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NAICU

598 Institutions Sign Letter to Homeland Security Secretary

598 Institutions Sign Letter to Homeland Security Secretary

February 03, 2017

Citing international exchange as a “core value and strength of American higher education,” 598 college presidents signed a joint letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly expressing their concerns about the recent executive order dealing with immigration.  In the letter, presidents state that they are “confident that our nation can craft policies that secure us from those who wish to harm us, while welcoming those who seek to study, conduct research and scholarship, and contribute their knowledge and talents to our country.”
Citing international exchange as a “core value and strength of American higher education,” 598 college presidents signed a joint letter to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly expressing their concerns about the recent executive order dealing with immigration.  In the letter, presidents state that they are “confident that our nation can craft policies that secure us from those who wish to harm us, while welcoming those who seek to study, conduct research and scholarship, and contribute their knowledge and talents to our country.”

February 03, 2017

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NAICU

NAICU joins Higher Ed Associations in Letter to DHS Secretary

NAICU joins Higher Ed Associations in Letter to DHS Secretary

February 02, 2017

NAICU joins nearly 50 higher education associations in signing a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly requesting a meeting to ensure any efforts to safeguard our nation do not interfere with our nation’s long tradition of educating students from around the world.
NAICU joins nearly 50 higher education associations in signing a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly requesting a meeting to ensure any efforts to safeguard our nation do not interfere with our nation’s long tradition of educating students from around the world.

February 02, 2017

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NAICU

St. John’s College (MD) President Christopher B. Nelson Named Chair of NAICU Board

St. John’s College (MD) President Christopher B. Nelson Named Chair...

February 01, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, has been appointed chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Nelson leads a list of four new board officers and 14 new board members who assumed their responsibilities today at the close of the 2017 NAICU Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

NAICU board members set the association’s agenda on federal higher education policy; actively encourage support of association priorities and initiatives; and oversee the organization’s financial administration. Members serve three-year terms, while officers hold their positions for one year.

“For nearly 26 years, Chris Nelson has been an articulate and outspoken advocate for a liberal arts education and for private, nonprofit colleges and universities,” said NAICU President David L. Warren, Ph.D.  “Chris’ experience and leadership, in combination with the other new board members, will be critical over the next 12 months as NAICU and our members navigate the political leadership transition in the Washington.  Over the next year, as new opportunities and challenges arise, the Association will be well positioned for success with our new leadership team.”

“For years, I have admired the fine work of this Association in representing the nation’s independent colleges and universities. I look forward to working with this strong board and with David Warren and his extraordinary team in this new role,” said Nelson.  “The times are interesting; the challenges are stimulating; and the opportunities to provide the means to support students throughout the nation are great. We need to make good use of those opportunities.”

Nelson succeeds Marjorie Hass, Ph.D., president of Austin College in Sherman, TX, who remains on the board as immediate past chair.

NAICU serves as the unified national voice of private nonprofit higher education. With more than 1,000 member institutions and associations nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of independent higher education in the United States. Since 1976, the association has represented private nonprofit colleges and universities on policy issues with the federal government, such as those affecting student aid, taxation, and government regulation. Our 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.

Christopher Nelson

A national spokesperson for the liberal arts and a regular participant in the national conversation about higher education, Nelson has been president of St. John’s College (MD) since June 1991.  Nelson intends to retire from St. John’s at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

St. John’s is devoted to the most liberal of liberal education. Its richly varied curriculum focuses on an integrated study of philosophy, literature, history, theology, political science, mathematics, music, and science. Students and faculty engage directly—not through textbooks and lectures but through study and discussion—with original texts and ideas that are at the foundations of Western thought.

Frequently a panelist and speaker on state, regional, and national programs, Nelson has addressed issues of institutional autonomy in the face of government regulatory intrusion and changes proposed in the accrediting system. His current focus is making clear the value of liberal education in providing excellent grounding for an open-minded pursuit of lifelong learning that will, in turn, support one’s career and professional development. He is a regular contributor to the opinion pages of The Washington Post and The Huffington Post.

