The Chair Academy : 2010 Conference : 2008 Paul A. Elsner International Leadership Award Winners
Chair Academy    

This award has been named after Dr. Paul A. Elsner, Chancellor Emeritus of the Maricopa County Community College District, where he held the chancellorship from 1977 until retiring in 1999. Elsner serves on numerous boards both in the public and private sector and has received numerous awards and recognitions. Elsner is recognized nationally and internationally as an exemplary leader in community and technical colleges and higher education.

In his retirement, he is founder and president of the Sedona Conferences and Conversations, Paul Elsner and Associates, and Los Vientos, Inc.—organizations dedicated to furthering higher education worldwide. In the past two years, his consultancies and speaking engagements have taken him to China, South Africa, the Netherlands, Ireland, Barcelona, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand. The Chair Academy is proud to present the Paul A. Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award to two outstanding leadership recipients.

Jim Luoma has spent his entire professional life in education in Minnesota, first as a teacher for the South Washington County School District, then as a principal in that district and, finally, as superintendent for Grand Rapids public schools. Dr. Luoma retired in 1999 and began serving as a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system trustee that same year.  His term ended June 30, 2004.

During his board term, Dr. Luoma served as vice chair and chair of the Board of Trustees.  He describes his role as a facilitator and policy maker, not a hands-on problem solver. Dr. Luoma also was chair of the board’s Educational Policy Committee and worked diligently with two other standing committees: Finance and Facilities and Technology.  In addition, he served on the Ad Hoc Legislative Committee and the Futures Subcommittee, bringing his fine planning skills to the fore. 

A consistent supporter of professional and educational development, Dr. Luoma is, perhaps, best known for his role in creating the system’s leadership development program, which began in November 2004.  The systemwide program for mid-level faculty or staff members attracts those who aspire to higher leadership positions. The academy helps participants develop leadership skills, gain an appreciation of different perspectives in the system and create a network of colleagues committed to transformational leadership. Since the program began, more than 150 faculty and staff have been selected to participate.  In 2006, the Board of Trustees officially named the program the Luoma Leadership Academy in honor of Dr. Luoma’s leading role in bringing it to fruition.  He never gave up on the concept of "growing your own" for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Accessibility and affordability also were key issues for Dr. Luoma during his tenure on the board.  He emphasized the importance of the role played by colleges and universities in the communities they serve.  Upon his departure from the governing board, it is no wonder Jim Luoma left with the title, Trustee Emeritus.  Also in 2004, Dr. Luoma received the Distinguished Service Award from the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. 

Dr. Luoma earned his doctorate at the University of St. Thomas, a master of science degree from Northern State College in Aberdeen, S.D., and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  In 1962, Dr. Luoma began his higher education studies at Eveleth Junior College, now Mesabi Range Community and Technical College and a part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. He and his wife, Carol, have two daughters, Lynn and Darcy.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system comprises 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota. The system serves about 250,000 students per year in credit-based courses and an additional 140,000 students in non-credit courses.

Janet Paterson-Weir is the Provost and Executive Vice President, Academic at MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  For the past eight years Janet has been charged with leading a new mandate at the college in offering undergraduate baccalaureate degrees.  MacEwan now has five new degrees implemented representing half of the college population of almost eleven thousand full-time students.  As a comprehensive college, an extensive horizontal curriculum platform has also been developed to include diplomas and certificates as part of the undergraduate degree compendium.    Janet has also been one of the founding members of the eCampus Alberta consortium offering full credentials and courses on line with fifteen other provincial partners.

Previously, Janet worked at Algonquin College in Ottawa as Dean of the School of Business and Applied Arts and as the Executive Director of Corporate Training.  Janet gained corporate experience at Microsystems International in Ottawa.  In Toronto, Janet taught secondary school at Vincent Massey College and worked in the technology sector.

International experience has included teaching in Hong Kong and South Africa and program development in Thailand, Russia and Ukraine.  Janet’s graduate degrees include a Ed.D degree from Nova Southeastern University and a Masters degree from the University of Ottawa;  a BA from York University and Business Diploma from Ryerson University in Toronto.
Janet has been Chair of the Board for the Ottawa Youth Services Bureau and continues to work on boards and community projects.   Janet’s daughter is a fourth year Bachelor of Commerce student at MacEwan and her son and daughter-in-law have two children and reside in Ottawa.  Janet and her husband Wayne enjoy golf and walking their two golden retrievers.  As a member of MacEwan’s Dragon Boat team, Janet responds well to the command, “Power Ten”.



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