Summer 2015 News


AALE Board of Trustees appoints new President
Summer | 2015


The American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Diane Auer Jones to the position of President. Ms. Auer Jones joined the AALE Board in 2009 and has served as Secretary of the Board since 2010. Auer Jones has been instrumental in refining AALE accreditation policies and has provided strong leadership during AALE’s most recent strategic planning effort focusing on a soon-to-be released new AALE membership and value statement. 

Ms. Diane Auer Jones is currently the President of AJsquared Consulting which services clients from the elementary school to the post-secondary level providing counsel on a range of educational issues including charter school development, post-secondary assessment practices, and on-line learning. She has served as Senior Vice-President for External and Regulatory Affairs at the Career Education Corporation, Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, Director of Government Affairs at Princeton University and was CEO of The Washington Campus, a non-profit organization that serves as the Washington, DC campus for 16 of the nation’s leading graduate schools of business. A molecular biologist by training, Ms. Auer Jones is a graduate of Salisbury University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, and of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where she completed a master’s degree in Applied Molecular Biology and doctoral coursework in Cellular and Molecular Biology.

In the coming months Ms. Auer Jones will guide plans to expand AALE’s scope of accreditation to better address the needs of current and new members. She will lead initiatives to develop new membership services particularly in ways that support innovation in liberal education including learning models, delivery models, cost models and admission practices and in establishing quality assessments that align institutional mission and goals, and liberal arts learning objectives. 


AALE Announces Results of 2015 Annual Elections
Summer | 2015

The American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) held annual elections on June 12, 2015. The Board of Trustees welcomes for a first-term of office on the Board, Robert Eitel and for a first-term of office on the Council of Scholars, Robert A. Manzer. Returning to the Council of Scholars for a second-term is Joseph M. Knippenberg.

Mr. Robert Eitel is Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs and Compliance at Bridgepoint Education Inc. (Washington DC). Mr. Eitel has an extensive background in the area of education and employment law. In his position as a member of Talbert and Eitel, P.L.L.C., he provided legal, policy and strategic advice on key legislation and regulations, and guidance affecting elementary and secondary education and post-secondary institutions, the student loan industry and other groups with an interest in education. While serving as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education, Eitel supervised the Division of Business and Administrative Law and the Division of Legislative Counsel. He managed the Department’s bill drafting and legal review before Congress and provided legal advice on reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Higher Education Act. In his most recent position as Vice President of Regulatory Operations at Career Education Corporation he worked to ensure that nationally and regionally accredited campus institutions operated in accordance with federal, state, accreditor, and company standards. He is the author of The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Program Integrity Final Regulations (Engage, 2011) and The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers (Pioneer Institute, Federalist Society, and Pacific Research Institute, 2012). Mr. Eitel holds a J.D. degree from Tulane School of Law (LA) and an A.B. from Georgetown University (DC).

Mr. Robert A. Manzer is Provost and Chief Academic Officer of American Intercontinental University (AIU) an online and ground campus university. In his current role at AIU, Manzer is responsible for curriculum, faculty, accreditation, and student support services. He has served in several administrative positions at liberal arts institutions, including Associate Dean of the Constantin College at the University of Dallas (TX), Dean of the Getty College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio Northern University, and Vice President for Academic Affairs at St. Edward’s University, Austin (TX). In addition to his administrative experience managing academic programming and personnel affairs, Manzer founded the Center for Academic and Career Development at Constantin College, and a Washington DC-based Capitol Hill Internship Program at Nebraska Wesleyan University, supported by a 10-college United Methodist College Washington Consortium. Prior to entering higher education administration, Manzer held an appointment as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Dallas. Mr. Manzer earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago (IL) and B.A. from Carleton College (MN).

Mr. Joseph Knippenberg is Professor of Politics and Director of the Rich Foundation Urban Leadership Program at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta (GA). His teaching and research areas include: history of political philosophy, constitutional law –principally the First Amendment religion clauses, religion and politics, and contemporary liberal theory. Knippenberg has published extensively and his essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of venues, including edited collections, scholarly journals, the Weekly Standard, the Claremont Review of Books, The City: A Journal of Christian Thought, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is a contributing scholar to the Georgia Center for Opportunity. Currently he is working on and writing about issues in higher education including a series of commentaries addressing topics such as accreditation and religious colleges, and higher education and social mobility, which have appeared in First Things (online). Knippenberg is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, and Omicron Delta Kappa, and sits on the Georgia Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights. Mr. Knippenberg earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Toronto and a B.A. degree from the James Madison College at Michigan State University.

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