Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Meet the New President of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

His name is Edward O. Blews and he has spent most of his career lobbying for private colleges in Michigan as president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of MichiganThe Chronicle of Higher Education has taken notice of Blews's appointment.  Here is a taste:

The new president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, Edward O. Blews Jr., spent 28 years lobbying for private colleges in Michigan, where he was known for his sunny disposition, savvy political strategizing, and knack for doggedly but respectfully buttonholing lawmakers to talk about grant aid for students.

"He had an uncanny way of being anywhere you were going," recalls Tim Walberg, a former state senator and now a Republican member of Congress—be it lunch, the floor, "even the bathroom."

Mr. Blews, who took office last month, plans no less enthusiasm in his new role, in which he hopes to help raise the profile of Christian liberal-arts colleges on the national political stage and also promote "a great global movement for Christian higher education."

The council comprises 172 members, 115 of them based in the United States. Most are evangelical. Mr. Blews, who says he's been an evangelical Christian for most of his life, knows those institutions well.

My favorite line in the article comes from Messiah College president Kim Phipps:

...he spent a lot of time deliberating and praying before agreeing to take the job. He says he was praying to hear God's calling in his heart.

Just to hurry things along, Kim S. Phipps, chair of the council's presidential-search committee and president of Messiah College, called Mr. Blews one day while he was still considering the offer. "Ed, this is God," she intoned, "and she is calling you to the CCCU presidency." Shortly after, he accepted.