About Us

Promoting higher education in Arkansas for over 70 years

Founded in 1954, Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities began as a “United Way” for the state’s private colleges and universities. Since then, the AICU has evolved into a fundraising and legislative organization for its now 11 member institutions!

Together, we’ve created a legacy


In March 1954, the Arkansas Foundation of Associated Colleges was founded. (Now known as the AICU)


The Council of Independent Colleges was founded.


The Foundation for Independent Higher Education, a network of college fundraising organizations, was founded.


The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, was founded. The NAIC has served as the unified voice in Washington of the nation’s private colleges and universities.


In July 2019, Andy Goodman became the AICU president after serving as legislative director for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.


Andy Goodman


Andy Goodman was named president of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges & Universities in July of 2019. Goodman, who served as legislative director for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, replaced Rex Horne, who began his tenure as AICU president in January 2015.

“Andy Goodman is not only a graduate of one of our Arkansas independent colleges, but he also brings extensive administrative and legislative experience to the position,” said Richard Dunsworth, president of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville and chair of the AICU search committee. “Andy will be a strong spokesperson and staunch advocate for the value of private education. His experience with the state legislature and with public policy, as well as being a collaborative and influential leader, will enhance the contributions that Arkansas’s private colleges and universities make to a broad set of stakeholders, including the citizens of Arkansas, students, and alumni of the member campuses. We are excited about the experience he brings and his commitment to Arkansas.”

Goodman, a graduate of Harding University, has worked as a senior legislative aide since 2015. He was chief legislative aide to Senate President Pro Tempore Jonathan Dismang from 2015- 2018 and served the same position for Senate President Pro Tempore Jim Hendren from 2018- 2019. Goodman also was the legislative director for Gov. Hutchinson in 2018.

Prior to his legislative aide positions, Goodman served with the office of the Commissioner of State Lands from 2009-2015, serving as the agency’s director of real estate for the final two years of his time there.

“I am honored and excited to be selected as the next president of the AICU,” Goodman said. “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the board of directors for this opportunity. I truly believe we have a wonderful and convincing story to tell. I appreciate the diversity of our member institutions and have confidence in the strength we create together.”

Caleb Stanton

Vice President, Operations

Caleb Stanton joined Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities in August of 2021. Prior to his time at AICU, Stanton served 6 years on staff with Governor Asa Hutchinson in a variety of roles before ending his tenure there as a legislative liaison and senior policy advisor. His previous work includes research, development of policy implementation strategy, as well as stakeholder and constituent relations across a range of policy issues.

In addition to managing fundraising, grant-writing, research and other operational functions for the organization, Stanton assists with advocacy efforts at the Arkansas State Capitol on behalf of AICU members. As a part of these efforts, the Arkansas State Legislature and the Governor have approved additional scholarship funds for students through the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, among other successes.

Caleb is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas and lives in Conway, Arkansas with his wife Shannon.

Continuing our work empowering students across Arkansas

Through generous donations, fundraising, and advocacy, we can continue our work in empowering students across Arkansas. 100% of all donations to the AICU go towards the 11 member institutions and their students, with the hope of making private education more accessible to students with unmet financial needs. By donating to the AICU, you are making a difference in the lives of future difference-makers.