Michael Bassis

Michael Bassis

Senior Fellow, Office of the President, AAC&U

Michael Bassis is President Emeritus of Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. An authority on educational change and an active participant in the national conversation on the future of higher education, Dr. Bassis has had a wide range of experiences as a teacher, scholar, and administrator in both public and private institutions over his 40-year career in higher education.

Dr. Bassis earned his undergraduate degree from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He began his career as a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Rhode Island. Prior to corning to Westminster in 2002, he served as Executive Vice President and University Provost at Antioch University, CEO of New College of Florida and President of Olivet College in Michigan.

At Westminster, Dr. Bassis led the college community in the creation of an ambitious strategic plan that has since transformed the institution. Over a ten year period, Westminster built a rising national reputation for the quality and distinctiveness of its learning environment as it added a variety of innovative undergraduate and graduate programs, built new facilities and saw significant increases in its enrollment profile, among international, underrepresented and out-of state students in particular.

Prior to Westminster, Dr. Bassis led the successful effort to move New College of Florida to its current status as an independent institution within the State University System. As President of Olivet College in Michigan from 1993-1998, his efforts to revitalize that institution won him wide recognition. His work at Olivet was chronicled by Stephen R. Covey in his book, Living the Seven Habits.

Dr. Bassis has particular interest and experience in principle-centered and participatory leadership, strategic planning, board relations, international education and innovative strategies to control educational costs while enhancing educational quality. He has published widely on these topics and has served on advisory boards and project teams with numerous foundations and professional associations, including the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Campus Compact, The New American Colleges and Universities, and the Project on the Future of Higher Education.