Joe Garcia was appointed President of WICHE in June 2016. He served as the Lt. Governor of Colorado and as the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, beginning in 2011. He had previously served on the WICHE Commission for nine years, including serving as its chair in 2011. During his time as Lt. Governor and as the SHEEO for Colorado, Garcia focused on increasing equity in outcomes for all students, particularly those from low income backgrounds and communities of color. Read more about WICHE's President
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education is a regional organization created by the Western Regional Education Compact and adopted in the 1950s by Western states. WICHE was created to facilitate resource sharing among the higher education systems of the West. It implements a number of activities to accomplish its objectives.
WICHE began operations in 1953 in Eugene, OR, moving to its present location in Boulder, CO, in 1955. WICHE is governed by three gubernatorially appointed commissioners from each member. Under terms of the compact, each member commits to support WICHE's basic operations through annual dues established by the full commission.
WICHE's members include 15 Western states and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (the first of the U.S. Pacific territories and freely associated states to participate).