SALT LAKE CITY — The Western Governors University (WGU) Board of Trustees announced that Scott D. Pulsipher will become the University’s new President, effective April 11. Pulsipher will succeed Robert Mendenhall, who has been WGU’s President since 1999, having led the university from its beginnings into a major university with nearly 70,000 students, while establishing its reputation as the national leader in competency-based education. Mendenhall will continue to serve the University as President Emeritus and as a member of the Board of Trustees, focusing on strategic initiatives and external relations.
Pulsipher joins WGU with more than 20 years of leadership experience in technology-based, customer-focused businesses. He was most recently President of Needle, Inc., a technology and services company focused on improving the online customer experience for retail brands. Before Needle, he was General Manager for Amazon Webstore, an e-commerce platform serving small and medium-sized businesses. Pulsipher’s career has included senior leadership roles at Sterling Commerce (a subsidiary of AT&T, acquired by IBM in 2010), Yantra Corporation, and The Monitor Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Management from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Harvard University.
“While already at the forefront of advancing accessible, innovative higher education, WGU continues to expand its influence with a focus on student outcomes, affordability, the student experience, and employer engagement – all enabled through technology,” said WGU Board of Trustees Chairman and former Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer. “Pulsipher’s broad leadership experience, passion for education, customer focus, and technology expertise are the right ingredients at the right time in WGU’s history, and will further strengthen our leadership and reputation with students, employers, state and federal governments, and the higher education community.”
“WGU’s mission to improve the quality of, and expand access to, educational opportunities, particularly for underserved populations, is truly inspirational and unique in higher education,” said Pulsipher. “I am compelled by WGU’s innovation of the competency-based learning model and the student-focused experience enabled by technology and faculty mentoring. I look forward to working with WGU’s great people and leaders to propel WGU forward in realizing our vision of affordable, quality education based on real-world competencies.”
Established in 1997 with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, WGU now serves nearly 70,000 students nationwide and has more than 60,000 graduates in all 50 states. Driving innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, WGU has been recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers, and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. It has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and enabling the workforce needed in today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and was featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and in The New York Times. The University’s 2015 Annual Report is now available online.