NWCCU Annual Conference

Registration for the 2020 Annual Conference now open!

Promoting Economic and Social Mobility

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


Register Here

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 – 4:15 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, Ernst & Young – Parthenon  
  Planning for Student Success Speaker: Nick Santilli, Society for College and University Planning  
  Why should I care about Accreditation? Speaker: Jeff Fox, College of South Idaho (retired)  
1:30 pm – 4:00 pm NWCCU Mission Fulfillment Fellowship
Moderator: Mac Powell, Senior Vice President, NWCCU Presentations by Year Two Fellows. (Invitation Only)


Register Here

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
11:00 am The Beacon Awards
    Thayne McCulloh, President, Gonzaga University and NWCCU Board Chair
1:30 pm Plenary Session Two
    Pandemic as Opportunity: Closing the Equity Gap | Patricia McGuire, Trinity Washington University
Learning Communities then, now, and soon… | Adam Seldow, Facebook
    Why Student Experience Matters | Jeff Raikes, Raikes Foundation
    Education Transformation in the New Normal  | Tony 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
    Matt Sigelman, Burning-Glass Technologies
    College Affordability, Student Debt, and Student Success | Sandy Baum, Urban Institute
    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


Register Here

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).

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.

Terry Hartle is one of America’s most effective and experienced advocates for higher education. At the American Council on Education, where he has served for more than 20 years, he directs comprehensive efforts to engage federal policy makers 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.

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.

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.

Dr. Adam Seldow serves as the Director of Education Partnerships at Facebook where he contributes to building learning communities worldwide. Adam taught high school mathematics and led technology in US school systems. He earned his undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and his masters and doctoral degrees in education policy and leadership from Harvard University.






And many more soon to come!

SPONSOR the 2020 NWCCU Annual Conference!

NWCCU is now accepting Sponsor applications for the 2020 Annual Conference. Four tiers are available, but spots are going fast! Don’t miss your opportunity to get your message out to decision-makers from all over the Northwest region.

Annual Conference Sponsorship Information


New Opportunity! Join our virtual Exhibitor Hall: