SVU President Appointed to AALE Board of Trustees

Southern Virginia University President Rodney K. Smith has been appointed to the Board of Trustees for the American Academy for Liberal Education, the organization that has accredited the university since 2000.

“The appointment to the board is a great honor,” said President Smith. “I look forward to serving and helping to promote quality liberal arts programs by working with institutions across the nation.”

The American Academy for Liberal Education is a national association authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit institutions offering quality general education programs in the liberal arts that meet the academy’s stringent educational, administrative and financial criteria.

“President Smith has a nuanced understanding of liberal arts and a passion for it and for Southern Virginia University,” said Jeff Martineau, AALE vice president of accreditation. “One of his main qualifications was his willingness to take on the Southern Virginia University project in its adolescence and help make it unique and different than anything previously seen at schools like BYU.”

Members of AALE’s Board of Trustees include Sheldon Rothblatt, professor emeritus of history at the University of California at Berkeley and Dr. A. Lee Fritschler, a professor at George Mason University. The board makes final decisions for accreditation and certification of charter schools, colleges and universities across the nation and international liberal arts programs that focus on delivering a high quality liberal arts education.

“After hearing from both Jeff Martineau and myself, members of the board reviewed the relevant elements of [President Smith’s] background and experience, [his] high qualifications, and [his] demonstrated devotion to improving undergraduate learning,” wrote Jeffrey D. Wallin, AALE’s president, in a letter to President Smith. “Members of the board voted unanimously in favor of [his] candidacy.”