News and Events
President Benton Named Chair of Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) has named Pepperdine University President Andrew K. Benton chair of the Sacramento-based association.
Kristen Soares, AICCU President, made the announcement on October 30, commenting, "AICCU is privileged to have an executive committee composed of very talented and dedicated presidents and trustees. Andy Benton is a highly regarded leader in California and the nation, and we look forward to benefitting from his extensive experience to support AICCU's mission as the leading and distinctive voice for private nonprofit higher education."
Benton has served as the seventh president of Pepperdine since 2000 and continues to lead Pepperdine to prominence among the nation's top universities. A lawyer by training, Benton is often called "the Students' President." He currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, on the nationally organized Commission on Higher Education Attainment, and on the President's Cabinet of the West Coast Conference. He is also past chair of the American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating body for all of the nation's higher education institutions.
"I am honored and challenged by the appointment," notes Benton. "American higher education is one of the greatest achievements of our nation, and California independent colleges and universities have played a significant role in making the U.S.-model of higher education a standard the world over.
"Challenges of affordability, attainment, and jobs for graduates confront us at a never-before-seen level," he adds. "The public and private sectors must work together to ensure that higher education is strong and relevant in order for it to remain, as Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine called it, 'in large part, the foundation of American exceptionalism.'"
Founded in 1955, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICCU) represents 76 regionally accredited nonprofit independent colleges and universities in California. These institutions are bound by a common commitment to quality instruction and dedication to collaborative efforts that strengthen the independent nonprofit sector of higher education in California. AICCU serves its member institutions through government relations, public policy development, research analysis, communications and coordinated member services.