David L. Warren to Retire in 2019 after 25 Years as NAICU President

November 15, 2018

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The NAICU Board of Directors today announced that President David L. Warren, Ph.D, is retiring from the Association after 25 years, effective June 30, 2019.
Dr. Warren, who began his tenure as NAICU president in 1993, after nearly a decade as president of Ohio Wesleyan University, informed the NAICU Board of Directors of his retirement plans during its annual Fall Leadership meeting in Washington, DC.  Dr. Warren is just the third president in NAICU’s 42 year history.
“At every step in his professional life in higher education, a career that has spanned nearly five decades, David Warren has consistently put the needs of students at the forefront of his efforts,” said Andrew Benton, president of Pepperdine University, chair of the NAICU Board of Directors, and co-chair of the search committee tasked with identifying the next president. “During the past twenty-five years, David has been able to organize and mobilize an extremely diverse membership, one that has grown in every year he has been president, representing schools of all sizes and missions from around the country.  In a time of immense partisanship in Washington, DC, NAICU, together with its members, has been able to realize significant federal policy results for private, nonprofit colleges and universities and, more importantly, the students they serve.”
“It has been a true privilege to work with colleges and universities and to visit their campuses and meet with students,” said Dr. Warren.  “Together, we have fought to ensure that federal policy works in the best interests of our institutions and students.  I am proud of the fact that, working collaboratively with the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives, the NAICU Secretariat, our members, their students, others in higher education, and policy makers we realized critically important gains in federal financial aid, protecting the independence of our institutions, and achieving tax relief to help students and families afford a college education.”
Highlights of Dr. Warren’s efforts while president at NAICU include:
  • Spearheading the Student Aid Alliance, an ongoing campaign of 86 higher education associations focused on expanding student aid.  Since its launch, federal spending on student aid has increased significantly, and the Pell Grant maximum has increased from $2,340 to $6,195.  Today, student aid enjoys strong bi-partisan support.
  • Advocating for tax benefits, including 529 Plans, tuition credits and deductions, deductibility for student loans, which have provided billions of dollars in tax benefits to help students and families afford a college education.
  • Co-chairing the National Campus Voter Registration Project which, in each presidential and congressional election since 1996, has engaged the nation’s campuses in the political and electoral process.  The 2018 midterm election reported the largest student turnout on record.
  • Creating CampusCares, an initiative to gain national recognition for the community service and civic engagement contributions by America’s colleges and universities.
  • Creating the University & College Accountability Network (UCAN), a major national effort to enhance consumer’s access to comparative information on colleges and universities. Today, there are nearly 600 college and university profiles in the national network.
  • Taking a leadership role in the passage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, with its provisions for the participation of independent higher education through the Yellow Ribbon Program, which promotes college choice for veterans by providing supplemental matching funds to institutions that cover additional tuition costs for students.  The bill has served as a model of how the federal government can promote greater affordability for students by partnering with colleges. 
“From his days as a campus leader at Washington State University to his presidency at Ohio Wesleyan and his leadership at NAICU, David Warren’s legacy as a visionary and effective voice and advocate for higher education is clear,” said Jo Allen, president of Meredith College, vice chair of the NAICU Board of Directors, and co-chair of the search committee.  “Few people have dedicated as much time, energy, and resources to the future of higher education as David.”

“David Warren is a remarkable leader,” said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education.  “Throughout his career, David has stood for the very best that American higher education represents. He has been a champion for equity and access, and has promoted initiatives that ensure that higher education remains an engine of social mobility. All of us are in David’s debt, and we will miss him dearly.”

The search committee, co-chaired by Benton and Allen, includes members of the NAICU Board of Directors’ executive committee and NAICU senior staff.  The search committee will work with a search firm to determine Dr. Warren’s successor.
“David has been the voice of America’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Washington for the past twenty-five years,” said Benton.  “We look forward to identifying the next person who will serve in that role, continue the policy work that has come to define NAICU’s excellence, and lead the association during the next phase of its history.”


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