellen’s signature initiatives is the PAR Framework — Predictive Analytics Reporting Framework.    As I hope you already know, PAR is focused on using predictive analytics to improve student success for all students, with a focus on online and blended programs.  Analytics in postsecondary education is and will continue to be a key strategic direction for colleges and universities.  I am proud that WCET, with our Sage Road partners, is leading this important work.  

At this time, both PAR and WCET require strong leadership to expand their work.   Thus, Ellen has made the decision to step down as WCET’s executive director, effective December 31, 2013, to focus on PAR’s transition to a self-standing, non-profit organization.  Starting in January, Mollie McGill and Russ Poulin will serve as interim co-executive directors.   I have met with WCET’s Executive Council regarding plans for recruiting a permanent executive director in 2014, and Council members will be directly involved throughout the process.  

In closing, please know that I am so thankful to Ellen for her leadership of WCET.  At the recent annual meeting, we considered doing a public tribute to Ellen but, at Ellen’s request, we did not.  I invite you to view my recorded “thank you” to Ellen for her contributions to the health of a great organization — WCET. 

We will keep the WCET community informed of our executive director search plans.   I’m confident that Russ and Mollie will provide exceptional direction and oversight during this upcoming transition. 

My best wishes for a happy holiday season!

David Longanecker
President, WICHE

On behalf of the WCET community, its leadership, and staff, we wish to express our appreciation for Ellen’s leadership over the last few years.  She will still be around for awhile as she will continue her work on the PAR Framework and on upcoming WCET events.

On a personal note, we both have greatly enjoyed working with Ellen.  Our relationship with her spans many years, as she was once on sabbatical with WCET, served as a consultant, served on the Executive Council, and is now ending her term as Executive Director.  She will continue to be around working on PAR and other WCET activities.  Upon assuming leadership, she put us through a self-examination that lead to needed changes.  WCET now has more members than ever and last year had its best-attended annual meeting.

WCET is a much stronger place because of her leadership.  Thank you Ellen!

Mollie McGill
Interim Co-Executive Director
WCET – WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies

Russ Poulin
Interim Co-Executive Director
WCET – WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies

3 replies on “Thank You to Ellen Wagner as She Leaves WCET Executive Directorship”

I want to share in the “Thank You” message. Ellen has been a great leader and has been very encouraging to all of us involved in this work. PAR will definitely succeed under her leadership.


I wanted to add to the Thank you. Thank you Ellen for your leadership, guidance and wisdom.

Very nice, Mollie and Russ, to add your leadership accolades for Ellen’s many contributions to WCET over its history. You are all such a strong leadership team serving the WCET community superbly and with good humor!


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