Board of Trustees

Will Gonzalez, Chairman

Will Gonzalez bio pictureWill Gonzalez has been with the City of Phoenix Prosecutor's Office since 1996. His work as a community prosecutor has produced the largest court fine in the City of Phoenix Municipal Court's history against a slumlord in the amount of $377,500. In his assigned neighborhood of Palomino, Mr. Gonzalez assisted in developing a business alliance, inter-faith coalition, block watch and a neighborhood revitalization committee whose strategy brought about a $3.6 million Boys & Girls Club facility for the community. 

Don Andorfer

Don Andorfer Bio PictureDon Andorfer joined GCU in the spring of 2006 as interim president in the effort to help the university prepare for its accreditation review by the Higher Learning Commission in 2007. Under his leadership, the university expects to rise to new levels of excellence in its academic standards.

Prior to joining the university, Mr. Andorfer served as president of Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne, IN, for 18 years from 1985 to 2003 and served in various management positions since 1977. 


Peggy J. Chase

Peggy-Chase.jpgPeggy J. Chase is the President and CEO of Terros Health, a growing integrated, whole health care company providing services to Arizonans since 1969. Peggy leads more than 1,000 Terros Health employees statewide with a compassionate leadership style that seeks to mentor, coach, and grow new leaders.

Peggy has been a progressive health care leader and innovator for more than 30 years. Her commitment to service leadership has positively impacted health care public policy through her participation on local, state, and national boards and committees.

Dr. Lupita Ley Hightower

LupitaHightowerDr. Hightower has worked in education for over 21 years in various roles. She has held positions as a teacher, mentor, assistant principal, principal, district level director and an assistant superintendent. Over the last seven years, Dr. Hightower has been the superintendent for the Tolleson Elementary School District No. 17. Lupita received her bachelor’s degree with a bilingual endorsement from the University of Arizona. She then earned her master’s degree in educational administration and supervision and her doctorate in leadership and innovation from Arizona State University.


Marion Kelly

Marion-Kelly.jpgMarion Kelly serves as Director for the Office of Community Affairs at Mayo Clinic. In this role, Mr. Kelly provides leadership for the organizations’ efforts to build solid neighbor, civic and corporate relationships. “Community” in its broadest sense encompasses the entire Southwest region of the United States. In addition to providing leadership in Community Affairs, he is also responsible for institutionalizing diversity as a corporate objective within the strategic plan of Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Fred Miller

Fred Miller Bio PictureFred Miller, MD, PhD, CMD, is currently medical director at Arizona Priority Care in Chandler, AZ. He is a dynamic, results-driven physician with a proven background of 31 years of both clinical and administrative roles offering leadership and direction to design-focused, effective plans and strategies to support customer health care needs and organizational goals. He is a collaborative leader working closely with medical and legal professionals to resolve complex issues in the clinical, medical administrative and forensic services arenas. 


Dr. Jim Rice

Jim Rice Bio PictureDr. Jim Rice is a retired superintendent of the Alhambra Elementary School District, a culturally diverse district serving more than 15,000 students in preschool through eighth grades. He has been in the district his entire career, serving as teacher, principal, assistant superintendent for academic services and assistant superintendent for human resources. Not only has Dr. Rice worked in Alhambra for nearly 36 years, he is a former student, graduating from eighth grade at Andalucia School.

Brian Mueller

Brian Mueller joined Grand Canyon University (GCU) in July 2008 to usher in a new era for the institution - from an entrepreneurial venture to a market-supported private university. Taking the successes he experienced as a teacher and coach at the high school and small college level as well as his 22 years of experience at the Apollo Group (the parent company of University of Phoenix), Mr. Mueller transformed GCU from a financially troubled university into a $5 billion institution that has become a driving force in higher education today.

As the university's president, Mr. Mueller is progressive and anticipatory in an industry that is slow in adapting to change. Since Mr. Mueller joined GCU, the University has experienced unprecedented growth. Enrollment on the Phoenix campus has increased from less than 1,000 to 19,000, while online enrollment has improved from 12,500 to more than 70,000.

