Ellen Junn, PhD

Ellen Junn served as the 11th president of California State University, Stanislaus. She is the first Korean-American woman president appointed in the US to a four-year public institution. As President of Stan State, she established a strong reputation for displaying a focus on implementing new and innovative programs for student success, especially for non-traditional students, supporting a number of initiatives including CareerReadyU, Design Your Life courses, Freshman Convocation, as well as building new state-of-the art technology-enhanced Active Learning Classrooms. Another key area of focus was her support of  implementing institutional diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice action plans.

President Junn enjoyed an extensive 35-year history with the CSU, having worked at five other CSU campuses prior to joining Stan State. She served provost and vice president at CSU Dominguez Hills, provost and vice president at San Jose State University, associate provost at Fresno State, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Development at CSU Fullerton, and assistant professor at CSU San Bernardino. She also served as a visiting professor at Indiana University.

President Junn earned her bachelor’s degree in experimental and cognitive psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s and Ph.D. in cognitive and developmental psychology from Princeton University. She is widely published and has written numerous peer-reviewed research and journal articles on topics, such as supporting the success of underserved students, the importance of university-community engagement and strategies for supporting non-tenure-track faculty — especially women and minorities, as well as promoting innovative teaching strategies. Academics is a family affair for President Junn. Her husband is a retired physicist, and her son and his wife are faculty in the History Department at Brandeis University.

Rebecca Karoff, PhD

Dr. Rebecca Karoff joined the University of Texas System in February 2016 as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. With more than 25 years working in public higher education at the system level, first in Wisconsin and now in Texas, she is dedicated to utilizing the power of the system as a catalyst for quality educational attainment, equity, innovation and transformation in the 21st-century global society.

Dr. Karoff is responsible for leading and supporting student success initiatives system-wide. Her work addresses the student success continuum, PK-20 and into the workforce, and recognizes the remarkable responsibility and opportunity of the University of Texas System to achieve more equitable access and outcomes for the state’s increasingly diverse students. She is the primary architect of the UT System’s student success framework, and collaborates with institutional colleagues across the UT System to ensure student financial well-being, effective advising, and students’ sense of academic and social belonging. Her work includes leadership of the UT System’s momentum-building strategy on Open Educational Resources (OER), strengthening curricular innovation, and working with faculty to embrace their roles in student success. All her work is data-informed, equity-centered and quality-driven, and she is interested in expanded approaches to measuring student success.

Beyond the UT System, she is a member of the Texas Transfer Alliance, a joint effort among the Charles A. Dana Center, the Texas Success Center, the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and four of the state’s public university systems (Texas A&M University System, Texas State University System, University of North Texas System and University of Texas System) to improve transfer student outcomes. She is active in NASH, the National Association of System Heads, and is a co-author of the NASH Equity Action Framework, a tool designed for university systems to assess their progress toward, and act on the adoption and integration of essential equity practices through sustained engagement. She chairs the Equity Work Group of DOERS3, the Driving OER Sustainability for Student Success Collaborative, work resulting in the OER Equity Blueprint and Equity Through OER Rubric, developed to aid institutions in intentional engagement with equity as they build capacity on OER.

Mangum Elmira headshot

Elmira Mangum, PhD

Elmira Magnum, PhD, has served at the executive level of nationally recognized organizations of higher learning for more than 30 years. Currently completing a sabbatical with Washington University in St. Louis as a distinguished scholar-in-residence, she is working on a manuscript and case studies to inform the preparation of future leaders in higher education. She previously served as a visiting scholar at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

Peter McPherson, JD

Peter McPherson, Chair of the HarvestPlus Program Advisory Committee, is the President of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the oldest higher education association composed of public research universities, land-grant institutions, and state university systems in the United States. He has previously served as President of Michigan State University, Director of Economic Policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq, Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, and Special Assistant to US President Gerald Ford in the White House.

Barry Munitz, PhD

Barry Munitz is currently Trustee Professor at the California State University, Los Angeles campus and Chairman of the statewide P-16 Council in California. He served formally as Chancellor of the California State University system, President and Chief Executive Officer of the J. Paul Getty Trust and Chancellor of the University of Houston. He now heads the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Advisory Committee and chairs the Sierra Nevada College Board of Trustees.

Jim Murdaugh, PhD

Dr. Jim Murdaugh was named the sixth president of Tallahassee Community College on October 18, 2010.
His personal vision is to make TCC the college of choice for students, the employer of choice for faculty and
staff, and the partner of choice for the community.

He is quite active locally, serving as a board member on the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce,
member of the Tallahassee Rotary Club, and honorary board member of the Stubbs Educational Foundation.
He is also a former chair of the Leon County Economic Development Council.

At the state level, Jim is a sustaining member and director of the Economic Club of Florida, a member of the
Advisory Board of the Florida Technology Council, a trustee on the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce
Foundation, a member of the Florida Chamber Board of Governors, and he serves on the Leadership Florida
Northwest Regional Council. He chaired the Florida College System Council of Presidents in 2019-20, advising
and advocating to the State’s Executive and Legislative branches the value of the colleges to the social and
economic development of Florida. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association for
Community College Entrepreneurship.

He has been recognized for his leadership by a number of organizations. He was inducted into the Florida
State University College of Criminology and Criminal Justice Hall of Fame in 2011 and was honored as the
2012 Leader of the Year by Leadership Tallahassee. Also in 2012, Florida Trend listed Jim among Florida’s
Newsmakers of the Year. In 2013, he received the Pillar of Excellence Award, and in 2015 he received the
Humanitarian Award, both from the MLK Foundation of Florida. In 2014, Jim was one of four finalists for the
American Association of Community Colleges’ national Award of Excellence in Emerging Leadership,
recognizing his efforts to encourage and develop new and emerging leaders at TCC. He was selected in 2017
by the Association of College Unions International as International President of the Year in recognition of his
efforts in building a strong and active campus community. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the
Heroes in Public Safety Program in 2020, and was most recently honored by the National Association for
Community College Entrepreneurship as their 2022 Entrepreneurial President of the Year.

Jim Murdaugh holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminology and a doctorate in public administration
from Florida State University. He is also a graduate of Leadership Florida Executive Class VII and the
prestigious Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F.
Kennedy School of Government.

Laura Ortiz, EdD

Dr. Laura E. Ortiz serves as the Provost and VP of Academic and Student Affairs at Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, NY.

She is an authentic, bilingual (English/Spanish), comprehensive community college leader, educator, and administrator, who is passionate about education, social justice, and holistic faculty and student success through inclusive teaching and learning excellence.

Dr. Ortiz actively exercises her transformational leadership style to cultivate and nurture relationships, inspire change and growth through shared vision and collaboration, and communicate compassionately and effectively across complex environments to improve teaching, learning, and organizational excellence.

Dr. Ortiz is an intentional diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner who is committed to creating brave spaces for courageous conversations where diverse ideas, perspectives, and lived experiences are heard, welcomed, and valued. She purposefully champions inclusive, equity-minded teaching, learning, and working spaces to foster learning, promote a sense of belonging and well-being, and support holistic success for students, employees, and community members.

Eduardo J Padrón, PhD

An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón arrived in the United States as a teenage refugee in 1961. He is the President Emeritus of Miami Dade College (MDC), having served as its President for almost 25 years. He is credited with elevating MDC, the largest degree granting institution in America, into a position of national prominence among the best and most recognized U.S. colleges and universities. An economist by training, Dr. Padrón earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. In 2018, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of America’s oldest and most prestigious organizations. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S., for being a prominent national voice for access and inclusion in higher education. In 2020 the Florida Council of 100 awarded him the “2020 Grand Floridian” Prize. In 2009, TIME magazine included him on the list of “The 10 Best College Presidents.” In 2010, Florida Trend magazine placed him on the cover of its inaugural “Floridian of the Year” issue. In 2011, The Washington Post named him one of the eight most influential college presidents in the U.S. Also in 2011, he was awarded the prestigious 2011 Carnegie Corporation Centennial Academic Leadership Award. In 2012, he received the Citizen Service Award from Voices for National Service, the coveted TIAA Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence, and the Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship. In 2015, he was inducted into the U.S. News & World Report STEM Hall of Fame.

He was awarded the Harry Truman Award from the American Association of Community Colleges. Dr. Padrón’s energetic leadership extends to many of the nation’s leading organizations. He is the past chair of the board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE) and is a past chair of the board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and former chair of the Business Higher Education Forum (BHEF). During his career, he has been selected to serve on posts of national prominence by five American presidents. Internationally, President Padrón’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous nations and organizations including the Republic of France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques; the Republic of Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; Spain’s King Juan Carlos II, who bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella; Spain’s Prince and Princess of Asturias, Felipe and Letizia, who presented him with the Juan Ponce de Leon 500th Anniversary award; Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, who appointed him Honorary Consul in Florida of the Kingdom of Morocco in 2016, and the Amicus Poloniae from the Republic of Poland.

Dr. Padrón’s pace-setting work at Miami Dade College has been hailed as a model of innovation in higher education. He is credited with engineering a culture of success that has produced impressive results in student access, retention, graduation, and overall achievement. MDC enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other institution in the United States, including the largest numbers of Hispanics and African-Americans. Under Dr. Padrón’s leadership, Miami Dade College has received national recognition for its longstanding involvement with its urban community, its catalytic effect for social and economic change, and the marked difference the College has made in student access and success through pace-setting initiatives. He has served on several national commissions including Aspen Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Knight Foundation, Ford Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Century Foundation, National Science Foundation, National Governors Association, American Bar Association, Lumina Foundation, and others.

He currently serves on the boards of the Council on Foreign Relations; Urban Institute; Spencer Foundation; Education Trust; ACT; College Promise (Chair); National Commission on Inclusive Capitalism; Dream.US; Concordia Leadership Council; and World Strategic Forum (Chair). In past years he has held leadership positions on the boards of the Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta, Miami Branch (past Chair); the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Achieving the Dream; Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (Chair); the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; the White House Commission on Educational Excellence; Campus Compact; Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; The College Board; and the White House/Congressional Commission of the National Museum of the American Latino.

He is the recipient of numerous honorary doctorates and prestigious awards. Dr. Padrón is a prolific writer with several publications and articles to his credit.

Kevin Reilly, PhD

Kevin Reilly is President Emeritus and Regent Professor with the 26-campus University of Wisconsin System.

He has been a member of the ACUE Board of Advisors since 2014. He has had the opportunity to incorporate some of ACUE’s research-based best practices in teaching a graduate seminar he developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on “Major Challenges in American Higher Education.”

Charles Rose, JD

Charles Rose represents private and public colleges and universities, community colleges, K-12 school districts and private schools, corporations, education-related businesses, private equity firms, state government agencies and municipalities, foundations, and tribal nations.