Nelson has twice been elected to the NAICU Board of Directors, from 1996 to 1999 and from 2014 to present. Nelson was the 2014 recipient of NAICU’s Henry Paley Award, presented annually in recognition of “an individual who, throughout his or her career, has unfailingly served the students and faculty of independent higher education. The recipients of this award have set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States.”

Nelson has served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association. He is past chair and a founding member of the Annapolis Group, a consortium of over 120 of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. Nelson was elected to Board of the Aspen Wye Seminars in January 2014. He also served on the board for the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) (2010-2013). He was chair of the Board of Trustees of Shimer College, and received the Honorary Doctor of Letters from Shimer College in May 2012. He was chair of the board of AFS-USA, one of the largest, not-for-profit, educational organizations, sponsoring inter-cultural exchanges world-wide.

Prior to 1991, Nelson served on numerous national, state and local Bar Association committees and published articles in the field of labor and employee benefits law. He served on boards and committees for the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry (for business and public school partnerships), St. John’s College, and St. Joseph’s College (Indiana).

Nelson practiced law in Chicago for 18 years and was chairman of his law firm when he left the practice to take his current position at St. John’s College. He is an alumnus of St. John’s (BA 1970) and a graduate of the University of Utah College of Law (JD 1973), where he founded and directed the university’s student legal services program.

Other New NAICU Board Officers

Other new officers of the NAICU Board, serving one year terms ending in February 2018:

  • Andrew K. Benton, J.D., president of Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, will serve as vice chair of the NAICU board of directors. He is in line to assume the position of chair in February 2018.
  • Dottie L. King, Ph.D., president of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College in Saint Mary of the Woods, IN, has been named treasurer.
  • Lyle Roelofs, Ph.D., president of Berea College in Berea, KY, has been named secretary.

New NAICU Board Members 

Eight new members were elected to three-year terms on the NAICU board, representing the association’s eight national regions ending in February 2020:
  • David R. Evans, Ph.D., president of Southern Vermont College in Bennington, VT, will represent Region I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
  • Roger N. Casey, Ph.D., president of McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, will represent Region II (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York).
  • Lewis E. Thayne, Ph.D., president of Lebanon Valley College, in Annville, PA will represent Region III (Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia).
  • Kenneth R. Garren, Ph.D., president of Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA, will represent Region IV (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Caroline, Virginia).
  • Scott Flanagan, Ed.D., president of Edgewood College in Madison, WI, will represent Region V (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin).
  • Rev. J. Cameron West, president of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL, will represent Region VI (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas).
  • Stephen Minnis, J.D., president of Benedictine College in Atchison, KS, will represent Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota).
  • Andrea Cook, Ph.D., president of Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR, will represent Region VIII (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado., Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming).
Four presidents have been named to three-year terms as at-large members of the board ending in February 2020:
  • Teresa L. Amott, Ph.D., president of Knox College, in Galesburg, IL.
  • Pamela Eibeck, Ph.D., president of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.
  • Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., president of Becker College in Worcester, MA.
  • Shirley Mullen, Ph.D., president of Houghton College in Houghton, NY.

In addition, four presidents have been named chairs of the Association’s standing committees:

  • Jo Allen, Ph.D., president of Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, will chair the Committee on Accountability.
  • Leo M. Lambert, Ph.D., president of Elon University in Elon, NC, will lead the Committee on Policy Analysis and Public Relations.
  • Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., president of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, will lead the Committee on Student Aid.
  • Frederik Ohles, Ph.D., president of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE, will chair the Committee on Tax Policy.

In addition, Gary Steinke, president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Des Moines, IA, will serve a three-year term on the Board representing the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives (NAICUSE).  Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California College and Universities in Sacramento, CA, is the new chair of NAICU State Executives and a NAICU board member. Pamela Lokken, vice chancellor of government and community relations at the Washington University in St. Louis, MO, will serve as an ad-hoc non-voting government relations representative for three-years ending in February 2020.

 

 

WASHINGTON, DC – Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, has been appointed chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Nelson leads a list of four new board officers and 14 new board members who assumed their responsibilities today at the close of the 2017 NAICU Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

NAICU board members set the association’s agenda on federal higher education policy; actively encourage support of association priorities and initiatives; and oversee the organization’s financial administration. Members serve three-year terms, while officers hold their positions for one year.

