• WSCUC Appoints Jamienne Studley New President and CEO

    October 24, 2017 - WSCUC

ALAMEDA, CA – The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) announced Jamienne S. Studley will assume the role of president and CEO of the organization in January 2018. WSCUC Chair Dr. Reed Dasenbrock made the announcement following unanimous decision by the Commission.

Studley’s experience spans federal higher education policy, campus leadership, civil rights advocacy, and nonprofit management. She served most recently as deputy and acting under secretary of the U.S. Department of Education (2013-2016) and as chair of the National Advisory Council on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI).

Dasenbrock said, “Jamie brings to WSCUC and to accreditation nationally an ideal combination of commitments to student success, quality, accountability, and innovation. We value her record of listening and inclusivity, policy creativity, and broad experience across education. Jamie’s lifelong passion has been to ensure students come first and that we provide all students, regardless of background or financial circumstance, an opportunity for success in and beyond postsecondary education. WSCUC shares this commitment, and I’m confident we will do great things together.”

“WSCUC has built a reputation as one of the most forward-thinking accrediting bodies in the country, taking seriously its responsibility to assure quality and effectiveness in postsecondary education while also contributing to national progress on access and outcomes,” Studley said. “I am honored and excited to join this bold, creative enterprise. I look forward to collaborating with member institutions and many others to serve students by articulating the value of higher education, building confidence in accreditation, and accelerating institutional improvement on multiple dimensions.”

Studley earlier led Skidmore College as the institution’s first female president and served as associate dean of Yale Law School. She was also deputy and acting general counsel of the U.S. Department of Education and CEO of the civil rights advocacy group Public Advocates Inc., in San Francisco, for nine years. To read Ms. Studley’s bio, click here.

Studley will succeed Dr. Mary Ellen Petrisko, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

“We are tremendously grateful for all Mary Ellen has accomplished during her tenure as president. She led our work with integrity and vision, and has helped further our commitment to transparency in accreditation and institutional review,” said Dasenbrock. “We all owe an enormous debt to her hard work, emotional intelligence, and wisdom in leading us forward.”

Petrisko said, “At a time when our nation’s education system faces significant challenges related to costs, equity and access, we must embrace leaders who are willing to test boundaries and demand innovation. I couldn’t be more pleased to pass this role to Jamie, and have complete confidence she will raise the bar for student outcomes and opportunities throughout the region.” 

Read more about the announcement below.

Selected Quotes

Dr. Barbara E. Brittingham, President, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, NEASC:
Jamie Studley’s appointment as president of WSCUC is fantastic news. Her experience in Washington will be a valuable asset for all of regional accreditation. Her commitment to accountability, combined with her openness and respect for the diversity of higher education, make Jamie an outstanding choice, and I look forward to working with her.


Dr. John W. Etchemendy, former Provost, Stanford University:
Jamie Studley comes to WSCUC with a range of experiences and perspectives on accreditation that is truly unique. A former college president, she understands how colleges work and what can realistically be expected of the accreditation process. As former chair of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, she is thoroughly familiar with the government’s expectations of accreditation agencies. And her time at the Department of Education has given her a deep appreciation of the importance of accreditation to students and to the nation.


Ted Mitchell, President, American Council on Education:
Jamie is a respected thought leader on accreditation and higher education. I saw firsthand her devotion to student success and her effectiveness at listening to all perspectives, synthesizing ideas, and linking big picture values and goals with pragmatic solutions. WSCUC made a fine choice and I’m eager to collaborate with her.


Dr. Eduardo M. Ochoa, President, California State University Monterey Bay:
I am delighted to welcome Jamie Studley as the new president and CEO of WSCUC. Jamie’s tenure in the Department of Education during President Obama’s second term presented her with a number of challenges that she handled with consummate skill and poise. I look forward to the same adroitness in her stewardship of WSCUC and in keeping the agency at the forefront of innovation, effectiveness, and accountability in advancing the mission of higher education.


Jane Wellman, Senior Advisor, College Futures Foundation:
We are so fortunate to have Jamie Studley’s leadership as we navigate the path ahead for peer review in higher education. She has a unique appreciation of the challenges facing higher education, and knows how essential public trust is to the role our institutions must play in our country’s future. She’s a hard worker, she’s a team player, and knows how to handle herself around smart people in positions of power. Who could ask for more?


Leah Williams, general counsel, WestEd; public member, WSCUC:

Jamie brings vision, leadership, and an enormous breadth of understanding of higher education. I am thrilled to have her as the next president of the Commission. Her intimate knowledge of the western region, her many years of leadership in education, and her familiarity with the talented senior staff will arm her as she guides us towards the future. I look forward to working with her.


To learn more about WSCUC, visit www.wscuc.org

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The WASC Senior College and University Commission is a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific, as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S. Through its work of peer review, based on standards agreed to by the membership, the Commission encourages 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.