Governance Structure

Board Organization Chart/Map of Regions (PDF)

Board of Directors

The NAICU Board of Directors consists of 44 members (plus four non-voting members). Of those, 24 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.

The 24 directly-elected board members elect 12 additional directors to three-year terms, who 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 chair of the board 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.


The officers of NAICU are the chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer of the Board of Directors, plus the president of NAICU. With the exception of the NAICU 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).


Terms of Office 

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 conjunction with the NAICU annual meeting, normally scheduled in late January or early February. 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 NAICU board, 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


Values and Code of Ethics Policy 


NAICU Membership

Members of NAICU are independent (private) nonprofit institutions of higher education located in the United States. State associations representing independent colleges and universities, and national, regional, and other special-purpose associations of independent colleges and universities are also eligible for membership. Each member is represented by its chief executive officer.