Maury Cotter Leader of Change Award

Maury Cotter Leader of Change Award


NCCI’s vision is to function as a catalyst for higher education institutions to work collaboratively across institutions to employ effective methods to advance academic and administrative excellence. To help carry out that purpose, we identify leaders of change throughout higher education to recognize them for their accomplishments, and to help link them with their peers to further leverage the impact of their good work.

Each of our institutions of higher education has leaders of change, but given the diversity of roles that these leaders play in our institutions, they often go unrecognized.  The Maury Cotter Leader of Change (MCLOC) Award identifies and celebrates these exceptional individuals whose efforts have resulted in significant impact in their institutions and beyond.

Who is a Maury Cotter Leader of Change?

A Maury Cotter Leader of Change is an individual who has played a key role in advancing major change in higher education, in academic and/or administrative areas. We are looking to recognize individuals who

  • Have led change and innovation
  • Demonstrated outcomes and impact of those changes for the nominee’s organization
  • Shared or leveraged change beyond their own organization
  • Had outcomes/impact that have been realized by others as a result of that sharing
  • Fostered a culture of innovation and collaboration


Electronic notification will be sent to confirm submissions have been received. The deadline to submit an application was April 8, 2021.

An awards committee will review materials to make the selection. Two individual and two institutional recipients will be chosen and notified in May 2021. A physical award will be given to the recipients, who will be recognized at the Annual Conference and in subsequent publications.

Robert Neuhard, Executive Director, Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives, University of California San Diego

Bob currently serves as the Executive Director of the Office of Operational Strategic Initiatives which is charged with identifying, responding to, leading, and supporting unique initiatives and opportunities across campus on behalf of the Chancellor and the Chief Financial Officer. He specializes in building consensus in highly dynamic situations by developing comprehensive strategies and solutions to the most complicated and novel issues and opportunities. His focus is on strategic leadership and planning, innovation, customer-centric process optimization, complex public-private alliances, and delivering transformational outcomes. ​

Bob’s vision and leadership led to the creation of UC San Diego’s lean six sigma culture, empowering and enabling thousands of staff to identify, assess, and solve issues with a customer-centric balance of efficiency and effectiveness. Bob also introduced the use of crowdsourcing to harness the collective intelligence of campus to solve issues, share best practices, and enhance collaboration on topics ranging from health science research to the reduction of administrative burden.  ​


Dr. Timothy Renick, Senior Vice President for Student Success, Georgia State University


Jake Julia, Vice Provost of Administration and Chief of Staff, Northwestern University


Joy Gates-Black, President, Delaware County Community College
Paula Gill, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Belmont University


Susan Camber, Associate Vice President, Research & Student Accounting, University of Washington
Carol Mullaney, Director, Office of Continuous Improvement, University of Notre Dame
Cathy O’Sullivan, Chief of Staff to the COO, Director, Working Smarter Initiative, University of California System
Katy Rees, Associate Vice President of Administration, California State University San Marcos


Sarah Collie, Assistant Vice President for Organizational Excellence, University of Virginia
Catherine (Kate) Davy, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Michigan-Dearborn


Deborah Ford, Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Peter C. (Chris) Halladay, Associate Vice President for Organizational Effectiveness, Cornell University
Peggy Huston, Director of Operational Excellence Program, University of California, Berkeley