HETL Global Communities

Office of Executive Director

patrickblessingerphotoDr. Patrick Blessinger serves as the executive director (i.e., chief executive officer), standing co-chair of the HETL Board of Directors, HETL publisher, and HETL chief research scientist. The executive director also serves as the president pro tem of the HETL Board of Directors to represent the President at official HETL meetings when the President is not available to attend those meetings. In order to ensure a smooth running of the organization and effective communication between all areas of the organization, the Office of Executive Director (OED) works directly with the Board of Directors, the Executive Advisory Board, the Research and Innovation Advisory Board, and other boards, members, partners, liaisons, donors, and other educational leaders and scholars from around the world, as needed, on appropriate and meaningful ways to develop and manage HETL. All chair and vice chair positions are elected by their respective boards. All division heads, where applicable, are appointed by the executive director with input from the HETL Officers.

The OED is responsible for drafting and proposing policies and strategies to the Board, and upon the Board’s approval of those policies and strategies, the OED is responsible for their implementation and ongoing management. As such, the daily strategic and operational management of the organization is vested within the OED. The OED was established by the HETL Constitution and Bylaws in order to provide on-going professional management expertise and executive management leadership to the running of the organization and is thus responsible for managing all the day-to-day strategic and operational aspects of the organization which is necessary as the organization grows in scope and complexity.


Board of Directors Officers for 2017-2019

Co-Chair (Standing) and Executive Director (CEO): Dr. Patrick Blessinger, USA

Co-chair and President: Professor Mandla Makhanya, South Africa

Vice Presidenet: Professor Taisir Subhi Yamin, Germany

Treasurer: Professor Milton Cox, USA

Secretary: Professor Linda Watts, USA

Board of Chairs and Vice Chairs for 2017-2019

Executive Advisory Board

Chair: Professor Heather Cavanagh, Australia

Vice Chair: Dr. Nancy Hensel, USA

Research and Innovation Advisory Board

Chair: Professor Michelle Young, USA

Vice Chair: Dr. Barbara Cozza, USA

IHETL Editorial Advisory Board

Chair: Professor Milton Cox, USA

Vice Chair: Dr. Enakshi Sengupta, Iraq

Anthology Editorial Advisory Board

Chair: tbd

Vice Chair: Professor Lesley Saunders, UK



Academies & Institutes Division

The academies and institutes division consist of the following groups:

Institute for Meaning-Centered Education

IMCE aims to develop appropriate and meaningful educational practices across a wide range of academic and human activities. Meaning-Centered Learning views learning as the conscious integration of knowing, acting and being in the world.

Leadership Academy

The mission of the HETL Leadership Academy is to prepare and develop educators to become exceptional administrative and instructional leaders needed for twenty-first century higher education.

Faculty Academy

Faculty Academy aims to develop highly effective and functional websites that allow educators to better manage their academic-professional lives and their professional identities on the internet and to facilitate meaningful professional development activities for higher education faculty.

Security Division

The Security Division is responsible for working with the executive director to develop policies and strategies related to securing HETL’s electronic assets, to include but not limited to protection of websites, electronic platforms, channels, and other electronic media. A large portion of HETL’s activities utilize electronic communication, storage, and dissemination of information. Thus, it is important to maintain proper security to prevent loss of data and destruction of electronic assets. As such, the security division provides policy and technical expertise in order to protect HETL assets from activities such as hacking, cyber vandalism, cyber terrorism, electronic fraud, and the like.

Security Division Committee

Professor John P. Anchan

Dr. Patrick Blessinger

Dr. John M. Carfora

Legal & Accounting Division

Proper financial management of HETL is necessary to the on-going development and financial sustainability of the organization. The OED works jointly with HETL’s treasurer and HETL’s certified public accountant to ensure integrity of the financial stewardship of the organization. The roles and responsibilities that govern the financial management of the organization are described in the HETL Constitution and Bylaws. As a legally certified non-profit corporation in the State of New York and by the US Internal Revenue Service, HETL must adhere to all state and federal laws and tax regulations.  Within this context, the following process describes the general finance and accounting process HETL follows:

