ICUT Staff

Ray Martinez III—President

Well-known in Texas higher education, Ray Martinez is president of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Inc. (ICUT), which serves the state and federal policy interests of Texas’ fully-accredited, nonprofit independent institutions of higher education. Prior to joining ICUT, Ray served as chancellor of WGU Texas, a regionally-accredited online university primarily serving the postsecondary needs of adult learners in Texas. Ray has also held senior government relations positions with Rice University and Texas A&M International University and previously served on the staff of State Senator Judith Zaffirini, where he performed concurrent roles as chief of staff, general counsel and director of the Senate Higher Education Committee. For more information

Raif  CalvertVice President for Governmental Relations & General Counsel

Raif Calvert joined the ICUT staff in January 2006 after serving for three years as a lobbyist for the Texas Medical Association and several other medical specialty societies.  Prior to his stint with the TMA, Raif served as a legislative aid to current Attorney General Greg Abbott, former Attorney General and current United States Senator John Cornyn, and former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives James E. “Pete” Laney.  His assignments include appropriations, student financial aid, healthcare professions education and overall higher education policy and finance.  Raif is a registered member of the Texas bar and is licensed to practice law in Texas.

Elizabeth Puthoff—Vice President for Research and Policy Analysis

Elizabeth Puthoff joined ICUT in June 2005. A former high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. Puthoff holds two masters' degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, a Master of Education and a Master of Public Affairs. Her responsibilities include producing research reports, conducting research projects and monitoring legislation. Her legislative assignments include student public education, teacher preparation and certification, and financial aid.

Donna M. EberhartDirector of Member Services

Donna Eberhart started at ICUT in April 2008.  With previous employment experience in contracting, business management and marketing, she was a natural fit for this position.  She is the point of contact for ICUT members in regard to cost-saving measures offered through group purchasing agreements.  In addition to managing existing contracts, she coordinates annual affinity meetings and oversees the Texas Environmental Compliance Consortium.