Nation’s Private College and University Presidents to Honor James C. Ross for Service to Independent Higher Education

January 24, 2003

President Emeritus of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York Will Receive the 17th Annual Henry Paley Memorial Award

James C. Ross, president emeritus of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) of New York, has been selected by the nation’s private college and university presidents to receive the 17th Annual Henry Paley Memorial Award from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). The award will be presented at 3 p.m. on Monday, January 27, at the NAICU Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill.

This year’s Paley Award is marked with a special symmetry: the late Hank Paley, who served as president of cIcu from 1975 to 1984, was a colleague, friend, and mentor to Ross.

Ross will receive the award from NAICU President David L. Warren, who will be joined by Cabot Paley, wife of the late Hank Paley; John Hartung, president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities; and John B. Wilson, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey.

The Henry Paley Memorial Award recognizes an individual who, throughout his or her career, has embodied the spirit of unfailing service toward the students and faculty of independent higher education. The recipient of this award has set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States.

Ross served as president of cIcu and its allied Council of Governing Boards (CGB) from 1994 until his retirement in October 2001. Earlier in his tenure at cIcu, Ross was vice president for a decade, and twice served as interim president of the organization. For eight years he served as CGB’s executive director.

“Over his years at cIcu, his service and counsel to those of us in Washington, D.C., and especially his involvement with the New York congressional delegation, have been an important force in shaping national higher education policy,” said NAICU President David L. Warren. “Within New York, his accomplishments in making a private college education affordable and accessible to students have been extraordinary. His advocacy has made college possible for countless New Yorkers.”

During his tenure, New York enacted the largest increase in the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) in the program’s history, raised the income limits for TAP eligibility, and made tuition expenses state tax deductible.

On the national level, last July Ross concluded a one-year term as chair of the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives, the state association executives’ organization affiliated with NAICU. He also served on the NAICU board of directors for two years, and in various other capacities on the association’s committees and commissions.

Ross’s leadership was recognized last year with honorary degrees awarded by Manhattan College and Mount Saint Mary College. He holds an earned doctorate from the State University of New York at Albany, a master’s degree in higher education from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Michael’s College in Vermont.

Ross and his wife, the former Margaret E. Holbrook, are the parents of two sons, James and Jeffrey, and a daughter, Kelly. They have four grandchildren.