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Pepperdine President Andrew Benton Named ACE Board Chair
Andrew K. Benton, president of Pepperdine University, has been named chair of the Board of Directors at the American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions. Benton assumed his role on Monday, Feb. 11, during ACE's 90th Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. Benton will serve a one-year term as ACE board chair. He succeeds Ricardo R. Fernández, president of Lehman College, The City University of New York.
Before becoming ACE board chair, Benton served as the board's vice chair from 2007-08. Most recently, he chaired the search committee that selected Molly Corbett Broad as ACE's next president. Benton has served in higher education for nearly 30 years. He came to Pepperdine in 1984 and has worked in several key leadership roles during his tenure, including vice president for administration and vice president for University affairs. In addition, he has taught both undergraduate and graduate classes at the University. He was named president of Pepperdine in June 2000. Prior to becoming president, Benton served as Pepperdine's executive vice president and chief operational officer for nine years.
"It is an honor to serve as chair of the American Council on Education Board of Directors," said Benton. "Maintaining an informed and educated citizenry is one of the foundational characteristics of a free and democratic society. Now in its 90th year, the Council has made significant contributions to higher education positively impacting students for nearly a century. I look forward to working with Molly Broad, the new president of ACE, and the organization's leadership team to advance the Council's important agenda."
Benton earned his bachelor of science in American Studies from Oklahoma Christian University and went on to earn the juris doctor degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law. He was admitted to the Oklahoma State Bar in 1979 and later to practice before Federal Courts. For 10 years, Benton served in various administrative roles at his undergraduate alma mater. From 1979 until 1983 he also maintained a private law practice in Oklahoma.
Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.