Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter Reed was recently named chair of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) Executive Committee.
“We are pleased to have Dr. Reed serve as our chair this year,” said Dr. Robert Anderson, president of SHEEO. “She brings a wealth of state and federal experience to this position, which will benefit our members and students as we navigate both a recession and pandemic in the year ahead. I look forward to working with Kim and the Executive Committee on an agenda that will benefit all our students and the states and campuses that serve them.”
The Executive Committee is responsible for shaping SHEEO’s federal priorities and strategies and leading its communications with Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and other federal agencies.
“It’s an exciting time to serve in this role because higher education is at the epicenter of talent development, new ideas and solutions,” said Dr. Reed. “The innovation and resilience shown by our campuses throughout 2020 has been nothing short of remarkable, and yet I know our best work is yet to come. Our institutions are incubators of knowledge, from understanding disease prevention to leading research towards a vaccine. We fuel efforts to restart our economy through retraining of displaced workers. And we support the persistence of our students, who are committed to using their voices to drive change. Without a doubt, higher education is a strategic asset for our states, our nation, and our world.”
SHEEO, the national association of the chief executives of statewide governing boards and coordinating boards for postsecondary education, works to assist its members and states in developing and sustaining excellent systems of higher education.
Dr. Kim Hunter Reed was named Louisiana’s commissioner of higher education by the Board of Regents in April 2018. Reed has served on the SHEEO Executive Committee since 2019. She is the only female in the country currently serving as a state higher education leader who has led higher education in more than one state. Reed also served effectively at the federal level as deputy under secretary at the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama administration.
Working with the Louisiana Board of Regents and the state’s public and private institutions, Reed is a nationally recognized student advocate, leading the state’s talent development efforts with a goal of ensuring that 60% of adults in Louisiana hold a postsecondary credential of value by 2030.
During her first two years in office, Reed launched a Master Plan for Higher Education that has quickly become a statewide guidebook, adopted by multiple public agencies and cited by organizations as “the plan” to support human development and improve Louisiana’s overall prosperity. Moody’s Investors Service, a leading provider of credit ratings, research, and financial risk analysis, reported that Louisiana’s Master Plan for Higher Education, if accomplished, will mean “greater economic competitiveness” and will be “credit positive” for the state moving ahead.
Since launching the Master Plan in 2019, Louisiana has seen a 3% increase in its attainment rate, and its work has been nationally recognized as high-quality, equity-focused, outcomes-driven, and scalable. Approximately $35.7M in external funding has been secured to accelerate talent development efforts and drive the state’s commitment to increase completers, expand research, and erase equity gaps.
SHEEO is also excited to welcome the remaining new Executive Committee officers: Blake Flanders of the Kansas Board of Regents as chair-elect, Ben Cannon of the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission as treasurer, and Carlos Santiago of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education as past chair. SHEEO also added four new members to its Executive Committee: Mike Krause of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Zora Mulligan of the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, Angie Paccione of the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and Aaron Thompson of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.