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The National Association of System Heads, which includes leaders of dozens of public college and university systems that educate roughly 5 million students, has appointed its first-ever president and chief executive officer.

Jason E. Lane, dean of the College of Education, Health and Society at Miami University and an accomplished higher education researcher focused on policy, will lead NASH. He has worked closely with the group over the years, having developed its leadership academy and co-led a seven-year student success initiative that sought to integrate the work of systems in various states on key issues.

He has also written widely on the role of systems, including, most recently, Higher Education Systems Redesigned (SUNY Press, 2022) co-written with Jonathan Gagliardi.

Lane will also serve as a special adviser to President Tim Killeen at the University of Illinois System and be an education professor at the system’s Urbana-Champaign campus.

Brian McCall, chancellor of the Texas State University System and chair of NASH’s governing board, said Lane was uniquely positioned to lead the organization at a time when systems represent a key way for higher education to respond to the “unprecedented challenges and opportunities” it faces. “Systems play a critical role in America’s learning landscape, a role that uniquely positions NASH members to truly move the dial for students and ensure America can remain competitive globally,” he said in a statement. “Jason understands this critical role for systems.”