“For nearly 26 years, Chris Nelson has been an articulate and outspoken advocate for a liberal arts education and for private, nonprofit colleges and universities,” said NAICU President David L. Warren, Ph.D.  “Chris’ experience and leadership, in combination with the other new board members, will be critical over the next 12 months as NAICU and our members navigate the political leadership transition in the Washington.  Over the next year, as new opportunities and challenges arise, the Association will be well positioned for success with our new leadership team.”

“For years, I have admired the fine work of this Association in representing the nation’s independent colleges and universities. I look forward to working with this strong board and with David Warren and his extraordinary team in this new role,” said Nelson.  “The times are interesting; the challenges are stimulating; and the opportunities to provide the means to support students throughout the nation are great. We need to make good use of those opportunities.”

Nelson succeeds Marjorie Hass, Ph.D., president of Austin College in Sherman, TX, who remains on the board as immediate past chair.

NAICU serves as the unified national voice of private nonprofit higher education. With more than 1,000 member institutions and associations nationwide, NAICU reflects the diversity of independent higher education in the United States. Since 1976, the association has represented private nonprofit colleges and universities on policy issues with the federal government, such as those affecting student aid, taxation, and government regulation. Our 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.

Christopher Nelson

A national spokesperson for the liberal arts and a regular participant in the national conversation about higher education, Nelson has been president of St. John’s College (MD) since June 1991.  Nelson intends to retire from St. John’s at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

St. John’s is devoted to the most liberal of liberal education. Its richly varied curriculum focuses on an integrated study of philosophy, literature, history, theology, political science, mathematics, music, and science. Students and faculty engage directly—not through textbooks and lectures but through study and discussion—with original texts and ideas that are at the foundations of Western thought.

Frequently a panelist and speaker on state, regional, and national programs, Nelson has addressed issues of institutional autonomy in the face of government regulatory intrusion and changes proposed in the accrediting system. His current focus is making clear the value of liberal education in providing excellent grounding for an open-minded pursuit of lifelong learning that will, in turn, support one’s career and professional development. He is a regular contributor to the opinion pages of The Washington Post and The Huffington Post.

Nelson has twice been elected to the NAICU Board of Directors, from 1996 to 1999 and from 2014 to present. Nelson was the 2014 recipient of NAICU’s Henry Paley Award, presented annually in recognition of “an individual who, throughout his or her career, has unfailingly served the students and faculty of independent higher education. The recipients of this award have set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States.”

Nelson has served as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association. He is past chair and a founding member of the Annapolis Group, a consortium of over 120 of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. Nelson was elected to Board of the Aspen Wye Seminars in January 2014. He also served on the board for the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) (2010-2013). He was chair of the Board of Trustees of Shimer College, and received the Honorary Doctor of Letters from Shimer College in May 2012. He was chair of the board of AFS-USA, one of the largest, not-for-profit, educational organizations, sponsoring inter-cultural exchanges world-wide.

Prior to 1991, Nelson served on numerous national, state and local Bar Association committees and published articles in the field of labor and employee benefits law. He served on boards and committees for the Chicago Association of Commerce and Industry (for business and public school partnerships), St. John’s College, and St. Joseph’s College (Indiana).

Nelson practiced law in Chicago for 18 years and was chairman of his law firm when he left the practice to take his current position at St. John’s College. He is an alumnus of St. John’s (BA 1970) and a graduate of the University of Utah College of Law (JD 1973), where he founded and directed the university’s student legal services program.

Other New NAICU Board Officers

Other new officers of the NAICU Board, serving one year terms ending in February 2018:

  • Andrew K. Benton, J.D., president of Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, will serve as vice chair of the NAICU board of directors. He is in line to assume the position of chair in February 2018.
  • Dottie L. King, Ph.D., president of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College in Saint Mary of the Woods, IN, has been named treasurer.
  • Lyle Roelofs, Ph.D., president of Berea College in Berea, KY, has been named secretary.

