ACCSC Executive Committee
Chair of the Commission
Duane Kramer currently serves as the Vice President of New Campus Operations and Education Programs for Universal Technical Institute. In this position, Duane is responsible for providing leadership for start-up and continuing education programs at UTI, as well as the training of campus presidents to ensure compliance with regulations and accrediting standards. Since joining UTI in 1999, Duane has served in a number of positions within the organization including Campus Director, Vice President of Education, and Regional Vice President of Operations. Duane has also been active as a volunteer with ACCSC since 2005 where hehas served as a Team Leader on 18 on-site evaluations conducted on behalf of the Commission.
Elizabeth Hawthorne, Ph.D.*
Vice Chair of the Commission
Dr. Elizabeth Hawthorne currently serves as the Interim Dean at Nevada State College located in Henderson, Nevada and brings to ACCSC over 25 years of experience in higher education as a professor and administrator in public, private, and proprietary institutions. Dr. Hawthorne previously served as President of the Council of Universities and Colleges, an affiliate organization of the American Association of Community Colleges; as Dean of the College of Education at Ellis University; and as Vice President for Academic Affairs for City Colleges of Chicago. Since 2011, she has been an active volunteer with ACCSC serving as an Education Specialist, a member of ACCSC’s onsite evaluation teams. Dr. Hawthorne earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan.
Julie Basler, Ph.D.
Treasurer of the Commission
Dr. Julie Basler has served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs for Platt College, an ACCSC-accredited institution located in Aurora, Colorado since 2007. Julie has been volunteering with ACCSC since 2008 and has served in a variety of positions including as a member of the Degree Committee, as a Distance Education Specialist onsite evaluator, and as a featured speaker at ACCSC’s Professional Development Conferences where she focuses on best practices in self-evaluation and curriculum development. In 2011, in recognition of her dedication and service to ACCSC, the Commission selected Julie as a Volunteer of the Year. Additionally, throughout her career in postsecondary education, she has served on accreditation and compliance committees and for Columbia State Community College, where she served as Coordinator Chair of Fine Arts and Chair of the College's 40th Anniversary Celebration. Julie earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin; a Master’s degree from Murray State University, and a Doctor of Arts/Philosophy from Middle Tennessee State University.
Secretary of the Commission
Valerie Njie is the Executive Director/Senior Vice-President at Bidwell Training Center located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and brings over 35 years of experience in postsecondary adult technical education to the Commission. Throughout her career with Bidwell Training Center, Valerie has been one of ACCSC’s most active volunteers, serving as a Team Leader on more than 70 on-site evaluations as well as serving as a member of the ACCSC Appeals Panel. Based upon her dedication to career education and her support of ACCSC’s mission, Valerie was selected by the Commission as the Volunteer of the Year in 2009. Valerie is also active with the Pennsylvania Association for Adult and Continuing Education and the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators.
David Cohen, JD
For more than 25 years, David Cohen has been deeply involved in post-secondary education in a variety of roles, including financial aid, admissions, and bursar operations. Additionally, David has served as a faculty member, Dean of Administration, and Provost at a multi-campus system of regionally accredited schools, all of which helped shape his vision of how to design and deliver a quality postsecondary educational experience to students. Currently, David serves as president of The Institute for Audio Research, an ACCSC-accredited institutions located in New York, New York, where he provides executive and academic leadership, and leads the school’s regulatory and compliance initiatives. Throughout his career in higher education, David has also been involved with various organizations such as the American Council on Education, New York State Education Department, and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. David earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Business Economics from the SUNY College at Oneonta and a JD from the New York Law School.
Jerrold Foust formerly served as the Dean of Academic Affairs at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire and as President of The Art Institute of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio. Throughout his career in postsecondary, career education, Jerrold has supported institutional operations in a variety of ways, including student affairs, academics, career services, and human resources. Jerrold, a strong advocate for online education, co-wrote and produced digital film and video production courses, and helped to develop processes to increase student persistence, ensure quality, and demonstrate compliance with various regulatory criteria. Jerrold earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Phoenix, and a Master’s degree in Education from Northern Arizona University. Additionally, Jerrold completed doctoral coursework in Education Leadership with Argosy University. Jerrold has supported the accreditation process with ACCSC by serving as a volunteer Education Specialist onsite evaluator since 2009.
