CHEYENNE, Wyoming – Dr. Joseph “Joe” Schaffer, president of Laramie County Community College (LCCC), has been appointed to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) by Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.
Schaffer joins Wyoming Commissioners Fred Baldwin, Wyoming state senator, and Kevin Carman, provost and senior vice president at the University of Wyoming.
The WICHE Commission is comprised of 48 total commissioners from the 15 Western states and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States. Together, the Commission guides WICHE’s direction and assures the Western Regional Education Compact is carried out for the benefit of the West, as it has done since 1953.
After earning his associate’s degree, Schaffer committed himself to strengthening the mission of the community college, locally, and nationally.
“A big part of community colleges and higher education as a whole is remaining student-centered and acting in their best interests,” Schaffer said. “I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to extend my efforts to advocate on behalf of students across the West through this role with WICHE.”
Prior to joining LCCC, Dr. Schaffer spent a decade at Montana State University-Great Falls College of Technology (now Great Falls College), serving in a variety of academic and administrative roles. At the age of 34, he was appointed the campus Dean and Chief Executive Officer, making him one of the youngest college CEOs in the nation at the time.
“Dr. Schaffer’s journey to his role as the president of LCCC and on the Commission are a testament to his passion for his community and its students,” WICHE President Demarée Michelau. “His experiences add a unique perspective to the Commission, and I am excited to see the contributions he will bring to the table.”
Schaffer lectures, presents, and writes on a variety of topics, but his passion is learning and sharing about surviving change, leadership and leadership development, institutional transformation, and educational policy.
Schaffer is an avid outdoorsman with a deep passion for hunting and fishing. In addition to an associate’s degree from Bemidji State University, he holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana, a master’s degree in Technical Communication from Montana Tech, and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Montana’s College of Education and Human Sciences.