A Degree-Granting University in Missouri

WGU Missouri’s principal mission is to expand access to affordable higher education for Missouri residents through online, competency-based degree programs that address key workforce needs.

WGU's Core Themes

WGU Missouri Governance

WGU Missouri is the only state-endorsed university that operates entirely online. As a private, nonprofit institution established by the state of Missouri, WGU Missouri works in partnership with our parent institution, Western Governors University. WGU Missouri is led by Chancellor Angie Besendorfer and an Advisory Board who reside in Missouri and provide guidance on the most effective ways the university can meet the needs of Missouri residents.

About Angie Besendorfer, WGU Missouri's Chancellor

WGU Missouri Advisory Board

  • Mike Fulton, Superintendent, Pattonville School District
  • Janelle Lee, Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development, Mosaic Life Care
  • Cynthia Mercer, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Mercy
  • Brent McCoy, Vice President, Business development & Commercial Lending, OakStar Bank
  • Michael McMillian, President and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.
  • Tony Myers, Director of Human Services, US Tool Group
  • Mike Nietzel, Deputy Department Director, Missouri Department of Mental Health
  • Ruth Stricklen Pullins, Chief Human Resources Officer, Truman Medical Centers
  • David R. Russell, Commissioner of Higher Education (Ret.), Interim Chief of Staff, University of Missouri
  • Liz Thiel, Senior Director, Senior Director, Workforce Architecture & Health Clinic Operations, Cerner Corporation

WGU Missouri operates under the same governance as that of its parent institution, WGU: a Board of Trustees consisting of educators, industry leaders, and state governors.

More about the Board of Trustees

National Advisory Board

Another crucial source of support is our National Advisory Board, made up of representatives from prestigious corporations and foundations. Members provide ongoing support and advice to the university.

National Advisory Board Members

Academic Program Governance

WGU Missouri’s curriculum, learning resources, mentoring, and student services are provided by our parent institution, Western Governors University. WGU’s skilled administration and faculty work with industry councils consisting of academic and industry experts to produce comprehensive and superior degree programs.

Academic Leadership
Assessment Council
Health Professions Program Council
Nursing Advisory Council
General Education Council
Business Program Council
Information Technology Program Council
Education Program Council

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Questions and Answers

Select a question from the left, see the answer to the right.

Is WGU a nonprofit or for-profit university?

WGU is a nonprofit online university that was founded by 19 U.S. governors. However, it is a private university, not a state university. WGU developed out of a vision for the future of higher education that emerged among the governors of the Western Governors Association (hence our name), but WGU operates independently with its own governance structure.

What is the role of a Program Council?

Each Program Council at WGU is composed of WGU faculty and outside experts in the field of study. The council is responsible for guiding the development of degree programs. The council will help define the skills and knowledge that a competent graduate should possess, determine the best ways to assess the competence, as well as monitor and review the relevance of each program over time.

WGU mentors serve as advisors to students. To learn more about the mentor’s role, click here. Or speak to an Enrollment Counselor.

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