Skip to the content

Kansas State University

Advisory Board

Katherine Frank
Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of English
Indiana University East

Katherine Frank is Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of English at Indiana University East. She served as Chairperson of English and Foreign Languages at Colorado State University-Pueblo from 2008 through 2011 and Director of the Southern Colorado Writing Project from 2003 through 2011. Frank earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Bates College, and her master’s and Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington. Her composition textbook, (Re)actions: Affecting Change through Inquiry-Based Writing, was published by Fountainhead Press in January 2011. Frank has published articles on problem-based learning, recruitment and retention, program development, and leadership training and has presented her research at conferences all over the world including Poland, Great Britain, and throughout the United States. Frank serves on numerous community boards as well as national boards and committees.

Christian K. Hansen
Associate Dean of Computing and Engineering Sciences
College of Science, Health, and Engineering
Eastern Washington University

Christian Hansen holds an appointment as professor in the Department of Mathematics and served as the department chair from 2001 to 2009. Before joining EWU in 1993, he worked as a reliability specialist at the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT) in Washington, D.C. He holds an M.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in statistics from the Technical University of Denmark.

After publishing more than two dozen scientific articles within his technical discipline, Dr. Hansen has recently focused much of his research on time management and academic leadership. He is the author of Time Management for Department Chairs (Jossey-Bass, 2011) and has led several workshops for department chairs, including presentations at the Academic Chairpersons Conference and the Jossey-Bass Department Chair Leadership Institute. A longtime volunteer with the IEEE he has served in numerous leadership positions, including vice-president for publications, secretary, newsletter editor, and treasurer of the IEEE Reliability Society.

Susan Hatfield
Professor, Communications
Winona State University

Susan Hatfield is a Professor of Communication Studies at Winona State University. She served nine years as chairperson in that department and for 12 years as the Assessment Coordinator. She is a Visiting Scholar with the Higher Learning Commission and serves as a peer evaluator for that organization. Susan presents numerous workshops on assessment and accreditation at state, regional, and national conferences and consults with individual departments and universities on related issues.

Mary Lou Higgerson
Vice President for Academic Affairs Emeritus
Baldwin Wallace University

Mary Lou Higgerson is the recipient of eight teaching awards including being named Distinguished Teacher in 1997 at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She is a seasoned academic administrator with more than thirty-five years of experience with service at both large, public doctoral granting and small private, liberal arts institutions, and has held administrative appointments at every level of the institution from department chair to system office. Since 1990, she has presented on a variety of leadership communication topics for the American Council on Education, the Idea Center, and for numerous institutions. With a strong commitment to Higgerson has authored Communication Skills for Department Chairs (Jossey-Bass, 1996), co-authored Effective Leadership Communication: A Survival Guide for Department Chairs and College Deans (Jossey-Bass, 2007), co-authored The Administrative Portfolio: Practical Guide to Improved Administrative Performance and Personnel Decisions (Jossey-Bass, 2002), and co-authored Complexities of Higher Education Administration: Case Studies and Issues (Jossey-Bass, 1993). She worked with Irene Hecht and Walt Gmelch to write The Department Chair as Academic Leader (ACE/Oryx Press, 1999). In 2000, Kansas State University presented Mary Lou Higgerson with the Bill E. Cashin Distinguished Service Award for "Outstanding Service to the Academic Chairpersons Conference and the Study of Academic Administration."

N. Douglas Lees
Associate Dean, Planning and Finance
Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

N. Douglas Lees served as chair of the Biology Department for 18 years and also holds the title of Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He was recently named Associate Dean for Planning and Finance in the school of Science at IUPUI. In this newly created position, Dr. Lees will work with the dean in allocation of faculty, staff, and other personnel lines and financial, facility, and program resources. He will also assist with annual budget planning and assessment as well as fiscal policy development.

Christine M. Licata
Senior Associate Provost
Rochester Institute of Technology

Christine Licata has over 40 years experience in the field of education. She joined the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in 1979 as chairperson of the Business Department. In 1991, she was named Assistant Dean for Administrative Affairs and Associate Dean four years later. She recently served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at NTID, supervising 11 academic departments. She was responsible for oversight of curriculum, research, faculty recruitment and development, program review, accreditation, and outcomes assessment. She is known for her research in the areas of faculty evaluation and post-tenure review.

Ken Ryalls
President, The IDEA Center
Manhattan, KS

Ken has expertise in teaching and learning, assessment, faculty development, strategic planning, curriculum and program design, and management at all levels of academic administration. He has won numerous teaching awards from both students and peers, and remains as committed to quality teaching as when he first set foot in the classroom. As a consultant-evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association since 2004, Ken has helped many colleges and universities move forward with efforts related to improving educational outcomes through strategic planning, quality assessment, new pedagogies, and change management.

Ken has assumed many roles in higher education, beginning as a professor of Psychology and quickly moving into more comprehensive administrative roles. He has served as program director, department chair, and division chair at College of Saint Mary in Omaha, NE, and stepped into the role of Chief Academic Officer in 2004 as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Nebraska Methodist College. After almost eight years in the role of CAO, Ken assumed The IDEA Center presidency in 2012.

Lynda Spire
Assistant Dean, Division of Continuing Education
Kansas State University

Lynda Spire is the Assistant Dean for the Division of Continuing Education at Kansas State University. In this role, she heads the unit that is responsible for delivery and service of both credit and noncredit programs, including conferences. Lynda has been involved with Academic Chairpersons Conference for over 20 years.

Daniel W. Wheeler
Professor Emeritus
Former Head of Department of Ag Leadership, Education and Communication
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Daniel (Dan) W. Wheeler is Professor Emeritus of Leadership Studies and former Head of the Department of Ag Leadership, Education and Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Previously he was Coordinator of the Office of Professional and Organizational Development at Nebraska. He has degrees from Antioch College, Cornell and SUNYAB. Dr. Wheeler has made numerous contributions to faculty development, chairing departments and leadership. He is author of the the 2012 Jossey-Bass book titled Servant Leadership for Higher Education: Principles and Practices.

Past Advisory Board Members