Roberta Teahen, PhD
Roberta Teahen, PhD

Director and Faculty, Doctorate in Community College Leadership
Doctorate in Community College Leadership
Phone: (231) 631-5587
Email: [email protected]


  • PhD, Michigan State University, Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education, Leadership, Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Design
  • MA, Michigan State University, Business and Distributive Education
  • BA, Michigan State University, Business and Distributive Education
  • AA, Port Huron Junior College


Dr. Teahen has served as a secondary, community college, and university faculty member and administrator. Before joining Ferris as the Dean of Extended Learning, Dr. Teahen served as a faculty member, division director, and occupational/workforce dean at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City for 30 years. After serving 5 years as Dean of Extended Learning at Ferris, she was promoted to Associate Provost in the Office of Academic Affairs. In 2010, with the launch of the new Doctorate in Community College Leadership, Dr. Teahen began service as its director, a role that she continues today part-time. In her associate provost role for 12 years, she was at different times responsible for accreditation, assessment, Perkins associate-degree career programming, Charter Schools, graduate studies, the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, and faculty awards, among varied other duties.

She is professionally involved in the areas of leadership development, curriculum development, accreditation, and assessment. She is active as a peer reviewer with the Higher Learning Commission where she serves as a Team Chair, Institutional Actions Committee Member, Completion Academy Mentor, Assessment Academy Mentor, member of the Peer Reviewer Evaluation task force, and Change Panel Reviewer. She is a frequent presenter at HLC peer review trainings and at the annual meeting, along with other conferences such as the League for Innovation and AACC. She has participated in more than 70 HLC site visits. She is a frequent consultant to campuses preparing for accreditation or advancing assessment and/or strategic planning. For many years, she has served as the secretary on the executive board of the Community College Baccalaureate Association.

Dr. Teahen believes in high expectations and support for success and brings that belief to her work, particularly with the doctoral program students. Her motto is that "the organization that develops the most people wins." She is also a consummate networker, recognizing that relationships are vital to achieving great things.

In recognition of her professional excellence, community service, and active assistance to women in attaining professional excellence and leadership skills, Dr. Teahen was awarded the Athena Grand Traverse Award in May 2014 and the Distinguished Woman in Higher Education by the Michigan chapter of the American Council on Education (ACE) in 2015. Also in 2015, the Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence recognized her with the Distinguished Leadership Award in Higher Education. In 2020, she will be recognized as a Fellow of Northwestern Michigan College, an award that is the College's highest distinction to honor a person who has served the college and/or the community.

She currently teaches the Foundations of Leadership and the Practicum courses in the DCCL program. Through the practicum, she leads several study-abroad experiences with recent travels to China, Finland, Australia, and England.

Publications and Intellectual Contributions


  • Oral Presentation
    Teahen, R., Lujan, D. (Presenter), Duncan-Ramirez, R. (Presenter), International Conference on Teaching and Learning, "Strategies to Address Vital College Issues," NISOD, Austin, Texas, (May 2019).
  • Paper
    Balkema, S. (Presenter), Teahen, R. (Presenter), NISOD, “Defining Leadership Qualities,” Austin, TX, (2018).
  • Lecture
    Teahen, R., Stakley, D., Conference, "College Perspectives on Competency-Based Learning," Lansing, MI, (June 2018).
  • Lecture
    Teahen, R., Conference, "HLC Implications for Dual and Cojncurrent Enrollment Programming," MICEP, Midland, MI, (October 2017).
  • Lecture
    Teahen, R. (Presenter), Chesley, L. (Presenter), CCA Annual Conference, "Education and Regional Development: A View from American Community Colleges," Community College Association of Australia, Melbourne, Australia, (July 26, 2017).
  • Lecture
    Teahen, R. (Presenter), Balkema, S. (Presenter), International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence, "What Community Colleges Need Now in Leaders," National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), Austin, Texas, (May 29, 2017).
  • Conference Presentation
    Teahen, R. C. (Panelist), Wimbish, J. (Discussant), Washington, L. (Panelist), Kattuah-Snyder, L. (Moderator), American Association of Community Colleges Annual Conference, "Charting a Course for Next-Generation Leaders," AACC, New Orleans, Louisiana, (April 24, 2017).
  • Lecture
    Teahen, R. (Presenter), Lee, T. (Presenter), Innovations, "What the World Needs Now in Leaders," League for Innovation, San Francisco, CA, (March 13, 2017).
  • Oral Presentation
    Teahen, R., Fager, J. J. (Presenter), Nyhammer, D. (Presenter), Assessment Institute, "Leading Assessment in Higher Education: Have You Got What It Takes," Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, (October 2016).
  • Oral Presentation
    Teahen, R., Seminar, "Women's Power Panel," Women's Advocacy Forum, Big Rapids, MI, (April 2016).