CQIN Executive Committee



Liz Murphy

Liz Murphy headshotLiz Murphy is CEO of CampusWorks, a strategic consulting firm that transforms higher education institutions by providing an independent perspective and creative solutions to improve operations, reduce costs, and position students for success. She joined CampusWorks in 2011 as the company’s chief executive officer and a member of the Board of Directors.

Previously, Liz served as the chief client officer at Datatel (now Ellucian), where she began her career in 1989. Liz is also involved with many volunteer and philanthropic activities; she previously served as Chairman of the Lupus Foundation of America’s DC, Virginia and Maryland Chapter and is a board member of both Community College Business Officers (CCBO) and Quality Matters.
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Immediate Past President:

Dr. Chris Bustamante

Chris Bustamante

Dr. Chris Bustamante serves as the President of Rio Salado College, the largest of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges located in metropolitan Phoenix, AZ. The College serves nearly 60,000 students annually with more than 30,000 students online.

Dr. Bustamante is a well-known advocate for increasing access to higher education and degree completion, and for forging transformational partnerships with business, government, and other educational providers. He was appointed as President of Rio Salado College in June 2010 after serving as the College’s Interim President, Vice President of Community Development and Student Services, and Dean of Academic Affairs. Previously, he served in senior level government affairs positions for the Maricopa County Community College District, as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Community and Government Relations for the Phoenix Union High School District, and as a Legislative Aide in the Arizona House of Representatives.
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President Elect:

Dr. Terry Murrell

Terry Murrell headshotDr. Terry Murrell serves as the President of Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC), a position he’s held since 2011. Dr. Murrell joined WITCC in 2007 as Vice President of Instruction and Student Services and was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President in 2009. Before joining WITCC, he was Vice President of Campuses and Student Affairs with Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, NE. Previously he was Dean and Campus Manager at Metropolitan Community College. He also was director of The Creative Center, a two-year graphic arts college, in Omaha.

Murrell earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, a master’s degree in Public Administration with an emphasis in Labor Management from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky., and a doctorate in Leadership for Higher Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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Timothy Nelson

Tim Nelson

Timothy J. Nelson has served as president of Northwestern Michigan College since February 2001. President Nelson has guided NMC through the implementation of a strategic plan consisting of five key strategic directions, including the establishment of national and international competencies and leadership in select educational areas connected to the regional economy. The college community has embraced a culture of continuous improvement and collaborative relationships. During his presidency, NMC has continued to grow and evolve. Enrollment has increased by more than 30 percent and the college has created global partnerships with institutions in China, Great Britain, India, Russia, Sweden and others. Nelson believes that every student needs to have international experiences, and he has helped to establish a Global Opportunities Fund to increase those opportunities for NMC students.

President Nelson is recognized as a visionary leader at the national, state and local levels being invited to present on topics from economic development to the new economy to international higher education, and to contribute in areas of policy and governance relating to higher education and economic development. He is Past Chair of the Michigan Community College Association and currently serves as Chair of the organization’s Legislative Committee. He is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges, the AACC’s Presidents Academy Executive Committee, the Continuous Quality Improvement Network, the Rotary Club of Traverse City, NorthSky Nonprofit Network Advisory Board, Munson Healthcare’s Corporate Board and Finance Committee, a past chair of the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce and member of the Executive Committee and Economic Forecast Planning Committee. He is a Champion of the Grand Vision, a member of the TCAPS Tomorrow group of the Traverse City Area Public Schools and member of the Traverse City Executive Group.

Nelson is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges 21st-Century Initiative Implementation Team. He was also a member of the past Council for Labor and Economic Growth and served as chair of the Entrepreneurship Committee. Nelson is a Board member of the Prima Civitas Foundation, Michigan Community College Association, and Michigan Public Schools Employee Retirement System (MPSERS).
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Member at Large:

Leah Bornstein

Dr. Leah Bornstein CQIN

Dr. Leah L. Bornstein has dedicated more than 25 years to higher education in a variety of leadership and management roles. Dr. Bornstein, with degrees from Bradford College and the University of Vermont, plus a doctorate from the University of Denver, and an honorary doctorate from Northern Arizona University, is a prominent advocate for student success, quality instruction, increased access to education and strong enrollment and completion rates.

Dr. Bornstein was named the sixth president and CEO of Aims Community College on Aug. 1, 2015, by the Aims Board of Trustees. Aims Community College is a public, fully accredited, two-year college with multiple sites in northern Colorado. Prior to joining Aims Community College, Dr. Bornstein served as President of Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Arizona. Dr. Bornstein led the college through unprecedented economic challenges. Her leadership led to a 20 percent increase in enrollment, a budget restructure that improved long-term financial stability after recovering from an almost 50 percent budget reduction, Coconino Community College’s continued accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and a nationally recognized Sustainable Financial Plan – a model for community colleges facing significant funding reductions.

Dr. Bornstein’s work has captured the attention of national boards and commissions where she has held officer and leadership positions with Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE), Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), American Council of Education (ACE), and formerly, the Office of Women in Higher Education (OWHE).
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Member at Large:

Dr. Jackie Elliott

Jackie ElliottDr. Jackie Elliott is the President of Central Arizona College, a position she has held since July 2016. Prior to this, Dr. Elliott was President of North Arkansas College since 2011. Earlier in her career, she served for five years as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Northwest Missouri State University and in various administrative positions at Barton Community College in Great Bend Kansas, Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska and Highland Community College in Highland Kansas.

A native of Hiawatha, Kansas, Dr. Elliott has worked in higher education for over 22 years. As a first generation college student herself, Dr. Elliott has a strong passion for designing and implementing programs designed to ensure student success. Over the years, she has had the privilege of initiating several programs designed to address student needs such as new child care center, three online degree programs, service learning trips to Calcutta and the Dominican Republic, scholarship program for Hispanics students and partnerships with CASE IH and Disney.

