2018 Conference Speaker Bios




Dr. Michelle Weise


Michelle Weise, Ph.D., helps institutions and their leaders navigate the dynamics of disruption across a rapidly changing academic terrain.

Weise, the senior vice president of workforce strategies and chief innovation officer at Strada Education Network, specializes in disruptive innovation in higher education.  Her work informs policymakers, community leaders, academic administrators and innovators about how the theories of disruption clarify our understanding of the industry’s transformation. Weise’s seminal book – “Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution,” co-authored with Clayton Christensen – unveils the tectonic shifts to come, and discusses how online competency-based education will revolutionize the workforce and disrupt higher education.

Beyond competency-based learning, Weise’s research delves into student-learning outcomes, assessments, and public-private partnerships. Her voice has been featured in all major education publications, including the New England Journal of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, as well as top-tier business outlets, such as Harvard Business Review, The Economist, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and USA Today.

Dr. Weise serves on the Commission on the Future of Higher Education for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as on the Executive Council of WCET – The WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies. Previously, Weise was a Senior Research Fellow focusing on higher education at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation, specifically through education and health care.  Prior to joining the Institute, Weise was vice president of Academic Affairs for Fidelis Education. She has also held instructional positions, serving as a professor at Skidmore College and an instructor at Stanford University. A former Fulbright Scholar, Weise is a graduate of Harvard University; she earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Stanford University.


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Deb Dunbar



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Candace Shaffer, MS, CWPM

Candace Shaffer, M.S., CWPM, director of benefits for Purdue University, is responsible for the strategic planning and customer service of a strong benefits plan for employees and their families. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University. Prior to returning to Purdue as a staff member, Candace worked for a non-for-profit early childhood agency focusing on program development. She believes benefits is more than just medical, Rx and dental benefits; it also includes retirement, leaves, workers compensation, families and the systems and processes in place to help employees and families engage in those programs. Candace’s goal is to ensure quality programs and services are available to help meet the needs of employees and their families at whatever stage of life they are at, whether they are a single person or a three-generation family, we need to be a resource for employees at the point in time they need support.


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Mary Delaney

Mary Delaney is the President of Vital Incite. Her role is to help employers understand how to leverage a variety of solutions to provide meaningful healthcare coverage, promote wellbeing and mitigate cost.   Mary is motivated by a genuine desire to make a lasting difference in the evolving world of healthcare.  Having spent 23 years on the provider side of the healthcare industry, Mary has the unique ability to see the big picture in healthcare and develop outside-the-box strategies and solutions. She has specific expertise in wellness solutions, onsite clinic integration, disease and utilization management and the medical home model of patient care.

In her current role, Mary is focused on delivering data-driven strategies to employers, designed to decrease medical spend waste and efficiently guide the reinvestment of those resources into meaningful programs that ultimately result in improved employee health.  Mary and the Vital Incite team currently manage population health programs for more than 120 employers throughout the US, from Alaska to Florida, providing strategies covering more than 170,000 employee lives. 

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Michael V. Collins, CIMA, AIF

In Michael's Role as Director of Endowment and Foundation Services, he addresses new business development and coordinates portfolio management and service capabilities TIAA delivers to their institutional clients. He has expertise on a variety of topics including, but not limited to, investment policy design, spending policy, and non-profit governance issues (i.e. UPMIFA). Michael also helps update and educate board members and non-profit organizations across the country.

Michael is a frequent speaker on endowment and foundation trends and issues. He has spoken at the National Association of Independent Schools, Independent Sector, the National Business Officers Association, the American Association of Community College Trustees, and the Council of Independent Colleges, sharing his knowledge of Endowment and Foundation financial solutions.

Michael joined TIAA in 2010 and recently began his 25th year in the financial services industry. He has spent his entire career working closely with individuals, advisory/brokerage firms and non-profit organizations in creating solutions aimed at addressing the myriad challenges that face investors today. Prior to coming to TIAA, Michael was a Director for Russell Investment Group leading the Northeast region. He has also held various positions at MFS Investment Management and Putnam Investments where he began his career.

Michael received his Bachelor of Science in Finance from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is a Certified Investment Management Analyst professional and holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation.

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