President Hinton Elected Chair of NAICU Board of Directors

President Hinton Elected Chair of NAICU Board of Directors

Leadership, President Hinton

April 17, 2024

President Hinton Elected Chair of NAICU Board of Directors Mary Dana Hinton

Hollins University President Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., has been elected chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).  Hinton leads a team of four new board officers and 14 new board members who will take office on July 1, 2024.

Founded in 1976, NAICU is the only national membership organization solely focused on representing private, nonprofit higher education on public policy issues in Washington, DC. NAICU board members 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.  Board members serve three-year terms, while officers serve one-year terms.

“Mary Dana Hinton is a forward-thinking, powerful, and respected college leader, a passionate voice for the liberal arts and educational equity in private higher education, and an expert on higher education leadership,” said NAICU President Barbara K. Mistick, D.B.A. “I look forward to working with her in the coming year as the sector navigates complex new regulatory and legislative environments while striving to advance the goals of private, nonprofit higher education.”

“I am extraordinarily honored to lead NAICU during this time of significant challenges for private, nonprofit colleges and universities,” said Hinton. “NAICU’s effective advocacy on behalf of its members will be critical in the year ahead.”

Hinton will succeed Constance Ledoux Book, Ph.D., president of Elon University, who will remain on the board as immediate past chair.

The 13th president of Hollins University and president emerita of the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota, Hinton is an active and respected proponent of the liberal arts and inclusion, her leadership reflects a deep and abiding commitment to educational equity and the education of women.

Under her leadership, Hollins established the Hollins Opportunity for Promise through Education (HOPE) scholar program, designed to support young women from the greater Roanoke Valley region who wish to pursue a college degree at Hollins by providing free tuition for four years. Also under her leadership, the university received the largest single gift in the school’s history: $75 million to fund scholarships and address financial need. In 2023, Hollins launched the Transforming Learning, Transforming Lives: The Levavi Oculos Strategic Plan and accompanying capital campaign.

Hinton’s new book Leading from the Margins, based on her TedX Talk of the same name, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in February 2024. Hinton’s scholarship focuses on higher education leadership, strategic planning, the role of education in peace building, African American religious history, and inclusion in higher education. She is the author of The Commercial Church: Black Churches and the New Religious Marketplace in America and a frequent op-ed contributor across higher education publications.

Hinton is a member of the board of directors for InterFaith America, Mount Saint Mary’s University, and The Teagle Foundation. She is a Commissioner on the AGB Council on Higher Education as a Strategic Asset and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hinton earned a Ph.D. in religion and religious education with high honors from Fordham University, a Master of Arts degree in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Williams College.