New NAICU Board Members 

Eight new members were elected to three-year terms on the NAICU board, representing the association’s eight national regions ending in February 2020:
  • David R. Evans, Ph.D., president of Southern Vermont College in Bennington, VT, will represent Region I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont).
  • Roger N. Casey, Ph.D., president of McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, will represent Region II (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York).
  • Lewis E. Thayne, Ph.D., president of Lebanon Valley College, in Annville, PA will represent Region III (Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia).
  • Kenneth R. Garren, Ph.D., president of Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, VA, will represent Region IV (Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Caroline, Virginia).
  • Scott Flanagan, Ed.D., president of Edgewood College in Madison, WI, will represent Region V (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin).
  • Rev. J. Cameron West, president of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL, will represent Region VI (Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas).
  • Stephen Minnis, J.D., president of Benedictine College in Atchison, KS, will represent Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota).
  • Andrea Cook, Ph.D., president of Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR, will represent Region VIII (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado., Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming).
Four presidents have been named to three-year terms as at-large members of the board ending in February 2020:
  • Teresa L. Amott, Ph.D., president of Knox College, in Galesburg, IL.
  • Pamela Eibeck, Ph.D., president of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.
  • Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., president of Becker College in Worcester, MA.
  • Shirley Mullen, Ph.D., president of Houghton College in Houghton, NY.

In addition, four presidents have been named chairs of the Association’s standing committees:

  • Jo Allen, Ph.D., president of Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, will chair the Committee on Accountability.
  • Leo M. Lambert, Ph.D., president of Elon University in Elon, NC, will lead the Committee on Policy Analysis and Public Relations.
  • Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., president of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH, will lead the Committee on Student Aid.
  • Frederik Ohles, Ph.D., president of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE, will chair the Committee on Tax Policy.

In addition, Gary Steinke, president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Des Moines, IA, will serve a three-year term on the Board representing the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives (NAICUSE).  Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California College and Universities in Sacramento, CA, is the new chair of NAICU State Executives and a NAICU board member. Pamela Lokken, vice chancellor of government and community relations at the Washington University in St. Louis, MO, will serve as an ad-hoc non-voting government relations representative for three-years ending in February 2020.

 

 

February 01, 2017

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NAICU News

Rhodes College President William E. “Bill” Troutt Presented with 31st Annual Henry Paley Memorial Award

Rhodes College President William E. “Bill” Troutt Presented with 31...

January 30, 2017


William E. “Bill” Troutt, president of Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, accepts the 2017 Paley award from Austin College (TX) President Marjorie Hass, Ph.D., left, and NAICU President David L. Warren, Ph.D., right.
 
WASHINGTON, DC  – William E. “Bill” Troutt, president of Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, is the recipient of the 31st Annual Henry Paley Memorial Award presented during the 2017 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).

Troutt has served as a private college president for nearly 35 years, including nearly 18 years at Rhodes College (1999-2017) and 17 years at Belmont University in Nashville, TN (1982-1999).  He will retire at the end of the academic year.

Named for the late Henry Paley, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York from 1975 until 1984, the Paley Award recognizes an individual who embodies his spirit of unfailing service toward the students and faculty of independent higher education.  The recipients of this award have set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States.

"Bill Troutt may be the quintessential private college president,” said David L. Warren, president of NAICU.  “During nearly 35 years as a college president, Bill has been an inspirational leader and leading proponent of private liberal arts education within two diverse campus communities.  But even more, he has given his time and energy to provide extraordinary leadership to higher education at the national level, chairing both NAICU and the American Council on Education. And, he has done so while becoming an authoritative voice on the cost of college. I am delighted, he remains both an important colleague and valued friend."

In accepting the award, Troutt said:  “It has been such a privilege to serve independent higher education and work with so many talented people both in Tennessee and Washington.  I am humbled and honored beyond measure to receive the Paley Award today.”

Unlike many others who pursue a career in academia, Troutt was not pulled to the professoriate, rather to campus leadership.  After graduating from Union University (TN), he would earn a master’s degree from the University of Louisville (KY) and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University (TN).  Then came jobs in college admissions, state government, and a higher education consulting firm working with campus leaders across the country.

