Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is announcing that President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey will serve on the board of directors of The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). President Berkey was formally elected to a three-year term on the 49-member board during NAICU's annual meeting on February 3, 2010. Members of NAICU's board set the association's agenda on federal higher education policy; actively encourage support of NAICU priorities and initiatives; and oversee the association's financial administration.
The NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education. Since 1976, the association has represented private nonprofit colleges and universities on policy issues with the federal government, such as those affecting student aid, taxation, and government regulation. With more than 1,000 member institutions and associations, NAICU reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States. NAICU members enroll nine out of every 10 students attending private institutions. They include traditional liberal arts colleges, major research universities, comprehensive universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, single-sex colleges, art institutions, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions.
"President Berkey was selected by his peers because of his expertise in the field, proven leadership, and commitment to America's college students," said NAICU President David L. Warren. "He assumes his responsibilities at a time of great challenge and transformation for American higher education."
Dennis Berkey was appointed WPI's 15th president in 2004, following more than 30 years of service in a variety of higher education positions. He is an award-winning teacher and the author of several mathematics textbooks. His published research is in applied mathematics. In 2008, Berkey was appointed by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts to serve as chair of its executive committee of college and university presidents. He was also appointed to serve on the steering commission of the Leaders For Education coalition in 2008, an appointment that allows him to work with business, civic, and higher education leaders to provide support for changes in public education and to put education reform back in a primary position on Beacon Hill. He also serves on numerous boards, including those of UMass Memorial Health Care Inc., the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiative, the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Initiative, and Worcester's Research Bureau. Berkey is a member of the Massachusetts High Technology Council and previously served as a trustee of Muskingum College, the Dibner Institute for Science and Technology, and the Huntington Theatre.
"NAICU is known for doing critically important work in Washington D.C., to ensure that the voice of private, non-profit higher education is heard on Capitol Hill," said Berkey. "It is an honor and a privilege to have been invited to join the board of this remarkably diverse and well-respected organization. I look forward to working closely with this group of leaders to push for federal higher-education policies that could benefit college students nationwide, as well as the collective institutions that comprise NAICU."