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Office of the President

Meet President Scott Pulsipher


Scott Pulsipher serves as president of nonprofit Western Governors University (WGU), the nation's first and largest competency-based university, leading all academic, operational, and organizational functions.

Pulsipher came to WGU in 2016 and blends a personal drive for making a difference in the lives of individuals and families through education and a passion for technology-powered innovation.

President Pulsipher's Focus Areas

Human Progress

As humans we share a universal aspiration to better ourselves and the world around us, yet in many ways our education and workforce systems are not yet designed to enable the progress each of us seeks. Creating an environment for every individual to thrive—at school, in the workplace, and in life—is at the heart of what we do at WGU.

Learn about how to reinvent our education and workforce systems to change lives for the better in my Progress newsletter on LinkedIn.

Renewing the Promise of Higher Education

Higher education accomplishes myriad objectives for students and society more broadly, but its primary purpose should be to enable students to experience economic mobility. Unfortunately, our higher education system has lost sight of this fundamental purpose, often leading to mediocre and uneven outcomes. To renew education’s promise, it needs to be a pathway that can be traveled by every individual.

Value of Higher Education

Higher education must be affordable and valuable. Students overwhelming cite economic mobility as their primary reason for going to college, but too often see little to no economic return.

Value for students means: 

  • Improving the relevancy of learning outcomes and credentials
  • Enhancing the student experience
  • Reducing costs

Learn about WGU’s outcomes through our alumni survey.


For education to fulfill its promise, we need to pair innovation with accountability. This means shifting policy away from regulating processes and toward measuring outcomes for students. Every college and university should be held accountable to achieving the following outcomes:

  • Improved completion rates
  • A strong return on investment 
  • Equity in both access and attainment

I testified before Congress about this policy approach during a 2023 hearing.

Innovation and AI

For years higher education has undergone demographic shifts that point to the need for new and innovative models, yet many of our nation’s institutions are ill-equipped to serve a more diverse student body. Fortunately, advances in technology—including AI—can improve the access, quality, personalization, delivery, and affordability of education. For those who adopt it, technology will help contextualize learning and dramatically increase the probability of student success.

In the News


President Pulsipher is frequently quoted in the news media, regularly writes for Forbes, and speaks on podcasts and podiums. Contact his staff for media inquiries or presentation requests.

More from President Pulsipher

A Message from President Scott Pulsipher

WGU 2022 Annual Update Video

American Education in Crisis

President Scott Pulsipher testifies before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce.

WGU Impact Blog

See how we're making an impact on the higher ed landscape