Commissioners

The Commission membership reflects diversity in institutional characteristics such as mission, size, geography, funding and sponsorship, and in personal characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, and experience. All members are deeply committed to higher education and volunteer countless hours to the tasks of peer accreditation.

The Commission includes at least three public members, a representative from the Pacific Basin, a representative from the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, and a representative from the Accrediting Commission for Schools.

Commissioners are nominated and elected by the chief executive officers of accredited institutions in the WASC region and serve overlapping three-year terms.

Jeffrey Armstrong, President, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Jeffrey Armstrong started his tenure as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's ninth president in 2011. Prior to joining Cal Poly, he served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and professor of animal science at Michigan State University, beginning in 2001. Armstrong served as chair of the United Egg Producers...

Janna Bersi, Professor of Graduate Education in the College of Education, California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) was elected to the commission in 2014. Dr. Bersi’s professional record encompasses more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in public and private higher education and spans a broad spectrum of responsibilities with a concentration of...

Richard Bray was elected to the commission in 2012 as the Accrediting Commission for Schools WASC representative to our board. He served as superintendent of the Tustin Unified School District from 2006-2011, after working as superintendent of the Hesperia Unified School District in San Bernardino County for 12 years and Soledad Union School District in Monterey for two. In...

Linda Buckley, Chief Planning Officer, University of the Pacific. As Chief Planning Officer Dr. Buckley supports the president, provost, and executive team on matters of strategy and tactical operations planning. Key responsibilities include working with University leaders to implement the Pacific 2020 strategic plan, supporting academic planning, institutional effectiveness...

Ronald L. Carter, provost and professor of biology at Loma Linda University, joined the Commission in 2012. He came to Loma Linda in 1989 to teach in the Department of Natural Sciences, where he later became the Chair. In May 2005, he became the founding Dean of the newly established School of Science & Technology; in August 2006, he was selected to be the Vice Chancellor...

William Covino, recently named President of California State University, Los Angeles, is a veteran of the Cal State system, serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Fresno State, from 2009 to 2013, and holding the same titles at Cal State Stanislaus from 2006 to 2009. He returned to the CSU following eight years at Florida Atlantic University, where he...

Christopher Cross is Chairman of Cross & Joftus, LLC, a consulting firm that works with education leaders on evaluation, strategic planning, policy analysis and development, and school and district improvement.  Cross also serves as a consultant to the Broad Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Previously, he was a senior fellow with the Center for Education...

Reed Dasenbrock, Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs, University of Hawai'i – Manoa. Reed was educated at McGill University in Canada, where he received a B.A. (Honours); Oxford University in England, where he received a B.Phil.; and finally Johns Hopkins University, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D. On completion of his Ph.D. in English in 1981, he joined the faculty at New...

Phillip L. Doolittle serves as the Executive Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer for Brandman University. Brandman is a member of the Chapman University System. Mr. Doolittle’s oversight responsibilities include financial operations, integrated technology and information systems, human resources, administrative services, facilities...

John Etchemendy, Provost at Stanford University, joined the Commission in 2012. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy at Stanford since 1983. He is also a faculty member of the Symbolic Systems Program and a senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI). Earlier in his tenure at Stanford, Etchemendy served as senior...

Margaret Gaston is founder and president of Gaston Education Policy Associates, a resource for philanthropic, policy and education organizations in Washington, DC.  Before coming to Washington, she founded the non-profit Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning, and was a gubernatorial appointee to the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing, serving as Chair of...

Erin S. Gore, Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo, is co-head of its Education and Nonprofit Banking group, helping U.S. colleges, universities, and private schools with financial strategies for managing future growth and making enhancements to existing infrastructure and facilities. Prior to joining Wells Fargo Erin served as associate vice chancellor and chief financial...

Dianne F. Harrison began her appointment as president of California State University, Northridge in June 2012; the same month that she joined the WASC Commission. She served as president of California State University, Monterey Bay from 2006-2012 and for nearly 30 years worked at Florida State University, where she began as a faculty member and served in various...

Barbara Karlin joined the Commission in 2010 and is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Golden Gate University, a position she has held since 2002.  Prior to that, she served as Dean of the Schools of Business and Taxation at Golden Gate and a professor of taxation.  Karlin is an active member of several key committees at the Golden Gate...

