RI Commissioner Named to NASH board

Washington DC – The National Association of System Heads announced that RI Postsecondary Commissioner Shannon Gilkey has been appointed to its board of directors.

“Rhode Island’s Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner works diligently to provide equitable access to educational and employment opportunities to all populations, especially refugees,” said Commissioner Gilkey. “Being a member of NASH, with their commitment to a systems approach to higher education outcomes, we are improving our outreach and success in our mission by leveraging a network of colleagues and best practices that improve our higher education ecosystem. NASH’s efforts to make meaningful changes to postsecondary education by improving attainment, affordability, and social mobility are very much what we are focused on in Rhode Island. I’m honored to serve on the NASH board and work with colleagues across the country to tackle systemic inequalities in higher education.”

Chancellor Brian McCall of the Texas State University System was unanimously elected as the new chairperson of the board. McCall has served in his role as chancellor since 2010 and was vice chairman of the NASH board beginning in 2022. He assumes the role from Chancellor Devinder Malhotra of Minnesota State, who is retiring and will remain as a member of the board.

In addition, Montana Higher Education Commissioner Clayton Christian was elected to serve as vice chairperson, alongside Chancellor Terrence Cheng of the Connecticut State colleges and universities system, who was elected as the board’s new secretary-treasurer.

Late last year, NASH released its first-ever collective goals for higher education systems to increase degree and credential completion, improve social mobility, and reduce student debt. More recently, the organization announced its second cohort of a NASH Improvement Community, where multiple systems are using improvement science to solve challenges related to student transfer. As the country grapples with rising costs of living, NASH aims to assure Americans in the grips of a fierce public debate over the value of a degree that college is, in fact, worth it.

“Systems of higher education are America’s best bet at economic recovery and preparing our citizens to remain competitive on the world stage,” said Nancy Zimpher, interim executive director of NASH and chancellor emerita of the State University of New York. “We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have leaders at our table who understand the importance of this mission and the impact we can have by leveraging our systemness – institutions and systems achieving more together than any single organization could on its own. I look forward to working with our newly constituted board as we continue to write NASH’s next chapter.”

Founded in 1979, the National Association of System Heads (NASH) represents the 65 public higher education systems in the United States. Member institutions work collaboratively to advance innovation and improvement in public systems of colleges and universities.

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