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NASH Kicks Off Coast-to-Coast Virtual Tour of the Power of Systems Initiative

April 7, 2022

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of System Heads announced the start of their virtual Engagement Tour which will bring the story of the Power of Systems directly to partner college and university systems from coast-to-coast. The initiative calls for a network of higher education systems working collaboratively to deliver real progress for student success while tackling systemic inequities that too often stand in the way.

The tour will address audiences of stakeholders from participating systems including a collection of board members, system leadership, campus leadership, and faculty. From the outset, these systems have agreed to hold themselves accountable to three overarching metrics prescribed by the Power of Systems. These include credential completion, social mobility, and student loan debt reduction.

“Nancy Zimpher will put it all on the table,” said Rebecca Martin, executive director of NASH. “She will share our theory of action that, through systemness, we can leap further together than we ever could alone. Participants will learn how NASH plans to structure this collective work and how we are pursuing funding to make it happen.”

“The Engagement Tour is an introduction for our stakeholders to the massive potential of this new, national initiative of our combined institutions to advance prosperity for the nation,” said Nancy Zimpher, director of the Power of Systems. “We will chart the course of how NASH took what it learned from its strategic planning process and transformed it into what is now the Power of Systems. And we’re just getting started.”

The schedule continues to expand and develop, but as of today, the following stops are planned for the Power of Systems Engagement Tour:

  • April 1 – Pennsylvania
  • April 4 – Hawaii
  • April 18 – Nebraska
  • April 20 – Mississippi
  • April 21 – University of Louisiana
  • April 27 – Southern Illinois
  • April 28 – Connecticut
  • May 4 – Nevada
  • May 9 – Illinois
  • May 11 – New Mexico
  • May 12 – Colorado
  • May 19 – Texas State
  • June 28 – Louisiana Board of Regents

The Power of Systems initiative consists of five imperatives that guide the work and three components that will help to implement it. One of these components, the Institute for Systems Innovation and Improvement, will drive the implementation of the imperatives, which include:

  • Learning: System-wide support for flexible and responsive programs to meet the unique needs of each student.
  • Talent: A civically engaged and globally competitive workforce that contributes to community vitality, economic development and knowledge creation.
  • Equity: Just and accessible opportunities that empower all students through the removal of structural and systemic barriers.
  • Investment: Collective resource sharing and efficiencies to reinvest in student success.
  • Systemness: Leveraging the power of public higher education systems to better serve students and society.

Additionally, the Systems Center for State Policy will provide systems with the tools to help tackle infrastructure issues at the state level, provide evidence-based research and consulting, and create an annual report card to publicly track progress. The Partnership for Federal Support of Systems will highlight NASH’s work with the U.S. Department of Education to increase the cost effectiveness of federal investment in higher education, improve interagency collaboration and beltway partnerships, set direction for upskilling the nation’s workforce, and identify integrated funding opportunities.

The Power of Systems is made possible through initial generous support of our partners including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, ECMC Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Strada Education Network.

College and university systems and other partners interested in joining NASH’s work to end student inequities through the work of the Power of Systems can learn more at

About the National Association of System Heads

Founded in 1979, the National Association of System Heads (NASH) represents chief executives of the 52 public higher education systems in the United States. Member institutions work collaboratively to advance innovation and change in public systems of colleges and universities. To learn more about NASH and its national initiative, the Power of Systems, visit

Media Contact

David Belsky