Governance Structure


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of 44 members (plus four non-voting members). Twenty-four board members are directly elected to three-year terms by the membership – three from each of the eight NAICU regions. All 24 must be chief executive officers of member colleges or universities.

NAICU Regions
The 24 directly-elected board members elect 12 additional directors to three-year terms, all of whom also must be member college or university chief executive officers. Beyond their three-year term, the chair of the board serves a fourth year, and the immediate past board chair a fifth year, with vote.

In addition, the chairs of the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives (NAICUSE) and the Secretariat serve as ex officio members with vote. The president of NAICU is an ex officio member without vote.

Two additional state executives and one additional member of the Secretariat are recommended by their respective organizations, and are ratified as voting members by the board. Three non-presidents from member institutions also participate in board deliberations without vote.



NAICU officers are the chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer of the Board of Directors, plus the association president.  With the exception of the association president, all officers are college or university presidents. The vice chair, secretary, and treasurer are elected by the board of directors from the members of the board. The election of the chair and vice chair is ratified by the membership at the annual meeting. Upon completion of his or her term, the vice chair becomes the chair. (Comprehensive list of NAICU Board Chairs)

Newly-elected or appointed board members (except those filling vacancies) are seated and the new executive committee members assume their offices at the board meeting held in the Fall Leadership Conference. All board members are elected to three-year terms except for the vice chair, who serves a fourth year as chair, and a fifth year as past chair.



Seven committees report to the NAICU board. Four deal with public policy issues, and are composed of board members as well as selected members: the Committees on Accountability, Student Aid, Policy Analysis and Public Relations, and Tax Policy.

The Executive, Administration, and Audit Committees are operational committees, dealing with internal NAICU policies and procedures.

Executive Committee

Elected by the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee consists of the officers, the past board chair, plus the chairs of the four policy committees described below and two at-large members.
  Administration Committee
The Committee is charged with overseeing the finances, membership activities, and other issues related to the operation of the Association.
  Audit Committee
The Committee oversees the Association's financial accounting process, internal controls, independent auditors, conflict of interest policies and other related matters.
  Committee on Accountability
NAICU seeks appropriate regulation of private colleges and universities that is sensitive to institutional diversity and independence, while also addressing society's needs.  The Committee establishes the policy agenda with a particular focus on legislative, regulatory and other public policy initiatives.
  Committee on Policy Analysis and Public Relations
The Committee identifies issues affecting independent higher education and suggests priorities and strategies for research and public relations activities to enhance public understanding and support for private, nonprofit colleges and universities.
  Committee on Student Aid
NAICU seeks to ensure adequate funding for the core student aid programs. The Committee sets the Association's policy agenda, including federal funding issues and examination of options available to students for financing their college education.
  Committee on Tax Policy
NAICU promotes a tax policy that helps families save and pay for college, and private colleges fulfill their distinctive missions.  The Committee is responsible for setting the Association's policy agenda in the tax arena, including: maintaining federal support for the federal tax benefits for students and families, whle protecting the tax-exempt status of private colleges and universities, the independence of their endowments, and incentives for charitable giving. 

Conflict-of-Interest and Disclosure Policy


The Conflict-of-Interest and Disclosure Policy serves as guidance for all persons employed by the Association in positions of significant responsibility and authority, and all members serving on the Board of Directors.  The statement of policy applies to each member of the board, officer, and key employee of NAICU.

Board members and key employees are required to complete an annual conflict-of-interest questionnaire each Spring.

Values and Code of Ethics Policy 


The NAICU Code of Ethics is built on the foundation of widely shared values, including:  

  • Commitment to the public good;
  • Accountability to the public;
  • Commitment beyond the law;
  • Respect for the worth and dignity of individuals;
  • Inclusiveness and social justice;
  • Respect for pluralism and diversity
  • Transparency, integrity and honesty;
  • Responsible stewardship of resources; and,
  • Commitment to excellence and to maintaining the public trust.

These values inform and guide the actions that NAICU will take in developing its policies and informing its practices.