For fifteen years, Dr. Chaffee was president of Valley City State University and served nine of those years simultaneously as president of Mayville State University. Her leadership created an award-winning culture of innovation, change, and accountability. She then spent a year as president in residence at Harvard University. Previous positions include academic vice-chancellor for the North Dakota University System and director of organizational studies at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. She was president of the Association for Institutional Research and the Association for the Study of Higher Education, as well as the public member of the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education, the accrediting board for pharmacy.
Dr. Chaffee earned both her MA and PhD from Stanford University. She is a past member of Des Moines University’s board of trustees and served as board member and chair of a major health care system.