Leila Gallagher


Cheryl HayekLENEXA, KAN. – May 8, 2017 -  On Wednesday, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), announced the results of its election of new members to the DEAC Board of Directors. Grantham University Interim President and Provost, Dr. Cheryl Hayek, was elected alongside Gordon Drummond, Session College for Professional Design President, to serve a three-year term from 2017-2020.

“I’m honored to have been elected, and I’m looking forward to bringing my experience in distance education and passion for quality higher education to this position,” Hayek said. “Serving as a DEAC Commissioner will provide a platform for ensuring the best education experience for those seeking to improve their futures through higher learning.”

Hayek is replacing one of two positions held by Robert Mayes, Columbia Southern University President, and Ann Rohr, Weston Distance Learning President, whose terms have recently expired.

“We are grateful for the time commitment Gordon and Cheryl are willing to devote to supporting the mission and vision of DEAC,” said Dr. Leah Matthews, DEAC Executive Director. “They are joining a distinguished cadre of board members who work tirelessly on behalf of accreditation and DEAC. We are most appreciative of their efforts."

Hayek was nominated last fall, and following an extensive review and selection process, she was selected to interview with the DEAC Board of Directors in December. In January, the Board selected her to appear on the voting ballet. For a two-day period during the DEAC 91st Annual Conference at the end of April, every DEAC accrediting institution was able to cast a single ballot to choose the new Board members.

Hayek has been an active member of the DEAC since 2009. She has participated on several committees, conducted site visits, presented at the 2009 and 2015 conferences, and served as Chair of the 2016 annual conference.

Hayek has earned the respect of colleagues nationwide for her student-centric approach to higher education and has repeatedly been called upon by institutions across the country to share the award-winning VIP2 (Visible, Immediate, Proactive and Personal) approach to student support and the Swaddled Support Services (SSS) retention model for adult learners, both of which she developed.

“Dr. Hayek’s representation on the DEAC Board of Directors is an exciting milestone for Grantham University and for the distance education landscape as a whole,” said Dr. Herb London, Grantham University Board of Governors Chairman. “She has earned high regard among her peers and the industry for her contagious passion and commitment to democratized education and high integrity of academic programming. I am greatly pleased for Dr. Hayek’s work and diligence to be rewarded with the esteemed DEAC board position.”

About Grantham University: Established in 1951, today the University offers more than 50 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. The College of Engineering and Computer Science offers 13 different degree programs and is designed to prepare adult learners for careers in engineering, computer and information technologies through online integrated curricula that blend theory, application and general skills needed to succeed in a changing global society.

About DEAC: The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1926 that operates as a national accreditor of distance education institutions. DEAC’s goal is to ensure a high standard of educational quality in the distance education institutions it accredits and a quality education for the more than two million students who annually study at its accredited institutions.