1) the Office of Executive Director creates a projected budget based on HETL’s estimated future financial needs
2) the executive director submits the projected budget to the Board of Directors for review and comment
3) the Board of Directors updates the budget if necessary
4) the Board of Directors approves the budget at the HETL annual board meeting
5) after the new budget has been approved, the Office of Executive Director is responsible for managing and allocating, on an on-going basis, HETL’s financial resources within the scope of the approved budget
6) the HETL treasurer and chief financial officer provides on-going oversight of the budget and general financial advice to the executive director
7) the HETL accountant performs an annual audit of HETL’s finances to ensure all financial and accounting record keeping is accurate and complete and that HETL is in compliance with all legal and tax regulations
8) the executive director, the treasurer or the chief financial officer, and the accountant complete and submit the annual tax documents to the appropriate legal and tax authorities
9) the Office of Executive Director prepares the HETL Annual Report, which includes the audited HETL Income and Expense Statement for the fiscal year
10) based on the previous year HETL Income and Expense Statement, together with the HETL strategic plan for the upcoming year, the Office of Executive Director begins preparing a new projected budget (step one)

Chief Financial Officer: Ms. Gunhild Jensen

Conferences & Awards Division

Difference is a chief characteristic of a twenty-first century global higher education ecosystem. The shared values of diversity, collegiality and integrity bind the educational community together, regardless of institutional type or mission. To fulfill these shared values, HETL initiates meaningful activities, projects, and practices that fosters collaboration and capacity building at all levels (individual, group, institutional, national, international) as well as the democratization of higher education through professional, institutional, and higher educational development. To this end, HETL convenes annual international conferences to bring educators together to present cutting-degree research and honor those educators who represent the highest ideals of the academy.

Research & Publishing Division

Through its different communication channels, the global HETL network allows educators from around the world to connect, communicate and collaborate. The International HETL Portal gives the association a public presence and serves as a free clearinghouse for a wide array of resources and knowledge on teaching and learning and thus serves as an “academic digital commons”. The HETL Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, the International HETL Review, and the Journal of Meaning-Centered Education disseminate current knowledge and research on teaching and learning by publishing peer-reviewed, scholarly, international, and interdisciplinary articles from scholars, researchers, and education thought leaders from around the world.

Research Ethics Division

In order to improve the quality and integrity of HETL’s communication channels/forums and to follow commonly accepted ethical research principles, HETL has adopted the following policy:

To protect the quality and integrity of the HETL’s communication platforms/forums and the reasonable privacy expectations of our members who participate in discussions on these channels/forums or who participate in HETL related or HETL sponsored research projects, no data from these platforms/forums may be published or used for research purposes without the approval of the HETL Institutional Review Board (IRB). 

This policy does not apply to, and HETL IRB approval is not required for, HETL sponsored book projects or similar projects that does not directly involve the collection of original primary research data by the book editors or principle investigators.

For additional information, see HETL Research

Institutional Review Board

Chair: Dr. Krassie Petrova

Professor John P. Anchan

Dr. Patrick Blessinger

Dr. John M. Carfora

Dr. Mauricio Vasquez

Liaison Division

HETL Liaisons are volunteers (academics, scholars, and educators) who represent HETL to the global higher education community. As such, HETL Liaisons help promote the mission, vision, and values of HETL. Liaisons represent HETL’s interests in their countries as well as represent the interests of their own countries to HETL. As such, liaisons serve as the voice, eyes, and ears of HETL in their home countries and in their disciplines.

For additional information, see HETL Liaisons

Chief Liaison: Professor Mandla Makhanya

Partners Division

Since its founding, HETL has cultivated the democratization of higher education and HETL has evolved as a global grassroots effort by educators from around the world and as a leading voice on critical issues affecting the global education community. As such, HETL is an international educational association of educators, by educators, and for educators. To bring the HETL vision to reality, HETL partners with like-minded organizations to help bring its vision to reality.

For additional information, see HETL Partners


The Office of Executive Director is responsible for drafting policies and strategies and, upon review and approval of the Board of Directors, is responsible for their implementation and on-going management to best serve the interests and needs of HETL’s members, partners, and donors, as well as the global higher education community at large. The Office of Executive Director is also responsible for defining roles and processes as well as allocating appropriate resources needed to carry out the activities of the organization and fulfill its mission and move towards its vision.



The Office of Executive Director works jointly with the various boards on effective ways to provide global leadership on critical issues impacting higher education. HETL’s shared values (integrity, collegiality, diversity) drive a policy of inclusiveness that supports democratic principles of shared governance, institutional diversification, pedagogical pluralism, learning diversity, and freedom of inquiry.

HETL advances the scholarship and practice of teaching and learning in higher education by focusing on four core areas: 1) global networking and interdisciplinary collaboration, 2) research, innovation, and academic publishing, 3) higher education development and capacity building, and 4) human rights and social justice.  The HETL Constitution and Bylaws are formally operationalized through appropriate and meaningful organizational structures (e.g., policies, roles, strategies, processes, resources) and activities (e.g., conferences, publications, research).



Search HETL Portal

Signup to HETL Newsletter

Become a Member

Become a Member