By Henry Thornton
Vice Chancellor John McCardell, Jr. has been appointed the Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). He was among four new board members who began their term on February 4. McCardell will serve as president for one year, while his position on the board itself will last for three years. He succeeds Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, the president of Shenandoah University.
The NAICU was founded in 1976 and is made up of over 1,000 independent institutions of higher education. The purpose of the association is to represent the wishes of the private colleges and universities that comprise its membership with regards to the policies of the federal government. In other words, the NAICU is the voice of private colleges on Capitol Hill.
The policy mission of the NAICU, according to the group’s website, focuses on three main issues. The first is to guarantee student aid programs that allow every college bound student access to his or her first choice college. The second is to promote tax policies at the federal level which help make college an affordable choice for all families.
The third is “to seek appropriate regulation of private colleges and universities that is sensitive to their diversity and independence while addressing society’s needs.”
In a press release put out February 4, McCardell is quoted as saying, “Now more than ever is a time to make the case for independent higher education and for policies that recognize its worth.”McCardell assumed the role of Vice Chancellor in 2010. He graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1971 where he was a brother of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He served as the president of Middlebury College in Vermont from 1992 to 2004. This is not McCardell’s first time serving at the head of a nationwide college association. He was the Chairman of the NCAA Division III Presidents’ Council from 20032004.As chairman, McCardell will be in charge of the organization’s agenda for the year, how the organization goes about pursuing said agenda, and how they will fund those efforts.
A glimpse into the funding for the NAICU can be found on the associations website where it lists the sponsors for the annual NAICU meeting. The page is full of names, such as AGB Search, a head hunting group that describes itself as a company that will “conduct permanent and interim searches for presidents, chancellors, provosts, vice presidents, and deans as well as heads of systems.” Dr. David L Warren, the president of the NAICU, said in a press release that, “Having served on NAICU’s board for several years, John (McCardell) has a deep understanding of the issues our members face both in Washington, DC, and on their own campuses.”