NAICU Washington Update

Senate Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education Releases Its Report

February 12, 2015

The long-awaited findings from the Senate Task Force on Federal Regulation of Higher Education, which was organized and completed in conjunction with the American Council on Education (ACE), were released on February 12 in anticipation of a hearing on the issue scheduled for February 24. The report was released by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who was joined by a bi-partisan coalition of HELP Senators, including Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Burr (R-NC), and Michael Bennet (D-CO). Of the 16 members of the Task Force, seven were also NAICU members.

The report discusses in both general and specific terms the growing burden of federal regulation, and also includes interesting background papers on some of the structural break-downs in the regulatory process. As such, the report is likely to frame much of the deregulatory conversation that will be part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Congress has long sought a better understanding about what regulations colleges find so overwhelming so they can find a more appropriate balance between appropriate federal accountability and excessive federal regulatory burden.

The NAICU members who participated in the Senate Task Force were: Co-chairman Nicholas S. Zeppos, President, Vanderbilt University; William L. Armstrong, President, Colorado Christian University; Thomas V. Chema, President Emeritus, Hiram College; Margaret Drugovich, President, Hartwick College; Cornelius Kerwin, President, American University; and Claude O. Pressnell, Jr., President, Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association. NAICU president David Warren was also an active participant in the Task Force deliberations.

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