In its September meeting, the Board of NCHEMS formally accepted the retirement of Dr. Sally Johnstone as President of the organization. Dr. Johnstone has indicated that she will remain in her position until a replacement is secured, but she has asked the Board to proceed as expeditiously as possible to recruit her replacement.
Dr. Alan Wagner, Chair of NCHEMS Board expressed his and the board’s great gratitude to Dr. Johnstone for her exceptional and impactful leadership of NCHEMS and of American higher education writ large. Dr. Johnstone joined NCHEMS six years ago, having already established herself as a leader and doer in a wide array of areas within higher education. Early in her career she became the founding director of the Western Collaborative for Educational Technologies (WCET), a subsidiary of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), and in that role became internationally valued for helping institutions, states, and nations learn how to manage, finance, and ensure quality in developing and delivering on-line learning at the onset of the internet. After more than a decade leading that organization, she moved on to be the Provost at Winona State University within the Minnesota State College and University System, and later moved on to be Vice President of Western Governors University, a novel and exceptionally high quality distance learning institution that she had helped design during her previous leadership at WCET. It was from WGU that she came to NCHEMS.
At NCHEMS she has maintained the organization’s major national contributions in the areas of finance, governance, and state and institutional assessment, while also significantly enhancing the organization’s work as a change agent in other areas as well, including assessment of student learning and success, competency-based education, creating valid credentials for learning and workforce development, equity gap reductions and contemporizing college curriculum through technology enhanced learning. Though leaving the position of President, Dr. Johnstone will remain professionally active, including serving as the executive director of the Foundation for Student Success (FSS), by remaining in emerita status with NCHEMS.
NCHEMS will be forever thankful for the exceptional service that Sally has provided as its President.