Western Academic Leadership Forum

About the Forum

The Western Academic Leadership Forum (the Forum) addresses higher education issues common to its members and engages in cooperative resource sharing across the WICHE region.  Its members are public and private doctoral, master's, and bachelor's level institutions and related system offices and state agencies. The members are represented by provosts and academic vice presidents from the institutions, and chief executive and chief academic officers from related system and state agencies.

The Forum meets annually in the spring to:

  • exchange information on issues affecting higher education in the region

  • promote the use of telecommunications and new technologies

  • explore opportunities and collaborate on plans for regional initiatives

  • address other timely concerns

The Forum is governed according to its bylaws, by an executive committee comprised of 15  - one for each WICHE state selected from each state's pool of official representatives.  A chair and a vice chair elected by the executive committee oversee the activities of the Forum.

Prior to evolving into the Western Academic Leadership Forum in 2008 when membership was expanded to include all WICHE states, the Forum was known as the Northwest Academic Forum (NWAF). Eleven WICHE states participated in NWAF: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming.  NWAF was established in 1984 through a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation. The Burlington Northern Foundation and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust also provided support.

The Forum operates under the umbrella of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) - a 501c3 not-for-profit organization - which provides staff support and serves as the fiscal agent.