WICHE Appoints Michael Abbiatti as WCET Executive Director

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Effective January 5, 2015, e-learning leader, Michael Abbiatti joins WCET, the leading, national non-profit promoting technology-enhanced higher education, as Executive Director.

Michael Abbiatti

Michael Abbiatt

”WICHE is thrilled that Mike Abbiatti will join the WCET staff in this leadership position,” said David Longanecker, WICHE President. “He has been a champion on behalf of WCET for many years through his distinguished career."

WICHE President, David Longanecker, announced today the appointment of Michael Abbiatti as the new executive director of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) and WICHE Vice President for Educational Technologies, effective January 5, 2015. Abbiatti currently serves as the director of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Educational Technology Cooperative.

”WICHE is thrilled that Mike Abbiatti will join the WCET staff in this leadership position,” said David Longanecker, WICHE President. “He has been a champion on behalf of WCET for many years through his distinguished career in higher education and technology. Mike is a leader and will now lead WCET and its national membership of more than 350 higher education institutions and organizations to address critical challenges and opportunities in the teaching, learning, technology, and innovation space.”

“WCET is the nation’s leading, action-oriented educational policy organization,” said Abbiatti. “I'm honored to lead WCET’s dynamic group of professionals and its diverse membership.”

Abbiatti’s career has been a series of successful roles in promoting innovation in teaching and learning and in promoting collaborative solutions. After directing distance education for Louisiana State University, he served for a decade as the Associate Commissioner, Information and Learning Technology for the Louisiana Board of Regents. In that role, he promoted a statewide innovation grant program, attention to universal design principles, joint reviews of emerging technologies, a statewide e-learning support center, the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI), statewide Quality Matters and WCET memberships, and many other activities that helped raise the e-learning bar for all. More recently, he led the creation of the Arkansas Research and Education Optical Network (ARE-ON) and currently directs the Southern Regional Education Board's Educational Technology Cooperative.

While in Louisiana, he played a leadership role in coordinating postsecondary education response and recovery efforts following the Katrina and Rita hurricanes. Abbiatti remains active in development of a dynamic policy ecosystem impacting technology-enhanced teaching/learning, disaster preparedness, mitigation and recovery, cybersecurity, and challenges associated with broadband deployment in education. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Quality Matters, is active in the Internet2 K-20 community, and leads SREB’s membership team in the WCET State Authorization Network (SAN).

He will bring his expertise and passion for promoting innovation in teaching and learning, as well as his recent efforts to strengthen the policy and operational environment for broadband to support postsecondary education and research, but also to serve statewide K-20 education, research, and economic development priorities.

“WCET has been the leader in distance education for the past 26 years, identifying and promoting good practices for both the design and delivery of distance education but also on the policy front," Abbiatti continued. "I look forward to supporting existing and nurturing new relationships across the higher education landscape to further advance technology-enhanced teaching and learning."

“Mike’s qualifications and experiences are a strong match to the mission of WCET. I am pleased to welcome him as the fourth Executive Director,” noted Karen Solomon, WCET Executive Council chair. He has distinguished himself as visionary leader who can continue building on the momentum generated in the past five years. I also want to thank Mollie McGill and Russ Poulin as they took on the role as co-Interim Executive Director for 2014, along with their other duties. Due to their exceptional commitment to WCET, our strategic initiatives remained on target.”

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education – WICHE – is a non-profit and quasi-government organization established in the 1950’s through an interstate compact. WICHE was created to promote and to facilitate resource sharing, collaboration, and cooperative planning among Western states, their colleges and universities, and their systems of higher education. Member states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. For more information, please visit http://www.wiche.edu.

About WCET
The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) is the leading national, non-profit, member-driven organization devoted to advancing excellence in technology-enhanced higher education, working at the intersection of practice, policy and technology. WCET is widely recognized as one of the most informative, reliable and forward-thinking organizations regarding the role of technology and innovation in higher education. Connect with WCET - wcet.wiche.edu.

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