Western Governors University has appointed Dr. Marni Baker Stein as Provost and Chief Academic Officer.

Stein joins WGU with more than 20 years of experience in developing, implementing, and scaling programs to improve access, affordability, and student success in higher education. In this role, she will lead all of WGU's academic programs, faculty, and teams and drive the university's focus on academic quality and student success.

Stein joins WGU after serving as Chief Innovation Officer for the University of Texas System's Institute for Transformational Learning where she developed and implemented leading processes and technologies for student learning, progress, and credentialing. Before joining the University of Texas System, she was Senior Associate Dean of Columbia University's School of Continuing Education, where she oversaw the school's academic portfolio and was responsible for the development, design, and evaluation of all online and hybrid programs.

Prior to her work at Columbia, Stein led the development of graduate, undergraduate, and non-degree programming delivered through a wide variety of innovative packages, including dual language, executive, online and hybrid formats for educational institutions in the U.S. and abroad, including: The University of Pennsylvania, The University of California Santa Barbara, The Pennsylvania State UniversitySUNY Buffalo (Latvia), and the United States Information Agency (TurkeyJapan). In August 2016, Stein was selected by the Department of Education to serve as a member of the national Technical Working Group charged with transforming higher education through technology through the expansion of the 2016 National Educational Technology Plan. Stein has a PhD in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum from the University of Pennsylvania.

"Dr. Stein's academic and operational experience, along with her track record for innovation and student obsession, make her an excellent fit for this key role at WGU," said WGU President Scott Pulsipher. "We look forward to her leadership as we begin our next 20 years, continuing to focus on innovation to expand access and improve quality of higher education and optimize student outcomes."

"WGU's intense focus on learners, combined with its mission to improve the quality of and expand access to higher education, is unique and truly inspirational," said Stein. "I am honored and motivated to be a part of WGU as my life and work are aligned with its purpose to transform the lives of individuals through education. I look forward to continuing, even accelerating, its innovation, program quality, and learning models to advance student success."