Academic Leadership

Dr. Hank Radda


Hank Radda, PhD, joined GCU in December 2010 and currently serves as GCU's provost. He has extensive experience creating organizations and systems to educate and serve people, based on scholarship and best practices. He has worked with national private, public and not-for-profit organizations. Dr. Radda earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, as well as his Master of Science in community-school psychology from the College of New Rochelle in New York. He earned his PhD in clinical psychology from The Union Institute in Ohio. 

Dr. Jennifer Lech

Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and University Registrar, Accreditation Liaison Officer

Jennifer Lech, PhD, has been with GCU since 2004, but has worked in postsecondary education for 20 years. Dr. Lech developed the initial curriculum of the university as it began its transformation to avoid bankruptcy in 2004. She is now responsible for academic and institutional integrity through the departments she oversees, including the Office of Academic Records, Policy and Program Management, Accreditation, State Compliance, Academic Compliance, Student Disability Services, Office of Assessment, Academic Analytics and the Library.


Dr. Joe Veres

Vice President of Student Success

Joe Veres, Ed.D. joined GCU in June 2013 to spear-head the university’s ground-breaking program, the GCU Learning Lounge. Noted for his educational innovation and ability to maximize systems and efficiencies, Dr. Veres currently serves as Vice President of Student Success which oversees Strategic Employer Initiatives and Internships, Academic and Career Excellence, Non-Traditional Academic Support and K12 Outreach.

Shanna Milonas

Assistant Vice President of Academic Compliance, Title IX and 504 Coordinator

Shanna Milonas joined GCU in 2007 as an administrator in the Office of Academic Compliance. Since that time, she has held multiple roles within Academic Compliance, most recently serving as Director, Deputy Title IX Coordinator and Lead Title IX Investigator. In her current role, she has oversight of compliance requirements for Title IX, VAWA, Section 504/ADA, including programmatic functions and institutional grievance procedures. 

College Leadership

Dr. Michael Berger

Dean, College of Doctoral Studies

Michael Berger, EdD, joined GCU in 2004. Previous to his role as dean, Dr. Berger oversaw development of curriculum and instructional material for GCU. His dissertation focused on instructional techniques that online faculty can use to better connect with their students. He has presented at numerous conferences on the subjects of higher education assessment, online learning and virtual doctoral education. Dr. Berger earned bachelor's and master' degrees from the University of Dayton, and he received his EdD in organizational leadership from GCU.

Dr. Randy Gibb

Dean, Colangelo College of Business

Randy Gibb, PhD, joined GCU in July 2014 and currently serves as the dean of the Colangelo College of Business. Dr. Gibb has 26 years of operational U.S. Air Force leadership and academic administration experience, as well as his own entrepreneurial endeavors. His background includes leading the U.S. Air Force Academy's Behavioral Science & Leadership Department, helping establish a human systems integration degree program at the Air Force Institute of Technology in Dayton, OH, as a senior military professor and serving at Arizona State University as an associate professor and chair of the Human & Environmental Systems Department. 


Dr. Kimberly LaPrade

Dean, College of Education

Prior to her current role, Kimberly LaPrade, PhD, served GCU as associate dean, College of Education (2008-10) and technology program chair and assistant professor (2007-08). Dr. LaPrade earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in English writing and sociology in 1990 and her Master of Education in secondary education in 2000 from GCU. She then completed her PhD in educational leadership from Capella University in 2008. Dr. LaPrade holds secondary teaching (7-12) and principal (K-12) certificates from the State of Arizona and was an educator in K-12 schools for more than 20 years.

Claude Pensis

Dean, College of Fine Arts and Production

Claude Pensis has been a faculty member at GCU since 1982 during which time he has also been theatre chair and artistic director. Mr. Pensis has also served for 1.5 years as a faculty associate for Arizona State University as their lighting instructor. He is a native of Wisconsin and received a Bachelor of Science degree in theatre from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh and a Master of Fine Arts in stage direction from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. As either a director or a light designer, Mr. Pensis has been involved in more than 400 stage productions and has received numerous local theatre awards and nominations. He is a member of the Stage Lighting category of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829.