Dr. Elliott also serves as a Peer Corps Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and an Examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
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Member at Large:

Dr. Cristobal “Cris” Valdez

Cris Valdez headshotDr. Cristobal “Cris” Valdez has nearly ten years of executive level experience in community colleges. He is the president of Richland Community College and previously served as president of Central Wyoming College and Edison State Community College. At Central, Dr. Valdez focused on expanded internal and external communications, leadership development, academic and non-academic assessment, strengthening academic and student affairs programs and developing continuous improvement processes, teams and thinking. While at Edison, the college secured in excess of $1.5 million in grant funding and dramatically increased the foundation’s assets including a $2 million gift, the largest in the history of the college.

Valdez believes that comprehensive community and technical colleges allow people to dream and provide the opportunities for those people to realize their dreams. He believes community colleges should remain open-door institutions that aspire to both high academic standards and high rates of student success and completion.
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CQIN Staff

Executive Director:

John Politi
John Politi

John J. Politi is the President of The Avalon Group (TAG), a consulting firm specializing in all aspects of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. TAG provides consulting and education services pertaining to the principles of performance excellence to individuals and organizations of all types throughout the country. Mr. Politi is a member of the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, our nation’s highest award for performance excellence, and has served for more than six years as a Senior Examiner. He is a nationally recognized expert on leadership systems, strategic planning, customer service and relationship building, measurement systems, human resource management, and process management. He was awarded the Governor’s Quality Leadership Award by Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan in 1997.

Prior to establishing his consulting business, Mr. Politi served a full career in the United States Air Force in a wide variety of locations and command positions. Of particular note, he served as Commander of an Air Division and a Wing Commander on two separate occasions. He also served as National President and Chairman of the Board of the Air Force Association (AFA) from 2000 through 2004. Currently, he volunteers as a member of the Boards of the AFA, Spring Creek United Methodist Church, and the Boerne, Texas Emmaus Fourth Day Group.
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Coordinator for Finance & Administration:

Dr. Charlotte Lee

Charlotte Lee 3Dr. Charlotte Lee is Senior Director of the Center for Learning & Student Success at the University of Arkansas. Prior to this, she was Vice President for Education & Organizational Development at the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). Charlotte has served as CQIN’s Coordinator for Financials and Administration since 2007. Before that, she was a CEO member of CQIN for a decade during her presidency at Terra Community College in Fremont, OH. She has also served on CQIN’s Executive Committee in the roles of President and Treasurer.
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Coordinator for the Summer Institute:

Laura Helminski

Laura HelminskiLaura Helminski is currently the CQIN Coordinator of the Summer Institute and has served in this role since 2004. She has Faculty Emeritus recognition from Rio Salado College in the Maricopa Community College District, Phoenix, Arizona. During her years as a fulltime faculty member, she also served as Rio Salado College Chair of the Student Learning Outcomes Team for 10 years, co-chair of two Accreditation Self Study committees, a Learning Organization trainer and facilitator, a Continuous Quality Improvement trainer and facilitator. Laura was also a past Faculty Senate President, and was Faculty Development and Staff Development Coordinator for 15 years. She was Rio Salado College’s 2009 Woman of Distinction. Laura has taught online college courses for Rio Salado College since 1996.

Laura has worked with educators in several states in presentations and workshops focused on changing organizational cultures, and on increasing student achievement. She has completed extensive training and research in Systems Thinking, Learning Organization, and Continuous Quality Improvement theory and applications. Laura has facilitated numerous faculty development sessions, and has given presentations across the state and country, on organizational change in higher education. She has also presented national “webinars” on “Introduction to the Continuous Quality Improvement Approach for Effective Student Assessment” for a private company working in Higher Education environments. She was Rio Salado College’s Faculty of the Year for the 1991-92, and Innovator of the Year in 1988 and received the college’s Customer Astonishment Award with the President and Vice President for Academic Affairs co-chairs for the Self Study for that work in 2002. She was awarded the Association of Community College Trustees’ Western Region William H. Meardy Faculty Award for 2003. This regional award is presented to a full-time instructor of an ACCT member two-year postsecondary institution. The criteria include excellence in teaching, innovation, college service on a local and regional level, and demonstrated leadership in solving challenges to postsecondary education.
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Coordinator of Development:

Martin Reimer

Martin Reimer headshotDr. Martin Reimer was named the new Provost of Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls in July 2015. Before this, he was the Dean of Student Support at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, where he also served as CQIN Rep. Dr. Reimer began his career in the business sector, working for Trouvay & Cauvin in Houston, TX, and JPMorgan Chase Bank in Houston and Tokyo. Transitioning to the field of higher education, Dr. Reimer joined the staff of WITCC as Dean of Corporate College in 2006. He has also been an instructor at WITCC and taught elementary education at Colegio Americano de Puebla in Puebla, Mexico; he did his student teaching at Central College in Pella.
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Website Coordinator: 

Paul Klute


Paul is the Assistant Director of Institutional Research and Planning at the University of Kansas. He also serves as the Assistant to the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at KU. Paul joined KU in 2009 after serving as the Assistant to the President at Northwest Missouri State University. Paul is finishing his doctoral degree at KU in Higher Education Administration and Policy, with special interest in Big Data Governance in Higher Education.
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Marketing Coordinator: 

Erika Liodice

Erika Liodice headshot (square)Erika Liodice is the Marketing Communication Manager at CampusWorks. Before this, she spent a decade working in sales, marketing, and advertising for some of the world’s most recognized brands. Erika is a graduate of Lehigh University, where she earned her B.S. in Business and Economics with a concentration in Spanish.
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