The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) has appointed Edward Blews Jr., longtime president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan (AICUM), as its sixth president. Blews will take over from Paul Corts, who is retiring after six years as CCCU president, starting January 1.
For the past 28 years, Blews has represented the interests of 49 AICUM schools. He has also served on the CCCU board of directors for three years.
Blews was chosen for his "deep, heartfelt commitment to our mission combined with decades of successful associational leadership in higher education," said Carl Zylstra, chair of CCCU's presidential search committee, in a press release. "He possesses an extraordinary ability to passionately articulate the nature and character of Christ-centered higher education while also, with a winsome tenacity, defending and advocating that cause within the arena of public policy."
Blews' AICUM experience with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) may prove useful in the near future. The presidential announcement comes during the ongoing battle over DOE regulations intended to prevent financial fraud at for-profit universities. Although the regulations include an exemption for religious universities, the CCCU – which represents 170 Christian schools worldwide – is concerned that the exemption's definitions are too narrow and would create opportunity for the federal government to influence curriculum and standards at CCCU schools. An attempt to repeal the regulations, which went into effect last July, passed the House of Representatives in February but has yet to be voted on in the Senate.
"The challenges of the future intrigue and inspire us," said Blews in a CCCU press release. "I believe that the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities is poised to lead the collective cause of Christian higher education to new levels of stature, impact, and achievement, integrating academic excellence with faith and changing hearts, minds, and futures for people the world over."
CT's coverage of the CCCU can be found here.