November 17, 2020
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) Chair of the Board Brad Kuykendall, announced to the membership that Jason Altmire has been chosen by the Board of Directors to become its next president and CEO. The former Democratic member of Congress from Pennsylvania brings a distinguished history of public service to this new role.
In making the announcement, Kuykendall said, “We are very excited for the leadership, knowledge and experience Jason Altmire brings to CECU. His deep understanding of the critical role our colleges and universities hold in producing graduates with real skills, leading to real jobs is especially important in the midst of the current economic pandemic.”
Altmire succeeds Steve Gunderson who has led CECU since 2012. The planned transition was initiated by Gunderson in May 2019, when he advised the CECU Board that the association should begin preparing for a transition after the 2020 national elections.
“Quite honestly, as a 16-year Republican Member of Congress, I challenged the Obama Administration’s attacks on our sector and have continued to engage critics and supporters alike to bring to light the significant contributions of our graduates and our sector. With a new Democrat Administration and a new Congress, I believe it is time for a new voice and a new face to lead this important work. My departure is motivated by only one goal – to best support the students and members engaged in producing a new generation of skilled professionals,” said Gunderson.
Jason Altmire brings a combination of bipartisan skills and education background to this work. He served on the Higher Education Subcommittee during all three of his terms as a member of Congress and has served as a trustee or member of advisory boards at several colleges and universities. Altmire was appointed to serve on the House-Senate Conference Committee that negotiated the final details of the 2008 Higher Education Act — the last time the Act was reauthorized by Congress. He also served on the Conference Committee for the 2007 College Cost Reduction Act, which expanded student access to financial aid.
He recently completed his Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Florida.
“I am excited to join CECU at this very important time for the sector. In visiting campuses over the years and speaking directly to students, I have seen first-hand the enormous benefit these programs have for the millions of students who choose career education. I believe in the mission of the sector — to serve students and to help them acquire the skills necessary to compete in an ever-changing workforce. I look forward to working with the new Administration and Congress to ensure that the success of this sector is measured by the same accountability metrics as all others in higher education,” said Altmire.
Altmire will officially join CECU on December 1st, 2020. He and Gunderson will work together to produce a seamless transition until Gunderson concludes his service on December 31st.