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What’s now Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities was founded in March 1954 as the Arkansas Foundation of Associated Colleges. It began as a sort of “United Way” for the state’s private colleges and universities but has since evolved into an organization that also provides extensive governmental affairs and public affairs support for its 11 member institutions.

In July 2019, Andy Goodman became the AICU president after serving as legislative director for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

The 11 colleges and universities that are members of AICU are accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. AICU is a tax-exempt charitable organization under federal and state laws. All contributions to the AICU scholarship fund are tax deductible. …more

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AICU Names Goodman as President

Photograph of Andy Goodman
Andy Goodman, president of Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities

Andy Goodman, the former legislative director for Gov. Asa Hutchinson, has been selected as president and CEO of the Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities (AICU), an association of the state’s 11 private accredited institutions of higher education.

Goodman assumed his new duties on July 1, replacing Dr. Rex Horne who is stepping down after leading the association since 2015.

Goodman, a graduate of Harding University, has served as a senior legislative aide since 2015. He has been the chief legislative aide to Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren since 2018 and served the same position for Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang from 2015-18. Goodman also was  the legislative director for Gov. Hutchinson in 2018.

“I am honored and excited to be selected as the next president of the AICU,” Goodman said. “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the board of directors for this opportunity. I truly believe we have a wonderful and convincing story to tell. I appreciate the diversity of our member institutions, and have confidence in the strength we create together. I am eager to begin work as an advocate to further our mission, and would like to thank the members of the search committee and Dr. Horne for their help and guidance throughout this process.  I look forward to visiting with officials from all of the AICU colleges and universities in the coming weeks.

The announcement was made by Richard Dunsworth, president of University of the Ozarks in Clarksville and chair of the search committee. Dunsworth said Goodman was chosen from a pool of more than 100 applicants.

“Andy Goodman is not only a graduate of one of our Arkansas independent colleges, he brings extensive administrative and legislative experience to the position,” Dunsworth said. “Andy will be a strong spokesperson and staunch advocate for the value of private education. His experience with the state legislature and with public policy, as well as being a collaborative and influential leader, will enhance the contributions that Arkansas’s private colleges and universities make to a broad set of stakeholders, including the citizens of Arkansas, students and alumni of the member campuses. We are excited about the experience he brings and his commitment to Arkansas.”

Prior to his legislative aide positions, Goodman worked with the Commissioner of State Lands from 2009 to 2015, serving as the agency’s director of real estate for the final two years.

AICU represents the state’s 11 accredited private institutions of higher education. It operates from offices in North Little Rock, specializing in governmental affairs and public affairs for private higher education.

Members of AICU are the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education in Fort Smith, Central Baptist College in Conway, Crowley’s Ridge College in Paragould, Harding University in Searcy, Hendrix College in Conway, John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Lyon College in Batesville, Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Philander Smith College in Little Rock, University of the Ozarks in Clarksville and Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge.

What is now AICU was founded in the spring of 1954 as the Arkansas Foundation of Associated Colleges. The AICU began as an organization to provide funding for the state’s private colleges and universities, but has evolved to provide public policy advocacy to support legislative policy for the independent sector.  The president is the chief executive officer of the corporation and provides professional leadership, and, with the support of the board of directors, executes the mission of AICU.


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