SHEEO Awards


  • For the Exceptional Leader and Exceptional Agency awards, award decisions will be made by a committee of SHEEOs, SHEEO staff, and the SHEEO president. The Exceptional Leader Award will be presented at the SHEEO Annual Meeting and the Exceptional Agency Award will be presented at the SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference.
  • For the David L. Wright Memorial Award, SHEEO is seeking nominations, and a committee of agency and SHEEO staff will review nominations and make award decisions. The David L. Wright Memorial Award will be presented at the SHEEO Higher Education Policy Conference.

Exceptional Leader Award – Presented to a current state higher education executive officer from a member agency who has shown exceptional leadership, a commitment to higher education, a contribution to the greater good, and service to the SHEEO Association within the last year.

Exceptional Agency Award – Presented to a member agency whose innovative actions, policies, or practices advanced student success in their state; which displayed exceptional governance practices; which overcame exceptional challenges; or displayed other meritorious attributes within the last year.

The David L. Wright Memorial Award – This award is named in honor of the late David Wright, an esteemed colleague and leader in state higher education, who served in the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, and the Florida Governing Board. This award recognizes a current SHEEO agency staff member, from a member agency, who embodies the exceptional commitment, work ethic, and ethical practices of David Wright, and who has made outstanding contributions to their agency.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the David L. Wright Award through Friday, April 22, 2022.

Past Recipients

Exceptional Leader Award

2021 – Zora Mulligan, Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development

2020 – Kim Hunter Reed, Louisiana Board of Regents

2019 – Glen Johnson, Oklahoma State System of Higher Education

2018 – Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Exceptional Agency Award

2021 – Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

2020 – Tennessee Higher Education Commission

2019 – University System of Georgia

2018 – Idaho State Board of Education

David L. Wright Memorial Award

2021 – Patty Sanchez, Idaho’s Office of the State Board of Education

2020 – Leroy Wade, Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development

2019 – Paula Compton, Ohio Department of Higher Education

2018 – Andrew Rauch, Colorado Department of Higher Education