Dr. Sherman Elliott

Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Sherman Elliott, EdD, started with GCU in January 2011 as a faculty member in the College of Education where he served for a year and a half as chair of secondary education. Since 2013, Dr. Elliott has served as the assistant dean and recently acting dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Prior to joining GCU, Dr. Elliott held the positions of assistant clinical professor of secondary education and director of the Center for Civics Education at Arizona State University.

Dr. Lisa Smith

Dean, College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Lisa Smith, PhD, RN, CNE, served GCU as assistant dean of the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions prior to her appointment as dean. Previously, she taught for 10 years in a pre-licensure nursing program in South Florida. Before academia, Dr. Smith spent 20 years in hospital nursing, 15 of those years in managerial and executive leadership positions including chief nursing officer with a for-profit hospital system, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).


Dr. Mark Wooden

Dean, College of Science, Engineering and Technology

Mark Wooden, PhD, earned a Bachelor of Science in wildlife conservation biology and a PhD in biology with a focus on integrative and comparative environmental physiology from Arizona State University. In addition to previously serving GCU as the dean of the College of Health Sciences and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he has held a variety of administrative positions at GCU, including department chair of math and sciences.

Dr. Jason Hiles

Dean, College of Theology

Jason Hiles, PhD, joined GCU in 2013. He is a graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design where he received a BFA in sculpture in 1998. He also earned an MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2001 and a PhD in systematic theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2008. Upon graduation from Southeastern, he was appointed assistant professor at Louisiana College and later named associate dean of the Caskey School of Divinity. Dr. Hiles is a member of the Evangelical Theological and Evangelical Philosophical Societies.

University Leadership

Dr. Tim Griffin

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Tim Griffin, EdD, joined GCU in 2011 and currently serves as the dean of students, university pastor and vice president of student affairs. Dr. Griffin earned his undergraduate degree from Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College and a Master of Arts degree from Moody Graduate School in Chicago, IL. Dr. Griffin has a professional background that includes public relations, recruiting, fundraising and resource management. He has served for more than 25 years in clergy positions, ranging from being a pastor and chaplain to university minister.

Brian M. Roberts

Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Secretary

Brian Roberts has been serving as Grand Canyon University’s general counsel and secretary since 2012. Roberts is also a director of GCU Community Fund. For nearly 10 years, he was employed by iGo, Inc., a publicly traded developer of electronics accessories, which included serving as general counsel and secretary responsible for all legal functions. Between 1998 - 2003, Roberts was an attorney with the law firm of Snell & Wilmer L.L.P. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.


Junette C. West

Vice President of Business and Finance

Junette West joined GCU in August 2018 as the University’s Vice President of Business and Finance. Mrs. West graduated from Grand Canyon College with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and has earned an MBA. She has also maintained her CPA license for over 30 years. Mrs. West's experience is primarily in the higher education sector. She has held various finance and accounting roles such as Controller, VP-Finance for International Operations, VP-Corporate Treasurer, VP-Financial Operations and VP-Enterprise Risk Management.

Mike Vaught

Vice President of Athletics

Mike Vaught was appointed as GCU's vice president of athletics on Oct. 15, 2014. Before coming to GCU, Mr. Vaught spent two years (2013-14) in the private sector as director of corporate sponsorships at AdvoCare International, a health and wellness company. In his role, he helped develop sponsorships with ESPN, the Texas Bowl, FC Dallas of Major League Soccer, Texas Kickoff and Cowboys Classic football games, as well as with Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Childress Racing on the NASCAR Xfinity Tour.


Chris Linderson

Senior Vice President of Student Financial Aid Compliance

Chris Linderson joined GCU in 2009, having spent the prior 25 years in various financial aid administrative, managerial and executive positions. As Senior Manager of Business Process Outsourcing and Director of Regulatory Compliance with Arthur Andersen/ACS she led multiple engagements assisting new clients with outsourcing of their financial aid processes, helping to create efficiencies and cost savings while ensuring compliance with all federal regulations.