Mark D. Gearan, the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, has been selected to serve a three-year term as an at-large member on the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Gearan’s appointment, along with those of 14 additional new board members and four new board officers, was ratified by the NAICU membership on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
NAICU President David L. Warren said Gearan was selected by his peers because of his expertise in higher education, proven leadership and commitment to America’s college students. Warren noted that Gearan will assume his responsibilities at a time of great challenge and transformation for American higher education.
“Congress and the administration have the opportunity to make college more affordable, safeguard the American system of decentralized higher education, and work constructively with institutions to advance the nation’s economic strength, security, and science leadership, Warren said. “Our new board members and leaders will be critical to our efforts to make these goals a reality.
Gearan said he was honored to be appointed to the board, which represents nearly 1,000 private colleges and universities on policy issues such as student aid, taxation and government regulation. NAICU institutions represent nine of every 10 students attending private colleges and universities in the United States.
“I am honored to serve the independent colleges and universities on this important board. The issues of higher education are front and center on the national agenda and I look forward to advancing our agenda, Gearan said.
Abraham M. Lackman, president of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York, also was named to a three-year term as a representative of the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives. Wanda Bigham, assistant general secretary of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., was selected to serve a term as a representative of the NAICU Secretariat advisory board. Chris Simmons, associate vice president for federal relations at Duke University was selected to serve as a nonvoting member of the board.
Gearan previously had served on the NAICU’s Student Aid Committee, from 2000 to 2003, as a nonboard member.
A story about the appointment was included in the Wednesday, Feb. 7 edition of the Democrat and Chronicle. Read Chief of area colleges named to national board