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Announcing the 2022 America Higher Education Advisory Council

By May 5, 2022

It’s my pleasure to introduce the officers and members of the 2022 America Higher Education Advisory Council (HEAC). We have 24 total members, including two new members this year, all of whom are innovative Trailblazers! I would like to both welcome our new members and extend my sincere thanks to those rolling off the HEAC, who join our Alumni community.

Headshots of new members of the 2022 HEAC team.

In case you’re not familiar with us, the Council works with and the higher ed community to recognize and set common standards for the delivery of platform solutions to support higher ed. We do this by:

  • Leveraging our collective higher ed and Salesforce expertise to make a difference on our campuses
  • Maintaining a collaborative community that shares code, best practices, and documentation
  • Identifying needs and advocating for solutions
  • Connecting with new and prospective higher ed customers
  • Participating in outreach efforts through webinars, blogs, Education Summit and Dreamforce presentations, etc…
  • Recognizing the diversity of functionalities and needs of higher ed institutions

This last bullet is one of our cornerstones of success. Understanding the power of having a diverse group working together, we try to populate the Council with a variety of perspectives. We seek representation from different types of campuses — from large public universities to small private schools.

We also want a variety of contributors on the Council, so we seek out applicants each year from different roles and levels within their schools, furthering our goal of hosting rich conversations, targeting new and ongoing issues to focus on, and providing solutions that address problems from multiple viewpoints. We’re engaging now more than ever with our peers from across the globe. In fact, last year, our European, Middle Eastern, and African higher ed colleagues formed the EMEA Higher Education Advisory Council.

More Than Advisory

Despite our name, we do much more than advise! We are an action-oriented, highly committed group doing our best to improve the Salesforce experience at colleges and universities. We regularly share best practices, answer questions from our constituency and Salesforce, plan events, and organize demos.

Can We Help You?

While many HEAC members are active in the Education Trailblazer Community, on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; the majority regularly support their colleagues through less public phone calls, web conferences, and even in-person meetings at events (which we look forward to in a post-COVID world). Check out our member profiles to see what we’re up to at our home campuses and what expertise or experience we may be able to offer, then feel free to email or call us directly.

Screenshot of a HEAC community building activity
Council members use “5 in 5”, a community building activity where participants answer 5 questions in 5 minutes, to share best practices.

There are myriad other ways we support our community, from Higher Education User Groups, sessions at Dreamforce and Education Summit, webinars and guest blogs, and The PodCACHE. Couldn’t get into a Dreamforce session? Check it out on the YouTube channel, where you can also see what HEAC members have been up to at their respective institutions. We also have working groups that are aligned each year with the Council’s interests and’s strategic initiatives.

Join Us!

Those of us in the Council collaborate with our partners at to provide feedback on products, pricing, roadmaps, and word-on-the-street issues of concern in the higher ed community. Of course, anyone at colleges and universities working with, or directly on, the platform certainly discovers opportunities for improvement — be it technically, with feature sets, new use cases, pricing and contracts, etc.

One of the most distinctive (and wonderful!) aspects of working in higher education is that, while we may compete for students to attend our particular institution, we operate as a public service community that supports student learning and faculty scholarship. We’re all trying to make the world a better place. Thus, there’s a good chance you went into a career in higher ed because you support these ideals and, at your core, you enjoy helping others. If this sort of service orientation describes you, I’d like to invite you to take a further step and nominate yourself or a colleague for HEAC membership. Provide your contact information here, and we will remind you when applications formally open later this year.

About the Author

“CarrieCarrie Otto
Chairwoman, Salesforce Higher Education Advisory Council – America and Business Owner, Enterprise CRM Management at University of Minnesota
Carrie Otto is the Business Owner of Enterprise Salesforce Constituent Relationship Management at the University of Minnesota. Her role is responsible for creating and fostering institutional strategy, prioritizing projects and roadmaps, leading governance, reporting on ROI, and education across campus for Salesforce products. Prior to this position, Carrie led the business side of the UMN One Stop Student Services implementation of Salesforce for many years. She has served on the council since 2016 and is currently the Chair. Carrie has a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Program Development and has worked in higher education for 20 years.