The Info List - Robert Mendenhall

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ROBERT WINTON MENDENHALL is a pioneer of educational technology and entrepreneurship best known as the first president of Western Governors University (WGU).


* 1 First President of Western Governors University * 2 Experience and education * 3 The Future of Higher Education * 4 Awards and recognition * 5 References


Dr. Mendenhall became president of Western Governors University in 1999, the same year its first students were enrolled. WGU is a private, non-profit, online university offering competency-based undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business, Teacher Education, Information Technology, and Health Professions, including Nursing. It was founded in 1997 by a group of 19 western governors with the mission to improve the quality and expand access to post-secondary educational opportunities.

In late 2015, Mendenhall initiated a search for his replacement, and in March 2016, WGU's Board of Trustees announced it had selected Scott D. Pulsipher as the new president. Pulsipher joined WGU as president on April 11, 2016. As of January 2017, the university had more than 70,000 students in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., U.S. territories, and stationed on U.S. military bases overseas. In March 2016, the university awarded its 60,000th degree.

In addition to his seventeen years as president, Dr. Mendenhall also serves on the WGU Board of Trustees, which is composed of educators, industry leaders, and governors.

Discussing the university, Mendenhall said, "WGU was specifically created as a new model for higher education, incorporating the use of technology to expand access and reduce costs, while creating competency-based degree programs to improve accountability for learning."


Mendenhall has over 30 years of experience delivering technology-based education. Prior to joining WGU, he was general manager of IBM
's K-12 education division. He also served as executive vice president for Jostens Learning Corporation.

From 1980 to 1992, he was a founder, president, and CEO (from 1987) of Wicat Systems, Inc., a publicly traded company which was a leader in providing computer-based curriculum, instructional management and testing to schools, and technology-based training to government and industry.

Mendenhall has also served on the NGA/ASTD Commission on Technology the U.S. Distance Learning Association's ( USDLA ) gave him its Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning; and, in 2011, Ernst ">

* ^ Academic Leadership * ^ http://www.wgu.edu/about_WGU/WGU_story * ^ Board of Trustees * ^ Robert Mendenhall - Statement to the Secretary of Education\'s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, Third Meeting, February 2-3, 2006 (PDF) * ^ Archived: Biography of Robert Mendenhall - Commission Member of Secretary\'s Commission on the Future of Higher Education (PDF) * ^ Robert Mendenhall :: In The Arena * ^ Panel\'s Draft Report Calls for an Overhaul of Higher Education Nationwide - New York Times * ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/05/readout-presidents-meeting-college-presidents * ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/06/education/obama-meets-with-college-leaders-on-rising-costs.html?scp=1&sq=college%20leaders%20obama