Cunningham to receive Chief Executive Leadership Award from CASE

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Cunningham to receive Chief Executive Leadership Award from CASE

March 28, 2016

President Cunningham

Dr. Janet Cunningham, president of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, will receive the E. Joseph Savoie Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) at its upcoming Southwest District IV Conference in Dallas, Texas.

The award recognizes a CASE District IV member institution president, headmaster, chancellor, educational system head or institutional CEO for outstanding efforts to promote understanding and support for education. The recipient demonstrates the ability to create a vision; inspire others; establish a positive image for her or his institution while leading it to even higher levels of success; and increase the institution’s stature in the community.

CASE District IV is comprised of member institutions from the states of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Steve Valencia, chairman of the Board of Directors for District IV and Associate Vice President for University Relations at Northwestern, said Cunningham is deserving of the organization’s highest award for chief executive officers. He also is thrilled that the award will be presented at the conference where he will end his two-year term leading the group.

“As President Cunningham approaches the 10th anniversary of her presidency, a review of the accomplishments Northwestern has experienced under her leadership reveals an extraordinary body of work,” he said. “I know she will deflect the praise and say it was a team effort, but every successful organization must have someone who can inspire and lead. At Northwestern, that is President Cunningham.”

Among the accomplishments noted by CASE during Cunningham’s presidency are:

  • Northwestern has raised nearly $40 million in private gifts and has established 43 endowed faculty chairs, the most of any regional university in Oklahoma
  • Specialized accreditation of academic programs has doubled and programs in nursing, business and accounting have earned national rankings. Since 2009, the number of first-time freshmen scoring a 29 or above on the ACT has more than doubled
  • Approval to begin its first doctoral program in advanced nursing practice, a program that has the potential to dramatically improve healthcare in rural Oklahoma
  • Today, 55 percent of graduates leave the institution with no student debt, and Northwestern has been recognized as a national value by U.S. News and World Report.Successful transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division II and membership in the Great American Conference

“I am truly honored to receive this recognition from CASE,” Cunningham said. “Whatever success Northwestern has experienced is the result of faculty and staff working together with incredibly supporting alumni and friends for the benefit of our students. I look forward to sharing with the 600-plus conference attendees the story of Northwestern.”

Cunningham will receive the award during ceremonies on Sunday, April 3.

The award is named for Dr. E. Joseph Savoie, former Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Louisiana, and current president of the University of Louisiana – Lafayette.

CASE is a professional association serving educational institutions and more than 80,000 advancement professionals who work on their behalf in alumni relations, communications, development, marketing and allied areas. CASE North America is divided into eight regional districts led by a volunteer board of directors.