News Release: Indiana Governor Elected to WGU Board of Trustees, 1/25/10

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News Brief - 1/25/10

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels Elected to Western Governors University Board of Trustees

Daniels joins Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado as the second sitting governor appointed to the university’s governing board

Salt Lake City, Utah (January 25, 2010) Governor Mitchell E. Daniels of Indiana has joined the Western Governors University Board of Trustees. Daniels was unanimously elected to the governing board of the non-profit university founded in 1997 by 19 western governors, including then-governor of Indiana Frank O’Bannon. Created to make higher education more affordable and accessible to working adults, WGU offers competency-based degrees in high demand fields such as Business, Information Technology, Education, and Healthcare, including Nursing.

“WGU was conceived by a bi-partisan group of governors, and the continuing involvement of governors has been integral to our growth and development throughout the years,” said WGU President Dr. Robert Mendenhall. “With his commitment to education and education reform, Governor Daniels will make a vital contribution to our board during this time of tremendous growth. We welcome him to our board and look forward to working with him.”

"I hate to admit how little I knew about WGU until recently. I've become very excited about this innovative, high-quality, affordable educational offering and look forward to bringing this option to the attention of more Hoosier students," said Daniels.

In 2009, a cooperative agreement was reached between WGU and Ivy Tech Community College that waives the WGU application fee for Ivy Tech graduates and provides a tuition discount and credit transferability. The agreement also creates a limited number of scholarships for Ivy Tech students to continue their education through WGU.

Elected in 2004, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. is the 49th Governor of Indiana. Prior to running for his first elected office, Governor Daniels spent 15 years in the private sector serving as an executive at Eli Lilly and Company and CEO of the Hudson Institute. He also served as chief of staff to Senator Richard Lugar, senior advisor to President Ronald Reagan, and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under President George W. Bush. Governor Daniels was re-elected in 2008 to a second and final term, receiving more votes than any candidate for any public office in the state’s history.

Since its inception in 1997, WGU has grown into a national institution, serving more than 17,000 students in all 50 states. At last count, about 240 Indiana students were enrolled.

About Western Governors University (WGU)

“[WGU is] the best relatively cheap university you’ve never heard of.” - TIME magazine

Recently featured on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, WGU is the only university in the U.S. offering competency-based degree programs and the only non-profit, fully online university in the country. WGU courses are academically rigorous and designed for adults who are motivated and committed to earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree that supports their career objectives and meets the needs of employers.

WGU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and nationally accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). WGU’s Teachers College is the first and only exclusively online provider of teacher education to receive accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). WGU nursing programs have been accredited by the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, BearingPoint, Dell, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, HCA, Microsoft, Oracle, Qwest, SunGard Higher Education, Sun Microsystems, and Zions Bank. More information is available at www.wgu.edu.