Dr. Debbie Murray, vice president for academic affairs at Lee University, was invited to participate in a meeting between the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and members of the U.S. Department of Education.
“I was honored to be included in this very interesting meeting,” said Dr. Murray.
The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss issues of religious freedom, regulatory burdens on small institutions, barriers to innovation, and measures of educational quality, according to Dr. Murray.
“It was affirming to see that staff members in the Department of Education understand and appreciate the mission and importance of institutions like Lee University,” said Dr. Murray.
Dr. Murray was invited to participate by CCCU President Shirley Hoogstra. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos asked Dr. Hoogstra and her staff to share the perspectives of faith-based institutions on issues surrounding accreditation.
The Department of Education is in the process of reevaluating regulations of accrediting agencies in areas such as honoring institutional mission, reducing costs to focus more on student needs, and how to be rigorous on quality without being overly-prescriptive.
“It was encouraging to hear that the Department intends to make respect for institutional mission and reducing barriers for faith-based institutions a priority,” said Dr. Murray.
Joining the faculty of Lee University in 1980, Dr. Murray served in the Helen DeVos College of Education for 33 years, until her appointment as vice president for academic affairs in 2013. In addition to being a distinguished professor of education, she has served as dean of the HDCOE, department chair, director of Teacher Education Programs, and director of Graduate Programs in Education.
The CCCU is a higher education association made up of more than 180 Christian institutions around the world. CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help its institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.