Belle Wheelan, Louis Soares, Michael M. Crow, and Mary F. T. Spilde will headline the March 11-14 event.

CHANDLER, AZ, February 09, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — With its focus on innovation and thought leadership, the League for Innovation in the Community College announces a keynote lineup for its Innovations Conference that features a passionate and committed higher education accreditation specialist; a veteran expert in post-traditional learning and higher education innovation; a visionary knowledge enterprise architect, policy scholar, and higher education leader; and a community college leadership institute director. The Innovations Conference will be held March 11-14, 2023, in Tempe, Arizona.

Belle Wheelan, President, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, is leading an organization through a period of significant change for accreditation, a reality that can offer challenges as well as opportunities for innovation. Wheelan, the first African American and the first woman to serve as president of SACS, will keynote the Innovation Conference’s opening general session.

Louis Soares, Chief Learning and Innovation Officer, American Council on Education, will keynote the second general session. Soares is an accomplished policy analyst and thought leader on emerging trends in higher education who catalyzes compelling research and innovation initiatives across the council.

Michael M. Crow, President, Arizona State University, leads an institution lauded as the “#1 most innovative” school in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2023). As a model New American University, ASU simultaneously demonstrates comprehensive excellence, inclusivity representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the United States, and consequential societal impact. Crow will keynote the third general session.

Mary F.T. Spilde, Director, Executive Leadership Institute, League for Innovation in the Community College, and President Emerita, Lane Community College, will keynote the League’s annual celebration of community college innovation and excellence. Held during the closing general session, the celebration pays special tribute to individuals chosen for 2021-2022 Innovation of the Year Awards and 2022-2023 League Excellence Awards.

The conference schedule is available at

“We are pleased to welcome these influential leaders who are dedicated to improving society and the educational achievements of students to the Innovations Conference. As we envision the new normal, their experience and leadership will allow for insightful discussions focused on the paradigm shift of education, innovation, transformation, and improvement,” commented Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation.

Visit to register. League Board and Alliance members receive registration discounts. The conference, hosted by Maricopa Community Colleges, will be held at Tempe Mission Palms, within walking distance of a dining, shopping, and entertainment hub in the heart of the Valley of the Sun.

Innovations 2023 ( is the foremost convening for community college professionals dedicated to improving their institutions through innovative practice. STEM and DEI sessions will be featured throughout four conference tracks: leadership and organization, learning and teaching, workforce preparation and development, and student success and development. This international event provides a forum for collaboration among academic experts and thought leaders, while granting participants exclusive access to innovative and inspirational community college programs from around the world.

To learn more about sponsoring at Innovations 2023, contact Event Producers at [email protected].

About the League for Innovation in the Community College
The League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops print and digital resources, and leads projects and initiatives with almost 345 member colleges, strategic partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to advance the community college field and make a positive difference for students and communities. Information about the League and its activities is available at

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