Ashford University Board of Trustees
Dr. Gregory L. Geoffroy, Chairperson
Dr. Gregory L. Geoffroy brings more than 30 years of experience in higher education to the Ashford University Board of Trustees. Currently, he is President Emeritus and a Professor of Chemistry at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, where he spent the previous ten years as the institution's President. From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Geoffroy served as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. He was at Pennsylvania State University from 1974 to 1997, where he held a variety of leadership positions, including Dean of the Eberly College of Science and Head of the Chemistry department. Dr. Geoffroy currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Bankers Trust Corporation and is a Grand Council Member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He earned a PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a BS in Chemistry from the University of Louisville.
Lt. Col. Paul Aguirre
Lt. Col. Paul Aguirre is the Chief of Staff for the 161st Air Refueling Wing (ARW) of the Arizona National Guard. In this role, he manages a professional support staff that includes legal, chaplain, public affairs and other support functions. He has served over 22 years in the military, deploying to Afghanistan in 2011 to 2012, where he worked in the Chief of Staff's office at the NATO Headquarters in Kandahar, Afghanistan. His diverse management experience includes serving as Public Affairs Officer for the Arizona National Guard, where he represented the over 8,000 members of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to media and community groups. He also has an extensive financial management background that includes 12 years as the Comptroller for the 161st ARW, managing an annual budget exceeding 40 million dollars, and Resource Manager for the Joint Counter Narcotics Task Force, a joint Army and Air Guard program supporting local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Guard Association of Arizona. A strong advocate for adult education, Lt. Col Aguirre earned his BA from the University of Phoenix while on active duty with the Arizona National Guard.
Dr./Sister Ruth Cox, OSF
Sister Ruth Cox presently serves as an Adjunct Faculty at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Previous to her role with Kirkwood Community College, Sister Ruth served as President and CEO of The Alverno in Clinton, Iowa. She has served professionally in many roles, including the Leadership Council of the Sisters of St. Francis and the Iowa Advisory Board for the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care. Sister Ruth has delivered numerous papers and presentations on the topic of nursing. Her many academic assignments include the Curriculum Committee for the College of Nursing at Loyola University of Chicago, among others. Sister Ruth holds a PhD from the University of Iowa, and earned her MA and BS from Loyola University of Chicago.
Dr. Merle W. Harris
Dr. Merle W. Harris brings 45 years of educational experience to the Ashford Board of Trustees. She has served in a variety of roles at institutions of higher education, high schools, grade schools and the Connecticut Department of Higher Education. Most recently, she served as Professor of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in Public Policy and Higher Education Policy, Law and Foundations at Charter Oak State College and the University of Hartford in Connecticut. Dr. Harris also works as a consultant in planning, policy development and accreditation in education and higher education. From 1989 to 2008, Dr. Merle served as Executive Director of the Board for State Academic Awards and President of Charter Oak State College. She also served as Interim President of Central Connecticut State University and as Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Research Planning for the Connecticut Department of Higher Education. Dr. Merle currently sits on the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the Connecticut Allied Health Policy Board. She earned her EdD in Education Policy, Research and Administration from the University of Massachusetts, and her MS in Guidance and Counseling and BS in Education from Central Connecticut State College.
Dr. Carol Kasworm
Dr. Carol Kasworm has nearly four decades of experience studying adult learners and is considered a leading authority on adult undergraduate students in higher education. She is the W. Dallas Herring professor emerita of adult and community college, formerly of the Department of Leadership, Policy and Adult and Higher Education at North Carolina State University. Her research interests have focused upon the adult undergraduate experience, including the nature of learning engagement and participation patterns of adult students, the situated influences of varied higher education contexts on adult learners, and the role of adult higher education in a lifelong learning society. Dr. Kasworm has held faculty appointments at University of Texas – Austin, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, University of Houston – Clear Lake and University of South Florida. She has also served as Associate Dean of Research and Technology in the College of Education at University of Tennessee – Knoxville and Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty and Program Development at University of Houston – Clear Lake. In 2002, Dr. Kasworm was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. She received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from Valparaiso University, her MA in Higher Education Administration from Michigan State University and her EdD in Adult Education from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Paula Kelly
Dr. Paula Kelly is currently the Director of Development for International Relief Teams (IRT). Previously, Dr. Kelly served as the Vice President of Development for the Monarch School and prior to Monarch School she was the Dean of the College of Extended Studies at San Diego State University. Dr. Kelly has a background in entrepreneurial education and international business. She traveled to more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East to market and develop the College of Extended Studies' international training and development programs for SDSU. Dr. Kelly earned her MBA and doctorate at the University of San Diego and later served as the Director of Development at that institution. She has served on the Boards of the World Trade Center, Asian Business Association, and St. Vincent de Paul Village.
Dr. Meredyth A. Leahy
Dr. Meredyth A. Leahy has over 30 years experience working with adult educators and adult learners in basic literacy, secondary, continuing and higher education, in both public sector and military education venues, including Temple University and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Cabrini College, Muhlenberg College, and Excelsior. From 1994 to 2008 she served as Dean, School of Liberal Arts, Excelsior College, Albany, New York. Since her retirement, she has served as distance education adjunct faculty for Excelsior College teaching an undergraduate course on the history and philosophy of American education, and North Carolina State University where she taught a graduate course on the adult learner. She recently joined the American Council on Education's Military Installation Voluntary Education Review (MIVER) as a program review team member. Dr. Leahy earned her Bachelor's degree from Edinboro State Teachers College and her Master's and Doctorate degrees in adult education from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Craig W. Linebaugh
Dr. Craig W. Linebaugh brings a wealth of experience in higher education to the Ashford Board of Trustees. He has spent more than 35 years at The George Washington University serving in a variety of leadership roles, including Senior Associate Provost of Academic Operations, Associate Vice President for Academic Planning, and Chief Academic Operating Officer of the Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia. Currently, he is a Professor of Speech and Hearing Science and a Research Professor of Medicine at The George Washington University. Dr. Linebaugh sits on the Board of Trustees Committee on a Science and Engineering Complex. He earned his post-doctoral fellow in Speech-Language Pathology from the Mayo Clinic, his PhD in Speech and Hearing Science and MA in Speech-Language Pathology from Temple University, and a BA in English Literature from Lebanon Valley College.
