David S. Spence, PhD '75

President, Southern Regional Education Board

David Spence.

David Spence, PhD, became president of SREB in 2005. As president, Spence oversees the nation's largest school improvement network, the nation's largest educational technology collaborative of state K-12 and postsecondary agencies, and many other initiatives designed to help the organization's 16 member states lead the nation in educational progress.

From 1998 to 2005, Spence was executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer of the California State University System, which includes 23 campuses, over 400,000 students and 20,000 faculty. During that time, he implemented the system's strategic plan, the development of a systemwide initiative to increase graduation rates and the establishment of a system accountability process. Most notably, he initiated and coordinated California's Early Assessment Program, in which the college readiness of high school juniors is evaluated, and the results used to further prepare senior year students and adjust high school standards to focus on college readiness.