The American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) held annual elections on June 12, 2015. The Board of Trustees welcomes for a first-term of office on the Board, Robert Eitel and for a first-term of office on the Council of Scholars, Robert A. Manzer. Returning to the Council of Scholars for a second-term is Joseph M. Knippenberg.
Mr. Robert Eitel is Vice President of Federal Regulatory Affairs and Compliance at Bridgepoint Education Inc. (Washington DC). Mr. Eitel has an extensive background in the area of education and employment law. In his position as a member of Talbert and Eitel, P.L.L.C., he provided legal, policy and strategic advice on key legislation and regulations, and guidance affecting elementary and secondary education and post-secondary institutions, the student loan industry and other groups with an interest in education. While serving as Deputy General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education, Eitel supervised the Division of Business and Administrative Law and the Division of Legislative Counsel. He managed the Department’s bill drafting and legal review before Congress and provided legal advice on reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and the Higher Education Act. In his most recent position as Vice President of Regulatory Operations at Career Education Corporation he worked to ensure that nationally and regionally accredited campus institutions operated in accordance with federal, state, accreditor, and company standards. He is the author of The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Program Integrity Final Regulations (Engage, 2011) and The Road to a National Curriculum: The Legal Aspects of the Common Core Standards, Race to the Top, and Conditional Waivers (Pioneer Institute, Federalist Society, and Pacific Research Institute, 2012). Mr. Eitel holds a J.D. degree from Tulane School of Law (LA) and an A.B. from Georgetown University (DC).
Mr. Robert A. Manzer is Provost and Chief Academic Officer of American Intercontinental University (AIU) an online and ground campus university. In his current role at AIU, Manzer is responsible for curriculum, faculty, accreditation, and student support services. He has served in several administrative positions at liberal arts institutions, including Associate Dean of the Constantin College at the University of Dallas (TX), Dean of the Getty College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio Northern University, and Vice President for Academic Affairs at St. Edward’s University, Austin (TX). In addition to his administrative experience managing academic programming and personnel affairs, Manzer founded the Center for Academic and Career Development at Constantin College, and a Washington DC-based Capitol Hill Internship Program at Nebraska Wesleyan University, supported by a 10-college United Methodist College Washington Consortium. Prior to entering higher education administration, Manzer held an appointment as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Dallas. Mr. Manzer earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago (IL) and B.A. from Carleton College (MN).
Mr. Joseph Knippenberg is Professor of Politics and Director of the Rich Foundation Urban Leadership Program at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta (GA). His teaching and research areas include: history of political philosophy, constitutional law –principally the First Amendment religion clauses, religion and politics, and contemporary liberal theory. Knippenberg has published extensively and his essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of venues, including edited collections, scholarly journals, the Weekly Standard, the Claremont Review of Books, The City: A Journal of Christian Thought, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is a contributing scholar to the Georgia Center for Opportunity. Currently he is working on and writing about issues in higher education including a series of commentaries addressing topics such as accreditation and religious colleges, and higher education and social mobility, which have appeared in First Things (online). Knippenberg is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, and Omicron Delta Kappa, and sits on the Georgia Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission of Civil Rights. Mr. Knippenberg earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Toronto and a B.A. degree from the James Madison College at Michigan State University.