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Leadership

The SelfDesign Graduate Institute is governed by an Agency Agreement between the SelfDesign Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Bellingham, Washington, and the SelfDesign Learning Foundation, a Canadian charitable organization located in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Boards of the Foundations hire and supervise the Institute’s President; the Boards also determine the general policy of the Institute, manage its investments, and approve the budget for the expenditure of funds.

Officers and Dean

The President is the chief administrative officer and is responsible for all activities and functions of the Institute. Other key administrative officers include the Academic Dean, the Registrar, and the Vice-President for Finance.

David Marshak, Ed.D., President (CEO)

The President is the chief executive officer of the SelfDesign Graduate Institute and provides leadership to the academic departments in consultation with the Dean and subject to the direction and control of the Board of Directors. By the authority vested in him/her by the Board of Directors, the President confirms faculty appointments as recommended by faculty selection committees. As CEO, the President is responsible for the presentation of all Institute policies and recommendations to the Board. In the execution of her/his duties, the President consults with, and delegates to, the Dean, faculty, and administrative staff. The President also coordinates Library Services.

James Terrence (Terry) Cochran, M.B.A., Vice-President for Finance

The Vice-President for Finance is the chief financial administrator of the Institute and is responsible for supervising the preparation and oversight of the Institute budget and all other financial matters. The Vice-President for Finance works with the President and the Dean, faculty, and administrative staff to initiate and execute strategic operations.

David Marshak, Ed.D., Interim Academic Dean

The Academic Dean ensures that appropriate courses are available to learners, taught by suitably qualified faculty. The Dean ensures that applicants receive adequate advising about admissions, transfer, course and program planning, and graduation requirements. The Dean communicates with learners on an ongoing basis in matters related to academic programming and career preparation.

The Dean provides administrative and academic leadership to the faculty, consulting with faculty regularly, building consensus, removing obstacles to the achievement of the Institute’s mission, supporting innovation and excellence in teaching, encouraging critical reflection and adaptability. The Dean works with the faculty search committee to recruit and select new faculty, and makes the necessary recommendations to the President. The Dean reports to the President. Initially the Dean’s responsibilities will be enacted by the President.

Laurel Tien, M.A., Assistant Dean and Registrar

The Assistant Dean supports the Academic Dean in all of his responsibilities. The Registrar is responsible for supervising student applications and admission, creation and maintenance of student academic records, transcript services, course registration, course scheduling, tuition and fee assessment and refunds, graduation applications and ceremonies, and the student information system. The Registrar also collaborates with the Dean to oversee Student Services.

Board of Directors

For more on the Board of the SelfDesign Learning Foundation, see selfdesign.org

For more on the Board of the SelfDesign Foundation, see selfdesignfoundation.org

Advisory Council

The members of the Advisory Council provide advice and suggestions for improvement to the Institute’s leaders.

Robert C. Gilman, Ph.D.
Robert Manzer, Ph.D.
Milt Markewitz, M.A.
Stephanie Pace Marshall, Ph.D.
Harold Morse, Ph.D.
Dana Pearlman, M.A.
Stephanie Sarantos, Ph.D.