Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Removes President Following Investigation

The Board of Directors of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities announced Tuesday that it unanimously agreed to remove the organization's president after "careful investigation and prayerful consideration."

Edward O. Blews served as the organization's president for less than a year before the board decided to "transition" him out of the position. The press release announcing the change does not say why Blews was investigated and a CCCU spokesperson told CP via email that the group has no additional information to share on the issue.

"The Board recognizes that this presidential transition has caused disruption in the programs and to the people of the CCCU, and we are truly sorry for this disruption," the organization said in a statement. "We remain deeply committed to the mission of the CCCU, the most important aspect of which is serving our members. We appreciate your patience and prayers in this time of transition and your continued support of the programs and the people of the CCCU."

Blews was announced as president-elect in July 2012 and he later assumed the title of president in January of this year. He previously served as the president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan (AICUM) for 28 years, and has over the years held a number of leadership roles in other higher education organizations as well.

Blews' wife, Debra McKenna Blews, was still listed on the CCCU website as one of the organization's senior fellows as of Wednesday afternoon.

The Blews are scheduled to be honored as the 2014 Seattle Pacific University Alumni of the Year during homecoming early next year, according to the school's Response magazine. Debra McKenna Blews recently told the publication her husband is "unbelievably tenacious" in pursuing Christ-centered higher education.

"As Christian colleges and universities enter a time of increased public scrutiny, there is no person more qualified or gifted to take up the mantle of religious freedom for CCCU institutions," she said.

William Robinson, president emeritus of Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash., has been named interim president of CCCU in Blews' stead.

"During my years at Whitworth, I enjoyed being on the receiving side of so many CCCU programs and services," Robinson said in a statement. "So, I'm very revved up about moving over to the giving side of the equation. The CCCU claims a strong history of serving Christian colleges and universities in their efforts to enrich the world of higher education and advance the kingdom of Christ. I know I will enjoy being a member of the CCCU team as the Board searches for a new president."

The Washington D.C.-based nonprofit's mission is to "advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth." The organization has 119 members in North America and 55 affiliates in 20 countries around the world.

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