Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities — President

Presidential Search

The Position. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU or Commission) seeks a collaborative, forward-thinking, visionary, and innovative President and Chief Executive Officer 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 Commission. 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.

The NWCCU is one of the seven regional accreditors of postsecondary degree-granting institutions. 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 regional 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. 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.

Qualities and Requirements for the Next President. The twenty-first century has brought fundamental and profound shifts in the values, nature, and control of higher education in the United States. In light of 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 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. 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. 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

Application Procedure. Nominations, applications, and inquiries may be made in confidence. Full consideration will be given to all applications received by February 9, 2018. Application materials that include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and the full 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 on the basis of 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.