Dr. Tony Zeiss has spent nearly 50 years advancing education. Whether he was standing in front of a classroom or working as presi-
dent of an institution, Zeiss continually pushed to ensure students were given the tools they needed to achieve the American
Zeiss served as president of Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) in North Carolina for 24 years, retiring in 2016. He
led the college through a period of unprecedented growth. CPCC grew from having one downtown campus to six campuses
spread across the county. The student population nearly doubled and the college’s budget nearly quintupled. Millions of dollars
were raised through capital campaigns to increase student support and expand programming at CPCC.
During his tenure, Zeiss focused on student success and workforce development. He expanded training programs so workers
would be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Close partnerships with local, national and global businesses allowed for tailored
training that benefited both students and industry. The National Alliance of Business named CPCC the U.S. Community College
of the Year in 2002 for its response to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innova-
tive educational and training strategies.
During the Great Recession, when Zeiss realized that many new jobs were coming from foreign firms moving into the United
States, he worked with those firms to provide the needed curriculum and skill training to U.S. workers.
Zeiss also spearheaded the creation of the Global Vision Leaders Group, bringing together some 170 local business leaders to
discuss economic development strategies. He created the Regional Global Collaborative for Skill Training which will position
Mecklenburg and surrounding counties to participate and prosper in the global economy.
Before coming to CPCC, Zeiss was president of Pueblo Community College in Colorado. Other positions have included dean
at Central Texas College, an instructor of telecommunications, and a high school speech and theater teacher. He’s authored or
co-authored 20 books, including Build Your Own Ladder: Four Secrets to Career Success and Get ‘Em While They’re Hot:
Attracting, Developing, and Retaining Peak Performers. Zeiss has served on numerous boards, including serving as chair of the
American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors from 1999 to 2000.
Zeiss has been recognized with many awards, including the Urban League’s Whitney M. Young Humanitarian Award, Goodwill
Industries’ Cornerstone Award, the National Council for Continuing Education and Training’s National Leadership Award, and
the Association of Community Colleges Trustees’ National CEO of the Year Award.
In the latest chapter of his life, Zeiss now serves as executive director of the Museum of the Bible in Wahsington, D.C.
Dr. Judith S. Eaton has served as president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) since 1997, but
she’s been advocating for quality education for most of her career.
Under her leadership, CHEA has emerged as a major voice in discussions of higher education and accreditation. As the
only organization focused solely on accreditation, CHEA serves as a comprehensive source of information on accreditation and as an effective representative of member institutions. Now in its 20th year, CHEA has established itself as a
useful and valued advocate for accreditation, an organization on which people can rely and trust, both nationally and
And CHEA’s future looks bright. Eaton hopes the organization can provide strong leadership for change and innovation
in accreditation—open to new, creative and dynamic approaches, yet dedicated to preserving accreditation’s core
strengths: peer review and the centrality of academics judging quality.
“We are focused on the future of accreditation and this will require a willingness to take risks, to experiment and to be
flexible—all in service to students and society,” Eaton says.
Prior to her work at CHEA, Eaton served as the first permanent chancellor of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, where she was responsible for leadership and coordination of 32 institutions serving more than 162,000 students
statewide. At the time, MnSCU was a newly merged system of higher education. Eaton took the lead on creating a
strategic vision for the system and consolidating community and technical colleges. She empowered presidents by
shifting significant authority to the colleges and universities, and she conceptualized the MnSCU Electronic Academy,
which advanced the use of technology in learning.
Previously, Eaton served as president of the Council for Aid to Education. In the 1980s, she was president of the
Community College of Philadelphia. There she fostered a climate of growth and cooperation. She worked to improve
the state funding structure and establish the college’s foundation.
Eaton also has been president of Community College of Southern Nevada, and served as vice president of the American Council on Education. She’s held full- and part-time teaching positions at Columbia University, the University of
Michigan and Wayne State University.