Margaret Kasimatis, Vice Chair, was elected to the Commission in 2010.  She currently serves as Associate Provost for Strategic Planning & Educational Effectiveness at Loyola Marymount University and holds a faculty appointment in the Psychology Department.  She has held faculty positions at Hope College and Harvey Mudd College, where she also served as Director of...

Linda Katehi, Chancellor, UC Davis. Linda Katehi became the sixth chancellor of the University of California, Davis, on August 17, 2009. As chief executive officer, she oversees all aspects of the university's teaching, research and public service mission. Chancellor Katehi also holds UC Davis faculty appointments in electrical and computer engineering and in women and gender...

Adrianna Kezar, Professor for Higher Education, University of Southern California and Co-director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education was elected to the commission in 2014. Dr. Kezar is a national expert of change, governance and leadership in higher education and her research agenda explores the change process in higher education institutions and the role of leadership...

William A. Ladusaw, Chair, is Professor of Linguistics at UC Santa Cruz.  He has previously served as Vice Provost, Dean of Humanities, Dean of Undergraduate Education/Accreditation Liaison Officer and as the Provost (faculty head) of Cowell College, UCSC's founding residential college.  Before joining the UCSC faculty in 1984, he held faculty positions at...

Fernando León-García has served as President of CETYS University since 2010. He was previously Chancellor of City University of Seattle‘s International Division, covering programs, campuses, and sites across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Before that he served as Chief Academic Officer of Apollo International/University of Phoenix International and in diverse...

Devorah Lieberman began her tenure as the President of University of La Verne in July 2011 and was elected to the Commission in 2012. She previously served as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Wagner College (NY) and as Vice Provost and Special Assistant to the President at Portland State University (OR). She has also previously served as the chair of the ACE...

Kay Llovio was appointed Associate Provost for Student Development at William Jessup University in 2013.  She has been a member of the faculty at Jessup since 1985, serving first as the University Librarian and as professor of practical theology and education since 1990.  Dr. Llovio served as Vice President for Academic Affairs from 1999-2006...

Stephen Privett, S.J served as President of the University of San Francisco from 2000 to 2014 and joined the Commission in 2010. His doctorate is in Catechetics and his particular expertise focuses on the Hispanic community in the Catholic Church.  Prior to his appointment at USF, Father Privett served as Provost and Academic Vice President at Santa Clara University....

Barry Ryan recently served as President and CEO of United States University in San Diego. A first generation college student, he earned a BA in History (magna cum laude) from Westmont College in Santa Barbara.  His next degree was a M.Div. from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena.  While there, he was encouraged to pursue doctoral studies, which he did at the University of California...

Sharon Salinger joined the commission in 2010 and is Dean of Undergraduate Education and Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine.  Prior to accepting this position, she served as Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs and Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside, where she received the Distinguished Teaching Award.  She...

Sandra V. SerranoSandra V. Serrano is Chancellor of Kern Community College District, a position she's held since July, 2004. The Kern Community College District encompasses 25,000 square miles and is served by three colleges: Bakersfield College; Cerro Coso Community College; and, Porterville College.

Prior to being named Chancellor, Serrano served six...

Tomoko Takahashi currently serves as the Vice President for Institutional Research and Assessment and the Dean of the Graduate School at Soka University of America.  Over the past 20+ years at Soka, she also served as the Provost and has helped establish Soka as an emerging student-centered university founded on the Buddhist principles of peace, human rights, and the sanctity...

Ramon Torrecilha, elected to the Commission in 2010, is President of Westfield State University. He previously served as Professor of Sociology, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at CSU-Dominguez Hill. He has also served as Executive Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees at Mills College; Provost and Executive Vice President at Berkeley College;...

Jane Wellman is a Senior Advisor with the College Futures Foundation in San Francisco, California.   She is an expert in state and federal policy for higher education, with particular expertise in public budgeting, cost analysis and cost management, institutional governance and change management.  She is the founding director of the Delta Cost Project, a national effort to...

Leah Williams, was elected to the Commission in 2012 as a public member. She is currently General Counsel at WestEd, a non-partisan, non-profit, research, development and service agency that works with educational and other communities to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. She holds a B.A. in comparative culture from the...