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McPherson College President Elected to National Board

Michael Schneider, president of McPherson College, was elected to a three-year term to the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). He will represent Region VII, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. President Schneider was elected at the close of the 2020 NAICU Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day held in Washington, D.C. last week.

“NAICU does extraordinary work for private colleges and I am honored to serve,” said Schneider. “I am excited to advocate for the hundreds of mission driven colleges and universities that educate many of our nation’s best students.”

President Schneider has served McPherson College in a number of key positions since 2002 helping spearhead increased giving to the college and enrollment numbers. The college appointed him president in 2009, at the time he was the youngest college president in the United States. He is a graduate of McPherson College and earned an MBA from the University of Denver and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to returning to McPherson College, he ran a publishing company and supported a range of start-ups from information technology to green energy.

Today, he is passionate about lifting up liberal arts through an entrepreneurial mindset that sparks the interest and imagination of the entire campus. The college’s strategic plan, Community by Design, changed the way the campus plans for the future. The plan, created by the entire campus, focuses on creative initiatives like The Student Debt Project, which partners with students to eliminate student loan debt. Under his leadership, McPherson College has been named in the Chronicle of Higher Education on the list of “Great Colleges to Work For” for the past five years.

As a NAICU board member, President Schneider will help set the association’s agenda on federal higher education policy, actively encourage support for the association’s priorities and initiatives, and oversee the organization’s financial administration. As part of his service, President Schneider will be a member of the board’s student aid committee, which is spearheading work to enhance the federal Pell Grant program.

With more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and associations as members, NAICU serves as the unified national voice of independent higher education and reflects the diversity of private, nonprofit higher education in the United States. Member institutions include major research universities, church-related colleges, historically black colleges, art and design colleges, traditional liberal arts and science institutions, women’s colleges, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, business and other professions.