The Commission assigns a staff liaison to each affiliated institution. This staff liaison serves as the primary resource person to that institution. The staff liaison explains Commission policies and procedures and draws on the skills of other staff members to provide effective assistance and service to colleges and universities.
Here are the Commission's Staff Liaisons:
Sunil Ahuja is a Vice President for Accreditation Relations at the HLC. Before this appointment, Dr. Ahuja was Dean of the Division of Social Sciences and Human Services at Lorain County Community College. He was a Professor of Political Science at Youngstown State University, where he also served as Acting Chair of the Department of History. He has also held faculty positions at Seton Hall University and at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dr. Ahuja was a fellow in the Academy for Advanced Leadership of The Chair Academy, an American Council on Education Fellow, and an Ohio Academic Leadership Academy Fellow. Among his other leadership experiences, he has served as Chair of the Academic Senate at Youngstown State University, as President of the Northeastern Political Science Association, and as coeditor of Legislative Studies Quarterly.
Dr. Ahuja has published eight books on American legislative politics, policies, and elections and taught widely in these fields. His most recent book is titled Congress Behaving Badly: The Rise of Partisanship and Incivility and the Death of Public Trust. Dr. Ahuja holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a B.S. in Government from Northwest Missouri State University.
Dr. Appleson joined the HLC staff in March 2000. He serves as staff liaison for approximately 170 institutions and provides support for the Board and other Commission activities. He has been particularly active in the areas of institutional change, non-financial indicators, and benchmarking.
Dr. Appleson came to the Commission from Northern Kentucky University where he served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to his time at NKU, he worked for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (Director, Assessment and Program Review) and Vanderbilt University (Director of Sponsored Research). A mathematician by training (Ph.D. 1975), Dr. Appleson taught at Georgia Tech as well as in other campus settings. His publications have addressed universal algebra, government regulation of sponsored research, assessment of student outcomes, instructional load analysis, textual patterns in the Bible, and a possible role for football referees in the accreditation process.
Stephanie Brzuzy joined the HLC in 2013. Dr. Brzuzy is active in projects to better understand how non-financial indicators impact institutions of higher education. Before joining the Commission, Dr. Brzuzy was Professor of Social Work at Aurora University. She has served in numerous administrative capacities, most recently as Director of the School of Social Work at Aurora University. She also served as Chair of the Department of Social Work at Xavier University and Associate Director of the School of Social Work at Arizona State University. Dr. Brzuzy earned a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and has published works on vulnerable populations in the social welfare state, gender identity, and teaching in social work. She continues to do research on transgender identities and social policy activism in the U.S.
As a Vice President at the Higher Learning Commission, Andrew Lootens-White works with a number of colleges and universities, helping them understand and meet the criteria for accreditation. Academically and professionally, he is interested in several facets of higher education; in particular, in how colleges and universities can mobilize the efforts of faculty, staff, and students to accomplish collectively-valued goals.
Dr. Lootens-White previously worked as a director of educational technology, an adjunct assistant professor, and a writing-across-the-curriculum faculty liaison (all at the University of Missouri), where he gained an appreciation for the diversity and interconnectedness enjoyed by large research universities. He has also worked at the Missouri Department of Higher Education, where he gained an understanding of – and appreciation for – the variety of institutions of higher education and their differing missions and constituencies. He earned a B.S. in Secondary Education, English Education, a M.Ed. in Secondary Education, Language Arts, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Theory and Practice from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
Eric Martin has provided leadership in several areas as a staff liaison, including convening a task force to examine the subject of dual credit across all 50 states, developing a guide on the practice of two-year institutions offering baccalaureate degrees, and developing and implementing an orientation for newly hired HLC staff liaisons.
Prior to joining the Commission, Dr. Martin held multiple positions at Governors State University in south suburban Chicago, including: Director of Writing Across the Curriculum (1999-2001); assistant provost (2001-2004); associate provost (2005-2006); and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2006-2010). Dr. Martin’s previous positions include Assistant Director of Writing Programs at Illinois State (1995-1996), and Assistant Professor of English at the University of Findlay (Ohio) from 1996-1999 where he also directed the English program and the Writing Across the Curriculum program.
Dr. Martin holds a Doctor of Arts degree in English from Illinois State University (1995) as well as a Master of Arts (1992) and a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude (1990), also from Illinois State. He remains an active scholar interested in composition and rhetorical theory along with accreditation, academic administration, and leadership. He has published in several academic journals and presents regularly at national and regional conferences.
Jeff Rosen has worked in higher education as a research university dean, professor in an open admission art school, and Trustee of a community college. From 2005-2011 he was Dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and Associate Professor of Art History at Loyola University Chicago, where he created programs in allied healthcare and also ran the University’s summer session, its pre-collegiate program, and its noncredit programs for adults. From 2002-2005, he was Associate Dean for the Humanities, Arts and Sciences and the Summer Session at The University of Chicago, and from 2000-2002, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies, where he created programs in public policy and sport administration. From 2003 to 2009 he served as a Trustee at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. From 1986 to 2000, he was a professor of art history at Columbia College Chicago. He currently serves as Chair of the Leadership and Strategy Network of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA).
Dr. Rosen received his Ph.D. in art history from Northwestern University; M.S.Ed. from Southern Connecticut State University; and B.A. cum laude in sociology from New York University.
Karen J. Solomon has served as a Commission liaison to more than 195 member institutions and worked with more than a dozen institutions involved in the eligibility process. She is a co-leader and presenter of HLC and national workshops on assessment of student learning, partnering, distance education, web-based services, and development of accreditation processes. She serves as Chair of the Steering Committee for WCET and as a peer reviewer for the INQAAHE Database on Good Practices in Quality Assurance. Dr. Solomon has served as a paid consultant on assessment of student learning, adult learning programs, and development of international accreditation processes.
Previously, she was Coordinator of Research and Evaluation in Adult Continuing Education at Northern Illinois University; Education Associate in Outcomes Assessment for ACT, Inc. (formerly American College Testing); founding Executive Director of Illinois Campus Compact for Community Service; and Associate Dean of Student Development at Benedictine University. Dr. Solomon holds a B.A in Business from North Central College, a M.B.A from Benedictine University, and an Ed.D. in Adult and Continuing Education from Northern Illinois University.
Anthea M. Sweeney joined the Commission in March 2013. She serves as the staff liaison for institutions in the eligibility, candidacy and initial accreditation processes, as well as for other institutions in transition. Dr. Sweeney previously worked as the Assistant Dean for Academics at Charlotte School of Law in Charlotte, NC, where she also served as founder and director of the Academic Success department, an adjunct law professor, and an academic success counselor who worked directly with at-risk students. She is a licensed attorney admitted in good standing in the State of New York and spent five years in private practice as a Banking and Finance attorney with the firms of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Moses & Singer LLP before transitioning to legal education. Dr. Sweeney holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Comparative Modern Languages and Political Science from Long Island University, a M.A. in Political Science, also from Long Island University, a J.D., magna cum laude, from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University.