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AlumNews: Milestones

1974 - Andrew Benton

Tuesday, February 12, 2008  
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Oklahoma Christian University alumnus and Pepperdine University President, Andrew K. Benton, elected to serve as the Board Chair for the American Council on Education.

Andrew K. Benton, president of Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, has been named chair of the Board of Directors at the American Council on Education (ACE), the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions.

Benton assumed his role today during ACE's 90th Annual Meeting taking place in San Diego. Benton will serve a one-year term. He succeeds Ricardo R. Fernández, president of Lehman College, The City University of New York.

Before becoming ACE Board chair, Benton served as the Board's vice chair from 2007-08. Most recently, he chaired the search committee that selected Molly Corbett Broad as ACE's next president.

ACE's membership also elected Judy Genshaft, president, University of South Florida (USF), vice chair; and Martha A. Smith, president, Anne Arundel Community College (MD), secretary.

Benton has served in higher education for nearly 30 years. He came to Pepperdine in 1984 and has worked in several key leadership roles during his tenure, including vice president for administration and vice president for university affairs. In addition, he has taught both undergraduate and graduate classes at the university. He was named president of Pepperdine in June 2000. Prior to becoming president, Benton served as Pepperdine's executive vice president and chief operational officer for nine years.

“It is an honor to serve as chair of the American Council on Education Board of Directors. Maintaining an informed and educated citizenry is one of the foundational characteristics of a free and democratic society,” said Benton.

“Now in its 90th year, the Council has made significant contributions to higher education positively impacting students for nearly a century. I look forward to working with Molly Broad, the new president of ACE, and the organization's leadership team to advance the Council's important agenda,” Benton continued.

Benton earned his bachelor of science in American Studies from Oklahoma Christian University and went on to earn the juris doctor degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law. He was admitted to the Oklahoma State Bar in 1979 and later to practice before Federal Courts. For 10 years, Benton served in various administrative roles at his undergraduate alma mater. From 1979 until 1983 he also maintained a private law practice in Oklahoma.

New ACE Vice Chair Genshaft has been the president of the University of South Florida since July 2000. During her presidency, USF has been nationally recognized as a top-tier national research university, and is one of Florida's top three universities. With campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland, USF serves more than 45,000 students in more than 200 degree programs on the undergraduate, masters, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. USF has a $3.2 billion economic impact on the Tampa Bay region and a budget of more than $1.8 billion annually.

Prior to joining USF, Genshaft served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She also held various positions during a 16-year tenure at The Ohio State University. Genshaft holds a bachelor's degree in social work and psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a master's degree in school counseling from Kent State University (OH), and a doctorate in counseling psychology from Kent State. Genshaft has authored and co-authored 69 journal articles and three books.


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