Mr. Joseph C. Luman is retiring as the DETC Legal Counsel, a position he has held for the past 23 years.
“We all will deeply miss working with Joe as he moves on from DETC,” said Accrediting Commission Chair Tim Mott. “From my first Commission meeting with Joe, I quickly learned his valuable sage advice to Commission members was always additionally supported by a deep, caring concern over students, the ultimate customer who benefits from the work we do. Joe has been such an integral member of the DETC family his mark will remain forever.”
Added DETC Executive Director Michael P. Lambert: “We could not have possibly attained the current respect and acceptance that DETC enjoys today were it not for the indefatigable, dedicated and behind-the -scenes efforts of Joe Luman.”
Mr. Luman enjoyed a distinguished career in military and Federal service prior to being appointed National Home Study Council’s (NHSC) Legal Counsel in March, 1987.
A graduate of The United States Military Academy, Mr. Luman served with distinction as an Army Officer with the 3rd Armored Division in Germany. He became a Foreign Service Officer, which included a posting to Saigon, Republic of South Vietnam in the 1960s. In Saigon, he served as the U.S. Embassy Press Attaché and the Aide to the Ambassador.
He returned home to earn his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he served on the Law Journal and won the Leahy legal argument competition.
He was appointed the Staff Director of a subcommittee of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Government Operations. He was presented Roll Call newspaper’s annual Congressional Staffer of the Year Award in 1982.
When he joined the NHSC staff, he was instrumental in helping to guide the Council through the challenging years of the late 1980s—and the challenges were monumental at that time.
In the 1990s, Mr. Luman providing continuing counsel to the NHSC Board of Trustees in repositioning the Council’s “brand” and in refashioning and refurbishing its public image. One result was that the name of the Council was changed to the Distance Education and Training Council in 1994. Another high point in these years included getting a technical amendment to the G.I. Bill to permit only accredited distance education institutions to be eligible for veterans’ educational funding. This change in the law also enabled DETC to retain its coveted national recognition by the U.S. Secretary of Education, since all recognized accrediting groups must show that they serve a “federal purpose.”
During his 23 years of service, the DETC has doubled the number of accredited institutions, continued to upgrade its accrediting standards, increase the level of vigilance and application of standards consistently and firmly, add more professional member services, regain Federal Student Aid “gatekeeper status” for the DETC, adopt stringent rules for participating in Title IV, grow internationally with the accreditation of state-owned and private distance universities in 5 foreign nations, and expand its recognized scope of activities up through the Professional Doctoral degree level.
Mr. Luman has been a strong voice for protecting students as consumers. He is known for his ardent devotion to taking up the students’ cause, and giving a clear voice to serving their needs through his advocacy of pro-consumer rules. He received the DETC Distance Education Award in 1998.
“DETC has been a leader in promoting distance education, and being part of that effort has been challenging and professionally rewarding,” said Mr. Luman. It has been a great ride, and Peggy and I will miss interacting with the members of the Council and especially with the DETC staff. We send best wishes to a fine group.”
Joe and Peggy Luman have earned a permanent place in the DETC annals as wonderful friends to all in the DETC family.
Mr. Jan Larson, the former Chair of the DETC Accrediting Commission (who happened to have been a former combat infantryman in Vietnam), once said of Joe: “If I ever get into another firefight, I want Joe Luman in my fox hole.”
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