The president of the UH will lead the higher education commission
University of Hawaii President David Lasner was elected president in 2022 of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). At its biannual meeting held virtually earlier this month, the commission chose Lassner to replace Susan Anderson, chair and CEO of CIRI Alaska Foundation. Lassner was until recently Vice-Chairman of the WICHE Commission and was WICHE commissioner since 2015.
Since 1953, WICHE strengthened higher education, workforce development and behavioral health across the region among its 16 member states, territories and freely associated states. By fostering innovation, cooperation and the sharing of resources, it works collaboratively to expand access to education and excellence for the Western region.
“Colleges and universities everywhere face challenges on many fronts, and some of ours in the West are unique,” Lassner said. “I am touched by the WICHE the Commission’s vote as I assume the role of President during this critical time. As leaders in post-secondary education, we must work together to find creative and sustainable solutions that support the success of our students, now and in the future.
Lassner continuously strives to help more Hawaii residents earn university degrees and strengthen the state’s economy through job creation. He also advances EUHcommitments to sustainable development and to become a model university serving Aboriginals.
“I am grateful for the leadership of outgoing President Anderson over the past year, and I congratulate Commissioner Lassner as he takes on this new role,” said WICHE President Demarée Michelau. “David’s extensive experience in addressing the financial, health and academic challenges shared by our colleagues places him in a unique position to lead the WICHE Commission during this historic period of higher education.
Lassner has a long career as an information technologist and academic leader. He started working at EUH in information technology in 1977, subsequently becoming EUHSenior Chief Information Officer and Vice President of THIS. He was appointed interim president in September 2013 and the “interim” was abolished in June 2014. Lassner earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, followed by ‘a Doctorate in communication and information sciences at EUH.
WICHE members include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and the we Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia).