Higher Education and Future of Work Strategist Joins National University System to Scale Learner-Centered Programs

Acclaimed author and future of work scholar Dr. Michelle R. Weise joins adult-serving nonprofit university as vice chancellor for strategy and innovation

LA JOLLA, CALIF. (June 18, 2021) — National University System, a nonprofit network of education institutions that includes National University, Northcentral University, and City University of Seattle, today announced the appointment of Dr. Michelle R. Weise, a national expert on lifelong learning and the future of work, as its inaugural vice chancellor for strategy and innovation. In the newly-created role, Dr. Weise will focus on reorienting and scaling the university’s internal processes as it designs new programs and aligns its core academic expertise, curricula and student services with the demands of a rapidly-evolving world of work.

“Through her rich experiences as an educator, administrator, funder, author and researcher, Michelle brings a truly unique perspective on the needs of modern learners—and the systems and personnel required to sustain lifelong learning as we meet future workforce needs head on,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, chancellor of the National University System, which serves over 45,000 adult learners nationwide. “Michelle’s leadership will be invaluable as we work to align the impact of our faculty experts and workforce-relevant programs with the needs of a fast-changing labor market.”

The appointment of Weise represents the National University System’s expansion of personalized instruction, holistic student support, and competency-based credentialing—designed to ensure each student has a personalized plan aligned to their professional goals, credentials and skills. Weise will lead a cross-functional team of labor market analysts, educators, and student support experts as the university seeks to create new educational offerings that are tightly-coupled with labor market demand.

“This period of profound economic dislocation and change only underscores the importance of lifelong learning as an imperative for social and economic mobility. As we work to serve an increasingly diverse population of learners, institutions must develop the expertise and the muscles to stretch and meet the needs of people whose academic and career needs vary so greatly,” Dr. Weise said. “The vision for this role is to create the internal infrastructure needed to connect our career-relevant academic offerings and experiences with the needs of working learners and employers, and I’m excited to embrace the challenge and opportunity ahead.”

For the past decade, Dr. Weise’s practice has concentrated on the shifts required to prepare working-age adults for the jobs of today and tomorrow. She is the award-winning author of Long-Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Even Exist Yet (Wiley, 2021). Prior to joining National University, Dr. Weise served as a senior advisor at Imaginable Futures, a venture of the Omidyar Group, and as the chief innovation officer at both the Strada Institute for the Future of Work and Southern New Hampshire University.

A former Fulbright Scholar and graduate of Harvard and Stanford, she began her career as an assistant professor of English at Skidmore College. During her time as the higher education practice lead at the Clayton Christensen’s Institute for Disruptive Innovation, she co-authored Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution (2014).

Beyond her full-time roles, Weise has also served as a commissioner for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning, Harvard University’s Task Force on Skills and Employability, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education. Her commentaries on redesigning higher education and developing more innovative workforce and talent pipeline strategies have been featured in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review and on PBSNewshour.

About National University System

The National University System (NUS) is a network of accredited nonprofit education institutions serving a diverse population of students including pre-K-12 students and working professionals. NUS higher-education institutions serve more than 45,000 students through National University, Northcentral University, and City University of Seattle. NUS education-focused initiatives include Workforce Education Solutions, Harmony SEL, Inspire Teaching & Learning, and Fundraising Academy Cause Selling Education. Learn more a nusystem.org.