Dr. Geri Hockfield Malandra
Dr. Geri H. Malandra is the founder and principal of Malandra Consulting LLC, a firm created to assist higher education leaders with the development and implementation of outcomes-focused management, accountability, and policy initiatives. From 2012-2013, she served as Senior Advisor to the President of Kaplan University, after serving the previous two years as Provost. Prior positions include her role as the Senior Vice President for Leadership, Membership, and Policy Research at the American Council on Education, and as Vice Chancellor for Strategic Management for the University of Texas System. Dr. Malandra also served as Associate Vice Provost at the University of Minnesota, where she spent more than 16 years working in various leadership capacities. Her public service includes an appointment by former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to serve as a member and Vice Chair of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. Dr. Malandra holds her MA and PhD in Ancient Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She earned her BA from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
Ms. Mary Jo Maydew
For more than 30 years, Mary Jo Maydew has been providing financial guidance to colleges and universities. From 2000 to 2011, she was the Vice President for Finance and Administration at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts where she had previously been Treasurer since 1987. Prior to that, Ms. Maydew held the positions of Assistant Treasurer and Assistant to the University Controller at Cornell University. Currently, Ms. Maydew serves on the Board of Directors for the Center Redevelopment Corporation and the Investment Committee for The Loomis Communities. In addition, she recently completed a seven-year term as a Commissioner on the New England Association for Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. She has served on the Board of Directors for several educational organizations, including the Tuition Plan Consortium, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and the Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers. Ms. Maydew earned her MBA from Cornell University and her BS in Accounting from the University of Denver.
Dr. Peter Negroni
Dr. Peter J. Negroni is Senior Vice President of Relationship Development at the College Board. A career educator with more than 30 years experience as a teacher and administrator, Dr. Negroni began his career in education as a New York City teacher before moving into administrative roles, including principal and community college district superintendent. From 1989 through 2000 he was superintendent of the Springfield (Mass.) public school system. In 1998 he was named Superintendent of the Year by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dr. Negroni earned a Bachelor's degree from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., a sixth-year certificate in student administration from City College of New York and a doctorate from Fairleigh Dickenson University in Teaneck, N.J.
Ms. Cheryl Ann OldhamCheryl Ann Oldham is Vice President of Education Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and is also Vice President of the Institute for a Competitive Workforce for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Her 20 years of experience in public policy, education, and government relations includes eight years of service in President George W. Bush’s administration. Most recently, she served in a variety of roles with the U.S. Department of Education, including Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education, Chief of Staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of Education, and Executive Director for the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education. Oldham began her career serving as Health and Human Services Policy Director for the Texas Office of State-Federal relations in Washington, D.C. She also currently serves on the National Workforce Solutions Advisory Board. Oldham earned her JD from St. Mary University’s School of Law and her BA in Political Science from Texas Christian University.
Dr. Richard L. Pattenaude
Dr. Richard L. Pattenaude is the President of Ashford University. His experience in higher education spans 40 years in various leadership roles. From 2007 to 2012, he served as Chancellor of the University of Maine System, after serving for 16 years as President of the University of Southern Maine. Dr. Pattenaude also served for five years as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Central Connecticut State University, for five years as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and for six years as a member of the Political Science Faculty and the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Pattenaude is actively involved in numerous community organizations. He currently serves on the Boards of Maine Health, the Alfond College Scholarship Challenge, and Lee Auto Malls. Dr. Pattenaude was Chair of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the regional accrediting entity. He earned his Bachelor's degree in economics at California's San Jose State University and his PhD in political science at the University of Colorado. His areas of expertise and publishing include American government, university leadership, public administration, and organizational theory. Dr. Pattenaude is a Vietnam veteran.
Dr. Karen Paulson
Dr. Karen Paulson is a Senior Associate at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). Her areas of expertise include assessment, evaluation, accreditation, and the use of data in state policymaking; she has worked at over 40 postsecondary institutions and in 30 states. She conducts evaluations for institutions and consortia with externally funded projects including the State Scholars Initiative, Title III, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) Comprehensive, and Learning Anytime Anyplace Partnership grants. She is the author of "Developing Public Agendas for Higher Education: Lessons for Comparative State Higher Education Policy," in State Postsecondary Education Research: New Methods to Inform Policy and Practice, edited by K. M. Shaw and D. E. Heller in 2007, "Adult Learners in the United States: A National Profile" (co-authored with Marianne Boeke for the American Council on Education, 2006), and "A Data Audit and Analysis Toolkit to Support Assessment of the First College Year" (2003). She holds engineering degrees in addition to her higher education study. Her Ph.D. is in Higher Education with a minor in Policy Analysis from The Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. Randy Ward
Dr. Randolph E. Ward was hired as San Diego County Superintendent of Schools on June 29, 2006, and began his official duties in the new position on August 14 of that year. Under his leadership the San Diego County Office of Education completed its first formal Strategic Plan, working with leaders throughout the county to craft the plan. Dr. Ward and his staff coordinated the local education community's response to the San Diego County wildfires of 2007, and worked closely with County Health officials and local schools in response to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. Dr. Ward serves on several local boards of directors, including the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Council, the USS Midway Education Museum, the Workforce Investment Board, Junior Achievement, and the Financial Crisis Management Assistance Team.