SALT LAKE CITY – Western Governors University (WGU) has announced the appointment of David Grow to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer. Grow, a 14-year veteran of WGU, will lead teams focused on co-curricular services, including financial aid, marketing, regional and state operations, and alumni engagement, among other services.
“David Grow’s leadership and focus on student success have been key to WGU’s ability to expand access to high-quality, affordable education,” said WGU President Scott D. Pulsipher. “During his time at WGU, he has played a crucial role in establishing and maintaining the university’s firm financial foundation as well as building our student-obsessed culture. In this new role, he will be instrumental in helping the university expand its impact by creating more pathways to opportunity through education.”
Grow has served as WGU’s Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration since June 2005. He was responsible for finance, accounting, budgeting, human resources, information technology, and student services. During that time, Grow’s leadership contributed to the growth of a small institution still in its startup phase—sustained by investment and serving fewer than 4,000 students and just 400 graduates—to one of the nation’s largest universities, a self-sustaining nonprofit with nearly 120,000 students, 160,000 graduates, and 7,000 employees nationwide.
Through this period of growth, Grow emphasized affordability and serving students. He helped expand students’ access to financial aid. He introduced a flat-rate tuition model under which students pay per term rather than per course or credit, saving money when they complete extra coursework and graduate early. He oversaw the creation of WGU’s responsible borrowing initiatives, a personalized student advising program that has decreased student borrowing—already low by national standards—by 30 percent since its launch in 2013.
WGU’s national reach now includes eight state-endorsed affiliates, students in all 50 states and at military installations around the world, and a number of initiatives designed to change the landscape of higher education beyond WGU’s student and alumni population, including a nonprofit innovation lab focused on improving student outcomes and a college-readiness academy.
“I joined WGU 14 years ago because I could see that it was something special, a unique opportunity to commit my career to serving students and helping them better their lives through education,” Grow said.
Prior to working at WGU, he was Chief Financial Officer at inContact and a Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Board of Directors at Spectrum Professional Services, Inc. He was named CFO of the Year by Utah Business Magazine (2013).