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Indiana's Commissioner for Higher Education

“Indiana’s colleges and universities provide much of the fuel in terms of education, training and research to support individual growth, investments and innovations of employers. By bringing together leaders from our higher education institutions, employers, K-12 partners, nonprofits, philanthropy, government and other stakeholders, we can blur the lines and increase the value proposition of higher education."

About the Commissioner

Chris Lowery
Commissioner for Higher Education 


Associate Commissioner for Communications and Outreach

Charlee Beasor leads the Commission’s communications and outreach team, overseeing internal and external communications and student, school and community outreach efforts. She ensures the alignment of the Commission’s communications and outreach initiatives—including marketing, PR and media relations—with the agency’s mission and strategic plan.
Charlee most recently served as communications director for the Commission. Previously, she worked for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and wrote for its award-winning BizVoice® magazine. Charlee started her career in local journalism and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Franklin College.

Charlee Beasor
Associate Commissioner for Communications and Outreach


Associate Commissioner for Legislation and Program Implementation

Josh GarrisonJosh Garrison is responsible for the Commission’s legislative agenda. Garrison has on focused improving Indiana’s state financial aid programs, increasing opportunities for returning adults, and implementing the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship. Prior to joining the Commission, he held positions with Iowa State University and the Michigan Department of Human Services.

Garrison holds a B.S. in Politics and Government from Illinois State University and a J.D. from the Southern Illinois University School of Law.

Josh Garrison
Associate Commissioner for Legislation and Program Implementation



Associate Commissioner for Business Enterprise Solutions

Rajinder Heir focuses on mission critical solutions and the Commission’s utilization of a myriad of IT services in alignment with strategic and operational initiatives. Her team delivers improvements to serve financial aid, data collection, budgetary, academic program inventory, and case management functions. She is an active and engaged member of the Governor’s Executive Council on Cybersecurity.

Heir’s varied IT experience includes high-tech start-up, telecoms, insurance, nonprofit, cyber security consulting, and public sector as COO of IT for the City of Indianapolis. She served on the boards of Women & Hi Tech, Girls Inc, and the FBI Citizen’s Academy. She is a graduate of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Technology (Purdue).

Rajinder Heir
Associate Commissioner for Business Enterprise Solutions


Associate Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer

Seth HinshawSeth Hinshaw provides financial, budget, and policy analysis regarding higher education finance issues in Indiana. He serves the agency by overseeing financial operations, operating budgets that support the Commission’s statutory mission, legislative mandates, and human resources.
Hinshaw has served in various roles and capacities in state finance since 2014, most recently serving as a fiscal analyst with the Indiana Senate. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies from Ball State University and is pursuing a Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University.

Seth Hinshaw
Associate Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer


Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer

Ken Sauer oversees new program approvals and program reviews; transfer, dual credit, and early college policies and programs; and campus mission statements/policies. He is the executive director of the Indiana Board for Proprietary Education; liaison to the Higher Learning Commission; and a member of the Governor’s Health Workforce Council.

Sauer also leads the Credential Engine Indiana initiative and serves as a member of Credential Engine’s Higher Education Advisory Committee. He provides leadership for the Indiana e-Transcript Program and Indiana’s statewide participation in the Comprehensive Learner Record initiative.

For the past 13 years he has been the Governor’s designee on the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), where he is the immediate Past Chair, a member of the Midwestern-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA) Steering Committee, and co-founder of the Compact’s Multi-State Collaborative on Military Credit. He also serves on the National Council-SARA Data Committee.

Previous employers include the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCES), where he helped lead the development of the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP), which NCES still uses for annually collecting data from all U.S. colleges and universities, and developed a projection model for reports to Congress on nursing needs and resources.

He holds a Ph.D. in Government/International Relations from the Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University).

Ken Sauer, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer


Associate Commissioner for Policy and Research

Sean Tierney directs the Commission’s policy research and data efforts, including the higher education reporting process. Prior to joining the Commission in 2016, he was state policy officer at Lumina Foundation. Previously, Tierney held fiscal policy and data research positions with the Maryland Higher Education Commission and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's degree in economics, English and sociology in 2009 and a master's degree in public policy in 2011.

Sean Tierney
Associate Commissioner for Policy and Research


Joan Gabig
Executive Assistant to the Commissioner & Office Manager



Allison Kuehr
Communications & PR Manager


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