Dr. Robert Mendenhall

Former President, Western Governors University

Dr. Robert Mendenhall is a pioneer of educational technology and entrepreneurship best known as the second former president of Western Governors University.. In April 2016, he stepped down, moving into his new role of President Emeritus. WGU is a private, not-profit, online university offering competency-based degrees, meaning that students earn degrees by demonstrating competency — what they know and can do — rather than by accumulating a certain number of credit hours or clock hours. Dr. Mendenhall has more than 25 years of experience in the development, marketing, and delivery of technology-based education. Prior to joining WGU, he was general manager of IBM’s K-12 education division, overseeing a $500 million worldwide business. From 1980 to 1992, he was a founder, president, and CEO (from 1987) of Wicat Systems, Inc., a publicly traded company which was a leader in providing computer-based curriculum, instructional management and testing to schools, and technology-based training to government and industry. Dr. Mendenhall served on the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education. He has also served on the NGA/ASTD Commission on Technology & Adult Learning, on IBM’s Education Advisory Council, on the National Forum on 21st Century Skills Education Advisory Board, and on the Technology Working Group for the California Postsecondary Education Commission. He is a former member of the Board of the Department of Business and Economic Development for the State of Utah. In 2010, he received the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual in the Field of Distance Learning, and he was named Utah CEO of the Year by Utah Business Magazine.