Mollie Hager currently serves as the Vice President of Central State Beauty and Wellness College in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Previously, Mollie acted in a variety of capacities with the Platt College system of schools in Oklahoma, including Dental Assistant Program Coordinator, Instructor, Admissions Representative, Student and Career Services Coordinator, Financial Aid Director, Campus Director and finally as Executive Director, a role in which she was responsible for overseeing five campuses. Mollie’s commitment to the vocational education sector is evident through her involvement in other regulatory bodies such as the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools and the Oklahoma Restaurant Association. Mollie has been volunteering as a Team Leader for ACCSC since 2004 and was recognized as ACCSC’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009. Mollie holds a Medical Secretary Diploma from City College in Norman, Oklahoma and has completed coursework towards a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.
Since 2011, Mary Kelly has served as the President and CEO of StrataTech Education Group, the parent company for The Refrigeration School, Inc., in Phoenix, Arizona, and two Tulsa Welding School campuses located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to her leadership positions within the career and technical education sector, including serving as Group Vice President for Lincoln Education Services, Executive Director of Southwestern College, and as Campus Director of New School University, Mary previously taught English and Career Placement Techniques at Hudson Valley Community College. Mary has been volunteering with ACCSC as a Team Leader for on-site evaluations since 2012 and currently holds licensure as an Adkins Life Skills Educator from Columbia University and certifications for K-8 and 7-12 English. Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Arts in English Education, and a Master of Science in Educational Policy and Administration from the University at Albany.
Since 2012, Norbert Kreuzer has served as the Campus Director for the Institute of Production and Recording, an ACCSC-accredited institution located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In this capacity, Norbert is responsible for all operations of the institution, including compliance initiatives, marketing and branding campaigns, and curriculum development. Norbert, an award winning song writer, composer, and music producer, has an extensive background in audio visual production and technology, and is a national speaker on career development best practices and graduate success strategies. Since 2012, Norbert has served as a volunteer Team Leader which is charged with leading onsite evaluations to institutions seeking accreditation from ACCSC. Norbert earned an MBA from the Minnesota School of Business and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Rollins College.
Mildred Lane, Ed.D.*
Dr. Mildred Lane is a professor emeritus from Duquesne University where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in the College of Education’s Special Education Program. As a licensed counselor, Mildred has been affiliated with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, the American Psychotherapy Association, and Duquesne University’s School of Education Counseling Center. Additionally, from 1997 to 2000, Mildred served as the president for the Pennsylvania Association for Adult Development and Aging. In 1997, Mildred began volunteering with ACCSC as an Education Specialist, which evaluates the educational delivery of programs offered by institutions that are seeking accreditation, and since that time has participated on approximately 100 onsite evaluations. In recognition of her service to ACCSC, in 2012, the Commission selected Mildred as a Volunteer of the Year. Mildred earned her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral degree in Education from Duquesne University.
Alfred Medro has served as the Vice President and School Director of Platt College in San Diego, California since 2003. Before his tenure with Platt College, Alfred taught within the Victorian Department of Education in Victoria, Australia, during which time he was not only responsible for the design and delivery of secondary and post-secondary curricula, but also the integration of multimedia tools into the delivery of the courses. Additionally, Alfred has volunteered as an ACCSC Team Leader since 2010 and as an ACCSC Nominating Committee Member since 2014. In addition to his work with the Commission and with Platt San Diego, Alfred currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Association of Private Post-Secondary Schools (CAPPS). He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Professional Diploma of Education from the University of Hawaii, Manoa and a Graduate Diploma of Computing from Deakin University in Geelong, Australia.
Ted Settle, Ph.D.*
From 1992 to 2010, Dr. Theodore “Ted” Settle served in a variety of roles at Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, including the Director of Economic Development, Adjunct Associate Professor for a Higher Education and Student Affairs Program, and as the Director of Continuing Education. Before his tenure at Virginia Tech, Dr. Settle served as the Director of Program Development and Evaluation for NCR Management College in Dayton, OH and as the Assistant Director for Academic and Health Affairs at the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Dr. Settle has served on numerous regulatory bodies and oversight agencies, most notably, the Education Council, the National Association of Manufacturers, and U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. Dr. Settle holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Iowa State University, a Master of Business in Business Administration from Harvard University and a Doctor of Philosophy in higher education administration from University of Michigan. Dr. Settle currently owns and operates a higher education consulting firm, Creative Partnership.
Marya Withers has served as the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs of Lincoln Education Services since 2009, during which time she has overseen and supported 36 campus education operation systems across fifteen states. In her career, Marya has a served as a Program Director and Instructor at Rutgers University and an Academic Advisor at Seton Hall University. Since 2013, Mary has been an active ACCSC volunteer Team Leader for onsite evaluations. Marya is a member of Kappa Delta Pi National Education Honor Society and the recipient of the Excellence in Corporate Service Award from Lincoln Education Services. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Education from Seton Hall University and is currently an Ed.D. candidate at Northcentral University.
*denotes Public Commissioner