PR release from WGU

Former Winona State University Provost Joins Online University

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Western Governors University (WGU),, has appointed former Winona State University Provost, Dr. Sally Johnstone, as Vice President, Academic Advancement. In this assignment, Dr. Johnstone will have both an external and an internal role. She will serve as academic spokesperson for the university, acting as a liaison with education organizations, associations, and conferences. In addition, Johnstone will work with WGU’s industry and academic program councils to ensure that WGU students continue to receive high-quality, relevant education.

Dr. Johnstone joins WGU with more than 25 years of leadership experience in higher education, with particular emphasis on the integration of technology into teaching and learning. For the past five years, she served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota. From 1989 to 2006, she was Executive Director of the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET) at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Dr. Johnstone has authored dozens of publications on higher education policy, distance learning, and open educational resources.  She will continue to serve on several editorial boards and on the U.S. UNESCO Commission.

“Dr. Johnstone was involved in the original concept and design of WGU and our competency-based learning model, and we’re very pleased that she has agreed to join the university,” said WGU President Dr. Robert W. Mendenhall. “Her experience in higher education will be invaluable to us as we continue to improve our curriculum and spread the word about our unique model throughout the higher education community.”

About Western Governors University

Featured on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and in The New York Times, WGU is the only university in the U.S. offering competency-based degree programs and the only nonprofit, fully online university with students in all 50 states. WGU offers 50 degree programs in Business, Education, Information Technology, and Health Professions, including Nursing. Since its inception in 1997, WGU has grown into a national institution, serving more than 27,000 students. WGU is self-sustaining on tuition of approximately $6,000 per 12-month year for most programs.

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

In 2011, WGU received its second 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance learning from the United States Distance Learning Association, (USDLA). In addition, WGU President Robert W. Mendenhall was recognized for his achievements in higher education when he received the 2010 McGraw Prize in Education.

On June 11, 2010, WGU Indiana was created by Governor Mitch Daniels as Indiana’s eighth state university. WGU Washington was established by the Washington State Legislature on April 22, 2011.  On August 3, 2011, the state of Texas created WGU Texas. Subsidiaries of Western Governors University, WGU Indiana, WGU Washington, and WGU Texas are state-endorsed and offer degree programs that are accredited through Western Governors University.

The university has earned the support of more than 20 leading corporations and foundations. They include institutions such as AT&T, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,  Lilly Endowment, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, Oracle, Qwest, SunGard Higher Education, and Zions Bank. More information is available at or by calling 866.225.5948.

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SOURCE  Western Governors University

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