Skip to content

NASH Announces New Board Appointments

July 27, 2023

Officers and appointments span the nation from Texas to Montana

Washington DC – The National Association of System Heads today announced newly elected officers and a new appointment to its Board of Directors. This new leadership team takes the reins at a crucial moment for NASH as the organization completes its search for a new President and accelerates its Power of Systems transformation agenda to advance prosperity for the nation.

Chancellor Brian McCall of the Texas State University System was unanimously elected as the new chairperson. McCall has served in his role as Chancellor since 2010 and was vice chair of the NASH board beginning in 2022. He assumes the role from Chancellor Devinder Malhotra of Minnesota State, who is retiring and will remain as a member of the board.

“I’m honored to serve as chair of NASH and look forward to working with system CEOs across the nation to advance the mission of higher education,” said McCall. “Although each of our systems faces a unique set of circumstances, we share a common interest in advancing prosperity and transforming the lives of our students and graduates.”

In addition, Montana Higher Education Commissioner Clayton Christian was elected to serve as vice chairperson, alongside Chancellor Terrence Cheng of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, who was elected as the board’s new secretary-treasurer.

“University systems play a pivotal role in higher education by driving innovation, expanding opportunities, and leveraging assets,” said Christian. “Through NASH, university systems like ours in Montana are collaborating to share insights and strategies to improve higher education outcomes for students and communities. I’m thrilled to serve as Vice Chair of NASH and look forward to advancing NASH’s work to scale successful state-level programs and initiatives at the national level.”

“Our work as higher education system heads has never been more important,” said Cheng. “As we work to confront demographic, budgetary, and technological challenges, we must leverage the collective power of statewide and regional systems of public colleges and universities. I am proud to serve alongside esteemed colleagues from across the nation, and I am confident that NASH’s cooperative work will help our systems, institutions, and students thrive in a fast-changing world.”

The NASH board also welcomed its newest member in Shannon Gilkey of the Rhode Island Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner.

“Rhode Island’s Office of the Postsecondary Commissioner works diligently to provide equitable access to educational and employment opportunities to all populations, especially refugees,” said Gilkey. “Being a member of NASH, with their commitment to a systems approach to higher education outcomes, we are improving our outreach and success in our mission by leveraging a network of colleagues and best practices that improve our higher education ecosystem. NASH’s efforts to make meaningful changes to postsecondary education by improving attainment, affordability, and social mobility are very much what we are focused on in Rhode Island. I’m honored to serve on the NASH board and work with colleagues across the country to tackle systemic inequalities in higher education.”

Late last year, NASH released its first-ever collective goals for higher education systems to increase degree and credential completion, improve social mobility, and reduce student debt. More recently, the organization announced its second cohort of a NASH Improvement Community, where multiple systems are using improvement science to solve challenges related to student transfer. As the country grapples with rising costs of living, NASH aims to assure Americans in the grips of a fierce public debate over the value of a degree that college is, in fact, worth it.

“Systems of higher education are America’s best bet at economic recovery and preparing our citizens to remain competitive on the world stage,” said Nancy Zimpher, interim executive director of NASH and chancellor emerita of the State University of New York. “We consider ourselves incredibly fortunate to have leaders at our table who understand the importance of this mission and the impact we can have by leveraging our systemness – institutions and systems achieving more together than any single organization could on its own. I look forward to working with our newly constituted board as we continue to write NASH’s next chapter.”

Higher education systems interested in joining or learning more about the work of NASH and its members can visit the organization’s website for more information.

About the National Association of System Heads
Founded in 1979, the National Association of System Heads (NASH) represents the 65 public higher education systems in the United States. Member institutions work collaboratively to advance innovation and improvement in public systems of colleges and universities. To learn more about NASH and its national transformation agenda, the Power of Systems, visit


Media Contact

Contact: David Belsky;