At age 30, he was recommended as a candidate to be the executive vice president at Belmont University (TN).  Within two years, the campus president announced his retirement and, after a search, Troutt was picked as the next president, at age 32.  Thus, started an extraordinary career as a college president that has stretched nearly 35 years. 

At Belmont, Troutt found an institution operating in the shadows of Vanderbilt, with few connections and fewer resources.  During a 17 year presidency, he led an effort to change the campus environment.  Enrollment increased from about 1,400 students to about 3,000 students, and the admissions criteria changed from open admissions to a more competitive ACT average of 25.

Beyond campus, Troutt became nationally known for his contributions to higher education policy through his service as a board member (1997-2000) and board chair of NAICU (2000-01) and later with the American
Council on Education (2003).

Troutt always was the most astute politician in the room, even as he presented as the “Awe shucks” kid from Tennessee.  That became evident at his first NAICU board meeting in 1997, when the board was discussing their concerns about the upcoming National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education. 

Catching a staff member at a coffee break, he mentioned that he “had a friend” who worked in the Senate who had said to let him know when there might be a commission on which Troutt would like to serve.  He wondered if this would be the right assignment to take.  Turns out the friend was the one person in the Senate with the true authority over appointments.  Troutt, from “tiny Belmont University” was appointed to the Cost Commission and, soon after, was elected chair by his colleagues. 

The Commission, an 11-member independent advisory body created by Congress to conduct a comprehensive review of the rising cost of college, wrote the landmark report:  Straight Talk About College Costs and Prices.  The commission’s findings and recommendations, which received bipartisan Congressional support and the endorsement of the higher education community, served as a guide for the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1998.

Bill would often remark with humor that he had never before had so many high ranking figures in academia come visit him at Belmont.

In 1999, he was selected to be the 19th president of Rhodes College.  During his tenure, the college has climbed to the top tier of national liberal arts colleges, achieved higher retention and enrollment rates, increased campus diversity, developed a student research partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and recentered the campus around a new library and science center.  Troutt also spearheaded the $314 million Campaign for Rhodes and secured the largest gift in Rhodes history, $35.5 million, to build the Paul Barret, Jr. Library. 

Beyond his campus duties, Troutt has chaired the Jacob K. Javits Humanities Fellowship Board; served on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Commission; chaired the Tennessee Independent Colleges Association, including two years as Interim President; and served on the College Commission for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  He has also served as an advisor to the Mellon Foundation College Sports Project, the National Association of College and Business University College Cost Project, and the Association of Governing Boards.  Troutt has also served other institutions as a trustee, including:  Fisk University (TN), Columbia Theological Seminary (GA), and the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (TN).

“I often counsel with students about discovering their strengths, finding their passions, and devoting their lives to what they love,” he said in a statement announcing his retirement. “I am so blessed that this is my life story. Serving as president of Rhodes has been, and will continue to be, the opportunity of a lifetime."


Henry Paley Memorial Award Recipients
2017    William E. “Bill” Troutt, Rhodes College (TN)
2016    John Bassett, Heritage University (WA), Clark University (MA)
2015    Christopher B. Nelson, St. John’s College (MD)
2014    NAICU Legal Services Review Panel
2013    Bernard Fryshman, Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools
2012    Patricia A. McGuire, Trinity Washington University (DC)
2011    The Rev. Charles L. Currie, S.J., Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
2010    Sister Kathleen Ross, SNJM, Heritage University (WA)
2009    Morgan Odell, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
2008    The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame (IN)
2007    Alexander W. (Sandy) Astin, Higher Education Research Institute, University of California
2006    Clare Cotton, The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts
2005    Robert N. Kelly, Kansas Independent College Association
2004    Michael S. McPherson, Spencer Foundation, Macalester College (MN)
2003    James C. Ross, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York
2002    Allen P. Splete, Council of Independent Colleges
2001    (Special NAICU 25th Anniversary Meeting recognizing all previous recipients – no new award was given)
2000    Sr. Mary Andrew Matesich, Ohio Dominican College
1999    David Irwin, Washington Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
1998    Rev. William J. Sullivan, Seattle University (WA)
1997    James Whalen, Ithaca College (NY)
1996    John Frazer, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities
1995    Richard F. Rosser, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
1994    Sr. Dorothy Ann Kelly, College of New Rochelle (NY)
1993    Derek Bok, Harvard University
1992    (Special Summit Meeting – no award was given)
1991    Francis "Mike" Michelini, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania
1990    The Honorable Silvio Conte, U.S. House of Representatives
1989    The Honorable Thomas H. Kean, Governor, New Jersey
1988    The Honorable William H. Natcher, U.S. House of Representatives
1987    Frank "Sandy" Tredinnick, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts
1986    James Ream, Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities
1985    Rev. Timothy S. Healy, Georgetown University (DC)

