Diane Longhurst Johnson – President

Diane HeadshotDiane Longhurst Johnson is a relentless advocate for innovative educational practices that truly make a difference for students. Her extensive expertise in competency-based educational models makes her a valuable asset to the New Charter University team. With more than 25 years in both higher education and K-12 education, Ms. Johnson is well suited to lead academic efforts to achieve the organization’s mission. Prior to joining the Academic Leadership at New Charter University, Ms. Johnson was the founding Senior Manager of Performance Evaluation at Western Governors University. She was also the first Director of Innovative Programming and Assessment at Utah State University. Ms. Johnson is a nationally recognized consultant on authentic assessment, educational operations, competency-based education, online learning, faculty staffing models, remote workforces, and analytics. She is also known for her broad knowledge of learning modalities, differences, and academic interventions. A capable leader, Ms. Johnson has proven her ability to scale large complex academic organizations. Ms. Johnson attended Utah State University for her doctoral preparation. She also holds a graduate certificate from James Madison University, a master’s degree from Brigham Young University, and a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University.

Debbie Austin – Executive Director, Business Operations

Debbie AustinDebbie Austin has an extreme passion for online teaching and learning and has been working in the online higher education industry for more than 10 years.  Debbie worked in Corporate America for over 20 years, honing her strategic leadership skills through information technology leadership and strategic planning efforts within fortune 100 companies before moving into higher education.  She started in university administration at Western Governor’s University, a pioneer in online, competency-based education.  She has been teaching technology, business and project management at various universities, and working full time in university administration providing senior level operational leadership and leading curriculum development and instructional design efforts. She is an expert at competency-based and online education and her current research is focused on instructor/student engagement in online education. She is passionate about technology and higher education and is constantly working toward bringing those two passions together. Debbie holds an MBA degree with an emphasis in IT Management, an advanced graduate certificate in ecommerce, and a PMP certification.  She is currently working on her dissertation to complete her Doctorate of Business Administration Strategic Leadership degree at George Fox University.

Amie Ader-Beeler – Executive Director, Academic Operations

Amie Ader-Beeler has over 25 years of experience in business and education. She has filled leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies and non-profit innovative educational institutions. Her academic disciplines are management and leadership, and current research is related to innovative and flexible educational models that can reach a broad base of students while maintaining clear competency deliverables. She is working towards the completion of her PhD in Management and Organizational Leadership at Walden University. She has been a valuable member of the leadership teams at both Western Governors University and Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Amie served as an Assistant Dean for Graduate Business Programs at Southern New Hampshire University’s College of Online and Continuing Education.

Amie Ader-Beeler is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and has been responsible for running process improvement, technology enhancements and customer service related projects in several industries. Prior to her work at SNHU she led a team of project managers at Western Governors University focused on delivery of strategic initiatives. She also served as the Operations Manager for the Academic Mentoring Department and as a member of the Academic Leadership Team.

Mary Beth Finn – Academic Dean

Dr. Mary Beth Finn has over 33 years of experience in higher education administration, serving as an Academic Dean of a university for 28 years, while also teaching various courses. She has extensive experience with national, regional, and specialized accreditation at the postsecondary level, as an evaluator, site visitor, and author/organizer of Self-Evaluation Reports for different entities. As a liaison with accrediting bodies, Dr. Finn appreciates the time and effort institutions spend in preparation, self-evaluation, and organization for quality assurance to students.