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our Leadership


According to the University Center of Lake County By-laws, the Governing Board acts as the Board of Directors of the corporation and is composed of Up to 8 residents of Lake County, including one member of the College of Lake County Board of Trustees. Up to 6 representatives are from the member institutions including one student. Members shall reflect the diverse regions, groups, and employers that reside in the county. The representatives of member institutions shall include the Chairperson of the Council of Member Institutions and up to four other representatives chosen by the Council of Member Institutions from among its members. Of these four Governing Board positions, only one seat can be held by a representative of a proprietary institution. The student member shall be elected by the Center’s Student Advisory Committee.

2023 Governing Board Members

Julie Dunston – Chair, SIU

Luis Fuentes – Vice Chair, Community Member

Gerri Songer – Secretary, CLC Board of Trustees

Trevor James – Treasurer, NPU

Julie Shroka - Alternate, CLC Board of Trustees

Kathy Johnson – Emeritus, University of Illinois, Springfield (Retired)

Kathryn Wozniak, CMI, CUC

Marisa Buscaglia – NLU 

Melba Rivera - Community Member

R. Shayne Cofer –  CMI Chair, NEIU

Rich Anderson, Community Member

Teddy Anderson, Community Member

Vacant - Student Representative


The Council of Member Institutions (CMI) is composed of institutional representatives appointed by the chief officer of each of the member institutions plus the College of Lake County. The CMI elects its chairperson, vice-chairperson, and representatives to serve on the Governing Board. Those elected to the Governing Board represent the CMI itself and not their individual colleges or universities. The slate of Governing Board candidates usually tries to achieve a balance of public university and private university representatives. They cannot serve on the Governing Board for more than three consecutive two-year terms. The Council considers a variety of matters including recommendations from various Center committees, and in turn advises and assists the Board in matters such as:

  • facilitating inter-institutional communication.

  • identifying needed instructional support facilities and services.

  • assessing local needs.

  • electing representatives to the Governing Board.


The CMI has significant responsibility for reviewing applications for membership and proposals to bring additional degree or certificate programs to the University Center. They make recommendations to the Governing Board about each program proposal or membership application and the Governing Board (or its Executive Committee) makes the final decision to approve or deny the applications/proposals. 

2022-2023 CMI Members

Shayne Cofer, Chair

     Associate Provost, Northeastern Illinois University

Kathy Johnson, Vice-Chair

     Regional Director, University Academic Programs & Services, University of Illinois Springfield

​​​Ali O'Brien

     Vice President of Community & Workforce Partnerships, College of Lake County

​Kathryn Wozniak

     Assistant Provost for Innovation & Strategic Partnerships/Associate Professor of Educational     

     Technology, Concordia University Chicago

​​Suzanne Depeder

     Associate Vice President, Graduate and Adult Admission, DePaul University

Jake Bucher

     Founding Dean, College of Applied Social Sciences, Dominican University

​​Ron Smith

     Director of Community College Partnerships, Northern Illinois University

​​Marisa Buscaglia

     Director of Enrollment, National Louis University

​​Trevor James

     Associate Dean and Associate Professor/Director of the Business Program, School of

     Professional Studies, North Park University

​​Julie Dunston

     Director, School of Applied Engineering & Technology/Director, Technology Off Campus

     Degree Programs, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

​​Elza Ibroscheva

     Associate Provost & Professor, Mass Communications, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

​​Kelly Birky

     Associate Director, Marketing & Strategic Communication, Center for Innovation in Teaching

     and Learning, University of Illinois Urbana-Champagn

2022 CMI meeting date: November 10, 2022

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