William E. “Bill” Troutt, president of Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, accepts the 2017 Paley award from Austin College (TX) President Marjorie Hass, Ph.D., left, and NAICU President David L. Warren, Ph.D., right.
 
WASHINGTON, DC  – William E. “Bill” Troutt, president of Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, is the recipient of the 31st Annual Henry Paley Memorial Award presented during the 2017 Annual Meeting of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).

Troutt has served as a private college president for nearly 35 years, including nearly 18 years at Rhodes College (1999-2017) and 17 years at Belmont University in Nashville, TN (1982-1999).  He will retire at the end of the academic year.

Named for the late Henry Paley, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York from 1975 until 1984, the Paley Award recognizes an individual who embodies his spirit of unfailing service toward the students and faculty of independent higher education.  The recipients of this award have set an example for all who would seek to advance educational opportunity in the United States.

"Bill Troutt may be the quintessential private college president,” said David L. Warren, president of NAICU.  “During nearly 35 years as a college president, Bill has been an inspirational leader and leading proponent of private liberal arts education within two diverse campus communities.  But even more, he has given his time and energy to provide extraordinary leadership to higher education at the national level, chairing both NAICU and the American Council on Education. And, he has done so while becoming an authoritative voice on the cost of college. I am delighted, he remains both an important colleague and valued friend."

In accepting the award, Troutt said:  “It has been such a privilege to serve independent higher education and work with so many talented people both in Tennessee and Washington.  I am humbled and honored beyond measure to receive the Paley Award today.”

Unlike many others who pursue a career in academia, Troutt was not pulled to the professoriate, rather to campus leadership.  After graduating from Union University (TN), he would earn a master’s degree from the University of Louisville (KY) and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University (TN).  Then came jobs in college admissions, state government, and a higher education consulting firm working with campus leaders across the country.

At age 30, he was recommended as a candidate to be the executive vice president at Belmont University (TN).  Within two years, the campus president announced his retirement and, after a search, Troutt was picked as the next president, at age 32.  Thus, started an extraordinary career as a college president that has stretched nearly 35 years. 

At Belmont, Troutt found an institution operating in the shadows of Vanderbilt, with few connections and fewer resources.  During a 17 year presidency, he led an effort to change the campus environment.  Enrollment increased from about 1,400 students to about 3,000 students, and the admissions criteria changed from open admissions to a more competitive ACT average of 25.

Beyond campus, Troutt became nationally known for his contributions to higher education policy through his service as a board member (1997-2000) and board chair of NAICU (2000-01) and later with the American
Council on Education (2003).

Troutt always was the most astute politician in the room, even as he presented as the “Awe shucks” kid from Tennessee.  That became evident at his first NAICU board meeting in 1997, when the board was discussing their concerns about the upcoming National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education. 

Catching a staff member at a coffee break, he mentioned that he “had a friend” who worked in the Senate who had said to let him know when there might be a commission on which Troutt would like to serve.  He wondered if this would be the right assignment to take.  Turns out the friend was the one person in the Senate with the true authority over appointments.  Troutt, from “tiny Belmont University” was appointed to the Cost Commission and, soon after, was elected chair by his colleagues. 

