Dr. Courtney Hills McBeth Takes Helm as New WGU Chief Academic Officer and Provost

Former SVP and Chief Program Officer at Strada Education Foundation, Hills McBeth will lead academic strategy, program portfolio, and operations for America’s most student-centric and innovative university

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Western Governors University (WGU) announced today the appointment of Dr. Courtney Hills McBeth as the university’s new Chief Academic Officer and Provost. Hills McBeth joins WGU from Strada Education Foundation and brings more than 20 years of experience in developing, implementing, and scaling programs to improve access, quality, relevancy, and student success in higher education. In this role, she will oversee WGU’s Schools and Colleges and lead all of WGU's academic programs, curriculum development, and operations that drive the university's focus on academic quality and student success. Hills McBeth will start at WGU on Jan. 10, 2024.  

“As a longtime champion of innovation, Courtney shares WGU’s commitment to reimagine higher education and extend the reach of opportunity to all," said Scott Pulsipher, President of WGU. "After a rigorous and competitive search process, we are delighted to welcome her aboard and look forward to witnessing her propel WGU to unprecedented heights."

Hills McBeth joins WGU after serving as senior vice president and chief program officer at Strada Education Foundation, where she led the programmatic work to deploy Strada’s unique combination of philanthropy, impact investments, policy, and research to drive impact. Hills McBeth's work focused on the transformation of the postsecondary education-workforce system across all pathways, including industry-led credentials, community colleges, and four-year degrees, to ensure equitable outcomes through and beyond completion for every individual.

“I’m deeply honored to join WGU’s visionary team,” said Hills McBeth, WGU’s new Chief Academic Officer and Provost. “I’ve long admired WGU’s bold commitment to empower each student with a personalized, affordable, and career-advancing postsecondary education. WGU is uniquely poised to equip students to thrive within today’s rapidly evolving workforce.”

Prior to her work at Strada, Hills McBeth worked in the president’s office at the University of Utah, where she led university-wide strategic planning, presidential initiatives, and innovation efforts, including developing an outcomes-based finance model and leading entrepreneurship challenges with a coalition of universities to drive economic mobility. Her background also includes managing global and domestic internship programs, academic programs and executive education, student services, and global engagement at Utah’s Eccles School of Business, Sorenson Impact Institute, and the Hinckley Institute of Politics. Hills McBeth earned her doctorate with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania in higher education management and her bachelor’s and master's degrees from the University of Utah, where she was an All-American soccer player.

About WGU

A nonprofit, online university established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education, WGU now serves more than 164,000 students nationwide and has nearly 347,000 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. In just 25 years, the university has become a leading influence in changing the lives of individuals and families, and preparing 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 has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News and CNN and in The New York Times. Learn more at wgu.edu and wgu.edu/impact.  


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