University of Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford Elected Chair of NAICU Board of Directors

February 11, 2021

Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D., president of the University of Puget Sound (WA), has been elected chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).  Crawford leads a list of four new board officers and 14 new board members who will take office on July 1, 2021. Their election was ratified during the Association’s virtual 2021 Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day.
NAICU board members set the Association’s agenda on federal higher education policy, actively encourage support for the Association’s priorities and initiatives, and oversee the organization’s financial administration.  Board members serve three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms.
“Isiaah Crawford possesses a deep commitment to private higher education and an insightful view of the political environment in Washington,” said NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.  “As president of the University of Puget Sound, he has helped focus the university community on a student-centered approach to learning designed to provide students with a meaningful, relevant, accessible, and distinctive education.”
“At a time when private, nonprofit colleges and universities face many pressing issues, I am honored to have been selected to serve in this key leadership position,” Crawford said.  “Our advocacy focus moving forward will be on securing COVID financial relief for our institutions and our students, increasing federal student aid, including doubling the maximum Pell Grant awards, among many other issues.  NAICU’s work in Washington, DC, has wide-ranging implications for campuses across the country.  I look forward to working with the NAICU team and member presidents to achieve our goals.”
NAICU serves as the national voice of independent higher education and reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States.  Member institutions include major research universities, church-related colleges, historically black colleges, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions.
Crawford will succeed Roger N. Casey, Ph.D., president of McDaniel College (MD), who will remain on the board as immediate past chair.
Crawford Background
A distinguished scholar, teacher, and college administrator, Crawford became president of University of Puget Sound on July 1, 2016. Crawford’s academic work and achievements as a senior administrator are closely aligned with the values and aspirations of Puget Sound, and with the key areas of challenge and opportunity facing higher education today.
Crawford came to Puget Sound following service as provost and chief academic officer of Seattle University (2008–16), where he directed the Division of Academic Affairs and oversaw the university’s schools and colleges, libraries, enrollment, information technology, institutional research, and offices supporting student academic achievement, faculty affairs, and global engagement.  From 2004 to 2008, Crawford was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago, where he joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology in 1987.
Crawford earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from St. Louis University (MO), and master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from DePaul University (IL). He is a distinguished clinician, educator and well-published scholar in the areas of health promotion, human sexuality and the training of mental health professionals.  He is the recipient of numerous national awards, including three from the American Psychological Association.
He serves on the board of directors for The Annapolis Group, Independent Colleges of Washington, and the Northwest Conference, as well as the Tacoma Art Museum, Seattle Symphony, Providence St. Joseph Health, and Providence Health Plan.  [Crawford’s complete bio]
Other New Board Officers
Three other individuals were elected as Board officers, serving one-year terms expiring in June 2022:
  • Eric F. Spina, Ph.D., president of the University of Dayton, in Dayton, OH, will serve as Vice Chair of the board.  He is in line to assume the position of board chair in July 2022.
  • Stephen R. Briggs, Ph.D., president of Berry College in Mount Berry, GA, will serve as Treasurer.
  • Sherilyn R. Emberton, Ed.D., president of Huntington University in Huntington, IN, will serve as Secretary.
At the same time, five board members have been appointed as chairs of the Association’s standing committees on policy and programs and will join the officers as members of NAICU’s Executive Committee:
  • Lillian Schumacher, Ed.D, president of Tiffin University in Tiffin, OH, will serve as chair of the Audit Committee.
  • Ann McElaney-Johnson, Ph.D., president of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, CA, will chair the Committee on Accountability.
  • Kenneth Macur, Ph.D., president of Medaille College in Buffalo, NY, will serve as chair of the Committee on Policy Analysis & Public Relations.
  • Douglas J. Fiore, Ph.D., president of Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA, will be chair of the Committee on Student Aid.
  • Eric I. Bruntmyer, president of Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX, will serve as chair of the Committee on Tax Policy.
Two other board members, representing allied organizations also will serve on the Executive Committee:
  • Terri Standish-Kuon, Ph.D., president of the Independent Colleges of Washington in Seattle, WA, will represent the National Association of Independent Colleges and University State Executives, whose members lead the state associations of private, nonprofit colleges and universities in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • David O’Bryon, J.D., CAE, president of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges in Bethesda, MD, will represent the NAICU Secretariat.  The Secretariat consists of 29 member associations representing the many regional and special-purpose independent colleges and universities across the country.
New NAICU Board Members
Eight individuals were elected to three-year terms ending in June 2024, representing the Association’s eight national regions:
  • Susan Stuebner, Ed.D., president of Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH, will represent Region I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
  • Gregory G. Dell’Omo, Ph.D., president of Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ, will represent Region II (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York). 
  • Burton J. Webb, Ph.D., president of the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, KY, will represent Region III (Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia)
  • Krista L. Newkirk, J.D., president of Converse College in Spartanville, SC, will represent Region IV (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia).
  • John Y. Walz, Ph.D., president of the Milwaukee School of Engineering in Milwaukee, WI, will represent Region V (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin).
  • R. Thomas “Tommy” King, Ed.D., president of William Carey University in Hattiesburg, MS, will represent Region VI (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas).
  • Paul C. Pribbenow, Ph.D., president of Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN, will represent Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota).
  • Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, Ph.D., president of Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, CA, will represent Region VIII (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado., Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming).
Four additional individuals were named to three-year terms as at-large board members with terms ending in June 2024:
  • Irma Becerra, Ph.D., president of Marymount University in Arlington, VA.
  • Henry J. Eyring, J.D., president of Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, ID
  • Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D. MBA, F.A.C.S., president of Howard University in Washington, DC
  • Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., president of Hollins University on Roanoke, VA.
In addition, three others have been appointed to the board: 
  • Douglas J. Fiore, Ph.D., president of Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines, IA, will serve out the remaining one-year term ending June 30, 2022 created by the resignation of Helen Streubert, president of Saint Elizabeth University in Morristown, NJ.
  • Leslie Ford Weber, director of Government & Community Affairs, Montgomery County, and Federal Strategy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, will serve as an ad-hoc non-voting government relations representative until 2024.
  • L. Jeffrey Perez, president & CEO, South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities in Columbia, SC, will serve as a voting NAICUSE representative unitl 2024.

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