William Woods University vice president honored by Higher Learning Commission

Dr. Michael Westerfield, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness at William Woods University (WWU), was recently honored with awards for outstanding contributions and service by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) at the organization’s annual conference in Chicago.

A member of the William Woods administration since 2009, Dr. Westerfield received the Sine Qua Non award and additional recognition of his 25 years of service to the HLC, which is the independent, regional organization that is responsible for accreditation of degree-granting post-secondary colleges and universities in 19 states in the central U.S. During his career, Westerfield has led more than 60 accreditation teams for the HLC, and continues to be actively involved in the commission through training new peer reviewers and new team chairs.

The Sine Que Non award recognizes reviewers who have contributed significantly to the development of an essential program, training initiative, new initiative or process function. Dr. Westerfield was specifically honored for his work extending the commission’s training of new team chairs to the HLC’s experienced chairs, using a monthly refresher webinar series to retrain more than 125 chairs in the past year.

After previously serving as WWU’s Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Westerfield was appointed as the university’s first-ever VP of Institutional Effectiveness in March. In his new role, he is responsible for providing direction and oversight of strategic planning initiatives; coordinating institutional, program and student learning assessment, and facilitating continuous improvement of the university. He is a past President and Provost of Rochester (MI) College and Administrative Vice President of York (NE) College.