NASPA
2022 NASPA Annual Conference

Dale Whittaker

Tuesday Featured Speaker | March 22, 2022 11:00 a.m. ET | Senior Program Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Date: 03/22/22 Time: 11:00

As a former executive at some of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing public research universities, and now as Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dale supports the transformation of higher education to produce more degrees for more people with more equity.

Having spent time in roles from professor to provost to president, Dale has led and sustained change in large, complex universities over long periods of time.  He led the transformation of teaching and learning at Purdue through a multi-year project called IMPACT (Instruction Matters Purdue Academic Course Transformation), launched UCF Online which grew five-fold in three years, led UCF to become a federally recognized Hispanic Serving Institution, diversified university leadership, restructured financial operations and board governance to prevent abuse, and achieved record student retention and graduation rates at both Purdue and UCF.

In addition to his own experience, Dale maintains a sector-wide view. At the Gates Foundation, he manages a foresight and forecasting process to develop insight into changes that will impact the sector.  Over the past year, Dale has interviewed over 50 college presidents across a wide range of institutions including community colleges, HBCUs, small private colleges, for-profit universities, and public research universities.  He stays on top of patterns and trends across the higher education sector and brings that information to his writing and speaking.  

Dale has advised universities, management consulting organizations including Grant Thornton’s Higher Education Practice, start-up educational innovators such as Knack, and large-scale philanthropic foundations.  

Although educated as an engineer with degrees from Texas A&M University and Purdue University, he also is a watercolor artist and musician.  He has studied with Eric Wiegardt, AWS-DF, NWS; Kim English; and Chien Chung Wei, AWS, NWS, and shown his work at the La Pointe Center for the Arts in Wisconsin and Artist’s Own Gallery in Indiana.  Dale and his partner, Mary, live on an island in Lake Superior, where there is great hiking, adequate bandwidth, and plenty of fresh air.