Vice President for Programs and Services

  • Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
  • Boulder, CO, USA
  • Jun 08, 2021
Full time Education Executive Nonprofit-Social Services Other

Job Description

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) seeks a Vice President for Programs and Services
Click here to view position profile:
Location: Boulder, Colorado

The Position:
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) is seeking an experienced, strategic, and forward-thinking individual to join its senior leadership team as Vice President for Programs and Services. Based in beautiful Boulder, Colorado, WICHE is an interstate compact and 501(c)(3) that partners with 15 U.S. states, two territories, and one freely associated state on a diverse range of higher education issues like access and affordability, technology, workforce development, behavioral health, and more. Today, postsecondary education and the students we serve are facing unprecedented challenges in these areas, which is why WICHE’s mission is more important than ever. Reporting to the President, this unique role will require a truly visionary and collaborative leader who has their eyes on the horizon for what’s to come, while building upon WICHE’s long and successful history as a trusted resource for higher education in the West since 1953.   

The Vice President of Programs and Services leads an experienced and talented staff of seven and has responsibility for activities in three major areas, including: 

  • Leading WICHE’s regional student access programs that expand access and remove barriers to higher education for more than 45,000 students, help to develop the West’s workforce, and increase higher education’s reach to diverse communities;
  • Directing regional initiatives that foster college and university collaborations to enhance institutional effectiveness and efficiencies;
  • Managing collaborations with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact that provide cost savings opportunities to postsecondary institutions and systems. 

The vice president has oversight of two general fund budgets totaling approximately $544,000 and from 10 to 15 non-general fund budgets that currently, or in the recent past, range from $20,000 to $7.3 million per budget. Additionally, the position has fiscal oversight of the annual pass-through of some $14 million in state funds to public and private institutions participating in WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program. In addition, the Vice President of Programs and Services develops new initiatives that expand WICHE’s reach, impact, and resources, often in collaboration with other organizations. This involves collaborating with higher education leaders from the WICHE region and nationally who can assist with conceptualizing new initiatives and develop funding proposals for foundations and/or the U.S. Department of Education. 

The vice president serves on WICHE’s Senior Leadership Team and regularly works directly with institutional leaders including presidents, provosts, vice presidents of academic affairs, vice presidents of administration/finance, deans, CEOs, and chief academic and administrative officers of state higher education agencies, CEOs and staff of the three other higher education compacts, legislators and their staff, U.S. Department of Education senior leaders, foundation leaders, senior leaders of other state and federal agencies including Labor and Health and Human Services, and the CEOs and staff of other higher education organizations. 


  • A graduate-level degree in a field relevant to education, policy, government, administration, or business.
  • Relevant experience working with higher-education policy, initiatives, or programming. Successful experience in conceptualizing, organizing, and directing collaborative initiatives involving leaders of multiple postsecondary institutions, state and federal agencies, and policymakers.
  • Knowledge of issues in higher education funding and finance.
  • Demonstrated experience directing complex programs, managing large budgets, and supervising skilled and diverse professionals.
  • Ability to work with multiple, diverse constituencies, including policymakers; state, regional, and federal educational institutions; WICHE commissioners; foundations, and government agencies.
  • Knowledge of legislative and governmental processes, organizations, and agencies.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to make professional presentations both in-person and virtually, and to speak and write clearly and concisely.
  • Willingness and ability to develop a working knowledge of the history, goals, and purposes of WICHE programs and to be creative and innovative in contributing to the strategic direction of WICHE’s programs and services.
  • Ability to represent WICHE to elected officials, higher education administrators, and other stakeholder groups. 


  • Successful track record at obtaining grant funding and/or working with foundations.
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office 365 applications. 

About the Institution:
Since 1953, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has been strengthening higher education, workforce development, and behavioral health throughout the Western region. As an interstate compact, WICHE partners with states, territories, freely associated states, and postsecondary institutions to share knowledge, create resources and develop innovative solutions that address some of society’s most pressing needs. From promoting high-quality, affordable postsecondary education to helping states get the most from their technology investments and addressing behavioral health challenges, WICHE improves lives across the West through innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy. 

WICHE serves these States and Territories:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States (Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and as of July 1, 2021, the Republic of the Marshall Islands) 

WICHE Leadership
The WICHE Commission oversees the development of WICHE programs and assures that the Western Regional Compact is carried out for the benefit of the citizens of the West. WICHE’s 48 commissioners are appointed by the governors of the 15 Western states and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States. The commissioners are a diverse group of experienced and thoughtful leaders from the West and include state higher education executive officers, college and university presidents, legislators, business and community leaders, and other key partners. 

Mission Statement
WICHE’s mission is to increase access to high-quality higher education for all citizens of the West. The mission is advanced through a vast array of programs, projects and initiatives, and valuable resources that address the needs of Western states, territories, and freely associated states. When appropriate, some initiatives also extend beyond the WICHE region. 

To Apply:
Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; parties who apply by July 20, 2021, will be given first consideration. Please submit a PDF version of your resume and a letter of interest explaining your suitability for this position. To apply online, go to 

For more information or to offer recommendations:
Stephanie Fowler
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: 530-677-9945

Laura Woodworth-Ney, PhD
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: 208-589-8896 

WICHE is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. WICHE prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any other legally protected status. Applications by members of all underrepresented groups are encouraged.