John Morton, vice president emeritus of the University of Hawaiʻi Community Colleges, has been appointed by Gov. David Ige to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), a compact of Western states and territories that work to expand educational access and excellence in the West.
WICHE’s 48 commissioners are appointed by the governors of the 15 Western states and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States. The commissioners are leaders in higher education and include state higher education executive officers, college and university presidents, legislators, business and community leaders and other key partners.
Morton will occupy the commission seat previously held by Carol Mon Lee, executive vice president and chief operating officer for nonprofit, ThinkTech Hawaiʻi.
“I’m excited to join the commission and look forward to working together to promote high-quality higher education, equitable student outcomes, vibrant economies, and strong leadership in Hawaiʻi and throughout the West,” said Morton.
A UH Mānoa alumnus, Morton retired after nearly 50 years with the UH Community Colleges, including 21 years as CEO of Kapiʻolani CC and 14 years as vice president for community colleges. As vice president, he oversaw the seven-community-college system; led the development of the Hawaiʻi Promise scholarship program that offers support to meet all unmet financial need for eligible students; oversaw the development of a unified UH student information system; and managed student success initiatives, especially for Native Hawaiian students.
“We’re very grateful for the many contributions and years of service that Carol Mon Lee has provided while on the WICHE Commission, and feel very fortunate to have the wealth of knowledge and experience Commissioner Morton brings,” said WICHE President Demareé Michelau. “I know he’ll be a valuable addition to our board.”