Willamette University President Elected to Board of Directors of National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

Willamette University President M. Lee Pelton has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). Pelton will serve a three-year term as an at-large member of the association's 44-person board.

NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education and represents nearly 1,000 private nonprofit colleges and universities on policy issues with the federal government. The NAICU Board sets the association's legislative, research and communications agendas, and establishes guidelines for accomplishing its priorities.

"The 2000 election brings a host of new opportunities and challenges in Washington, D.C., on the student aid, tax and regulatory issues that affect every independent college and university," said NAICU President David L. Warren. "I'm delighted that Lee Pelton has been elected by his peers to join the NAICU Board. He will bring leadership experience and a keen understanding of the issues that will face us."

Pelton has been president of Willamette since 1998. He came to the University from Dartmouth College, where he was dean of the college and taught English for seven years. At Dartmouth, he was noted for his commitment to diversity and his efforts to enhance undergraduate intellectual life. Earlier in his career, he was a dean and English professor at Colgate University and taught English and American literature at Harvard University.

Pelton serves several national and regional organizations in a leadership position, including the American Association of Higher Education and the Oregon Governor's Commission on Financing Higher Education. He is also a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers.

He earned his bachelor's degree at Wichita State University and his doctorate at Harvard.