The Commission, an 11-member independent advisory body created by Congress to conduct a comprehensive review of the rising cost of college, wrote the landmark report:  Straight Talk About College Costs and Prices.  The commission’s findings and recommendations, which received bipartisan Congressional support and the endorsement of the higher education community, served as a guide for the Higher Education Reauthorization Act of 1998.

Bill would often remark with humor that he had never before had so many high ranking figures in academia come visit him at Belmont.

In 1999, he was selected to be the 19th president of Rhodes College.  During his tenure, the college has climbed to the top tier of national liberal arts colleges, achieved higher retention and enrollment rates, increased campus diversity, developed a student research partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and recentered the campus around a new library and science center.  Troutt also spearheaded the $314 million Campaign for Rhodes and secured the largest gift in Rhodes history, $35.5 million, to build the Paul Barret, Jr. Library. 

Beyond his campus duties, Troutt has chaired the Jacob K. Javits Humanities Fellowship Board; served on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Commission; chaired the Tennessee Independent Colleges Association, including two years as Interim President; and served on the College Commission for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  He has also served as an advisor to the Mellon Foundation College Sports Project, the National Association of College and Business University College Cost Project, and the Association of Governing Boards.  Troutt has also served other institutions as a trustee, including:  Fisk University (TN), Columbia Theological Seminary (GA), and the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (TN).

“I often counsel with students about discovering their strengths, finding their passions, and devoting their lives to what they love,” he said in a statement announcing his retirement. “I am so blessed that this is my life story. Serving as president of Rhodes has been, and will continue to be, the opportunity of a lifetime."


Henry Paley Memorial Award Recipients
2017    William E. “Bill” Troutt, Rhodes College (TN)
2016    John Bassett, Heritage University (WA), Clark University (MA)
2015    Christopher B. Nelson, St. John’s College (MD)
2014    NAICU Legal Services Review Panel
2013    Bernard Fryshman, Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools
2012    Patricia A. McGuire, Trinity Washington University (DC)
2011    The Rev. Charles L. Currie, S.J., Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
2010    Sister Kathleen Ross, SNJM, Heritage University (WA)
2009    Morgan Odell, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
2008    The Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame (IN)
2007    Alexander W. (Sandy) Astin, Higher Education Research Institute, University of California
2006    Clare Cotton, The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts
2005    Robert N. Kelly, Kansas Independent College Association
2004    Michael S. McPherson, Spencer Foundation, Macalester College (MN)
2003    James C. Ross, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York
2002    Allen P. Splete, Council of Independent Colleges
2001    (Special NAICU 25th Anniversary Meeting recognizing all previous recipients – no new award was given)
2000    Sr. Mary Andrew Matesich, Ohio Dominican College
1999    David Irwin, Washington Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
1998    Rev. William J. Sullivan, Seattle University (WA)
1997    James Whalen, Ithaca College (NY)
1996    John Frazer, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities
1995    Richard F. Rosser, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
1994    Sr. Dorothy Ann Kelly, College of New Rochelle (NY)
1993    Derek Bok, Harvard University
1992    (Special Summit Meeting – no award was given)
1991    Francis "Mike" Michelini, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania
1990    The Honorable Silvio Conte, U.S. House of Representatives
1989    The Honorable Thomas H. Kean, Governor, New Jersey
1988    The Honorable William H. Natcher, U.S. House of Representatives
1987    Frank "Sandy" Tredinnick, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts
1986    James Ream, Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities
1985    Rev. Timothy S. Healy, Georgetown University (DC)

January 30, 2017

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NAICU News

NAICU Signs On to Higher Education Letter Backing Back BRIDGE Act for DACA Recipients

NAICU Signs On to Higher Education Letter Backing Back BRIDGE Act f...

January 13, 2017

NAICU joined 20 other associations in signing on to a letter Backing Back BRIDGE Act for DACA Recipients.
NAICU joined 20 other associations in signing on to a letter Backing Back BRIDGE Act for DACA Recipients.

January 13, 2017

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About the items posted on the NAICU site: News items, features, and opinion pieces posted on this site from sources outside NAICU do not necessarily reflect the position of the association or its members. Rather, this content reflects the diversity of issues and views that are shaping American higher education.

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