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NASH Redefines Itself in New Era as National Association of Higher Education Systems

December 6, 2023

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of System Heads (NASH) is thrilled to announce a significant milestone in its evolution as it unveils its new name: the National Association of Higher Education Systems. The organization will retain its original and widely recognized acronym, NASH, but expand its full name to reflect its commitment to advancing the interests of higher education systems across the nation.

Over the years, NASH, whose members serve more than 5 million students, has played a pivotal role in advocating for the needs of public higher education systems, their institutions, and their students. The organization has consistently strived to promote collaboration, innovation, and excellence within higher education, and this name change is a natural progression that better encapsulates its mission and vision.

This rebranding follows the recent announcement of Dr. Jason E. Lane as the organization’s inaugural president, symbolizing a pivotal moment in NASH’s trajectory. ”As we embrace the name National Association of Higher Education Systems, we open a new and more inclusive chapter in our mission to champion systemness – through collaboration, innovation, and excellence – across the higher education sector,” said Lane, who will also serve as the organization’s Chief Systemness Officer. 

“The power of our systems comes through the collective effort of the faculty, staff, and leaders throughout our organizations,” said Brian McCall, the Chancellor of the Texas State University System and chair of the NASH board. “The decision to rebrand as the National Association of Higher Education Systems is rooted in our desire to encompass a broader scope of the higher education landscape. Our membership includes not only system leaders but also those who work diligently to strengthen and improve higher education institutions and systems as a whole.”

NASH will continue to serve as a vital resource for sharing best practices, fostering collaboration, and advocating for policies that support the growth and success of higher education systems and institutions nationwide. Member commitment to excellence, equity, and accessibility in higher education remains unwavering.

“NASH remains a vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas and information among its members,” said Nancy Zimpher, NASH’s interim executive director. “The Power of Systems was launched as our big idea that systemness – that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – could drive innovation in higher education. This name change is a symbolic but critical shift as we embrace that theory throughout our work.”

“What’s in a name? Well, everything it turns out,” said David Belsky, founder and CEO of the consulting agency Good Rebellion, which assisted with the rebranding effort. “While NASH is well known to insiders, the original name did not fully reflect its mission and often took a great deal of explanation for those new to the organization. This new name conveys a clearer sense of purpose. It provides a powerful jumping-off point to position systems as impactful innovators as the higher education sector undergoes massive change.”

NASH empowers member institutions with data-driven decision-making tools, enabling informed choices that optimize resources, enhance student outcomes, and drive institutional success. By encouraging efficient resource sharing and joint initiatives, NASH cultivates a culture of cooperation and innovation. As a unified voice for higher education systems, NASH also plays a pivotal role in shaping higher education policy by engaging with lawmakers and contributing expertise.

Members, partners, and stakeholders have been instrumental in NASH’s journey. Together, the organization is well positioned to build on its shared accomplishments and embrace opportunities that lie ahead as the National Association of Higher Education Systems.

Looking forward, NASH has set an ambitious goal of increasing prosperity through the achievement of equitable student success in higher education by 2030, measured through degree and credential completion, social mobility, and student debt reduction. This milestone underscores NASH’s commitment to driving positive, tangible outcomes in higher education.

About the National Association of Higher Education Systems

Founded in 1979, the National Association of Higher Education Systems (NASH) works to advance the role of multi-campus systems and the concept of systemness to create a more vibrant and sustainable higher education sector. NASH systems are comprised of more than 500 campuses and serve more than 5 million students in nearly every state in the United States. To learn more about NASH and its national transformation agenda, the Power of Systems, visit


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