Tom Layzell is retired after a 42 year career in public higher education. He served for 23 years as the chief executive officer of two multi-campus governing boards and a statewide coordinating board. He was chancellor of the Illinois Board of Governors of State Colleges and Universities, commissioner of higher education for the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, and president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He also served as the chief financial officer of a university and of a university system.
Tom has had extensive experience with system coordination; policy analysis and development; academic program development and review; strategic planning; development of a public agenda; development of accountability measures; budgeting and financial management; external relations; presidential searches and evaluations; collective bargaining and employee relations; and workforce development.
Tom has made numerous presentations on higher education issues at state, regional, and national meetings; led sessions at the Association of Governing Board (AGB) meetings, National Association of System Heads (NASH) meetings, and State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) meetings; facilitated seminars for board chairs and system executives; led board retreats; and consulted on faculty collective bargaining and employee relations.
Tom has served as president of SHEEO, president of NASH, a member of the National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education, co-chaired by former Secretary of Education Dick Riley and former Governor of Oklahoma Frank Keating, and served two terms on the AGB Council of Presidents. Tom has served on a variety of public boards concerned with distance learning, educational television, K-12 education, P-16 relations, workforce development, health insurance, college savings, financial aid, and public libraries.
Tom received a BA degree in history from Millikin University, and JD and MAPA degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.