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Governors University gets a chief

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Robert W. Mendenhall has been selected as the new president of the Western Governors University by the technology-based school's board of trustees.

As president, Mendenhall, former CEO of Wicat Systems Inc., is charged with overseeing operations of the fledgling 3-year-old school that was formed by Western state governors to share distance-learning resources at state universities and colleges.The announcement was made Friday during WGU's National Advisory Board and trustee board meetings in Salt Lake City. In a joint statement, Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt and Washington Gov. Gary Locke praised the selection of Mendenhall.

"We believe he is the right person to build on our existing momentum, and to lead WGU to the next level in providing high quality education to our students," they said.

Mendenhall has worked for more than 20 years in the development, marketing and delivery of technology-based education. A candidate for a doctorate degree in instructional technology at Brigham Young University, he also has been a general manager in IBM's education division.

"The Internet is changing the way goods and services are delivered, giving rise to new kinds of enterprises," Mendenhall said. "I believe that with the support of the governors and our corporate partners, WGU can indeed establish new models of delivery in higher education."

Mendenhall replaces former WGU leader Jeffery Livingston, who is now dean of continuing education at Weber State University.