New ASHE Executive Director



January 2, 2019

For information contact:
Kristen Renn, PhD
ASHE President

ASHE Board of Directors announces Guilbeau as Executive Director

The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) is pleased to announce that Dr. Jason P. Guilbeau will assume the role of Executive Director of the organization beginning on January 7, 2019. He will replace Dr. Kim Nehls who has served ASHE as Executive Director since 2008. Guilbeau brings to the position more than 10 years of higher education and non-profit experience including managing thousands of volunteers and raising more than $1 million in individual, corporate, and in-kind gifts. He has also been an active member of numerous higher education professional organizations as well as a volunteer leader in his local communities. In August, Guilbeau earned his doctorate in higher education with a specialization in public policy from Florida State University. 

 “In Jason Guilbeau, the search committee was excited to find a candidate with deep knowledge of higher education, professional and scholarly commitment to educational equity, wide-ranging executive skills, and an easy sense of humor to top it all off,” said search committee chair Dr. Linda Eisenmann, professor of education and history and former provost at Wheaton College (Massachusetts), and a past president of ASHE. The ten-member search committee, composed of representatives from various entities and membership levels of the Association, screened a nation-wide pool of candidates for the role. 

The Executive Director is charged with the day-to-day management of the 2,200-member organization as well as setting a long-term vision. They work in close partnership with the 13-member board of directors as well as leaders of the Association’s councils and committees. Guilbeau, along with the full-time and graduate student staff, will work out of the ASHE office housed in the College of Education at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Guilbeau will be taking the helm of operations after a record-breaking year for the 43-year-old organization. The Association’s annual conference in November experienced the largest number of attendees in recent years and the conference program committee received the most program proposals in the organization’s history. In addition, with grant-funded support from Lumina Foundation, the conference itself continued a tradition of spanning into its host community

“My immediate focus in this role will be to continue the tremendous success and momentum of our Association,” Guilbeau said. “ASHE has become the premier organization for scholars who study higher education. In just six years, we will celebrate our 50th anniversary. I look forward to spending this next year hearing from our members about where they envision ASHE going and how we get there. Our Association has some of the most passionate, brightest, and talented individuals who everyday strive for both educational and social justice. I am so honored to be selected to be a part of these endeavors.”

Dr. Kim Nehls, ASHE Executive Director from 2008-2018, was presented with the Distinguished Service Award at the 2018 annual conference for leading the Association through tremendous growth in membership, staffing, funding, and conference attendance. 
Guilbeau received his Doctoral degree in higher education from Florida State University, his Master’s degree in student affairs administration from Texas A&M University, and his Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Louisiana. He is a native of Broussard, Louisiana and is a first-generation college student. Guilbeau’s research interests focus on the intersections of student success, philanthropy, and social justice in higher education. His doctoral dissertation explored the relationship between alumni philanthropy and institutional diversity at public and private four-year universities in the United States. He also recently served as a co-editor and chapter co-author of the book “The State Higher Education Executive Officer and the Public Good: Developing New Leadership for Improved Policy, Practice, and Research.”

“ASHE has been the scholarly home of higher education researchers for several decades and we look forward under Dr. Guilbeau’s leadership to continuing to bring the work of our members to bear on the ecosystem of postsecondary policy, practice, and research,” said Dr. Kristen Renn, the Association’s president and a professor at Michigan State University.