NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

August 05, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

The Senate has been in session this week counting votes and making changes to the Inflation Reduction Act, which it plans to consider into the weekend before breaking for the August recess. Behind the scenes, work continues on moving the Ensuring the Best Schools for Veterans Act, which would fix the 85/15 GI Bill benefit provision.

The House has already gone home for its August recess but could reconvene if needed to address urgent legislation before September. The annual ritual of members of Congress spending the month of August in their home districts and states provides an excellent opportunity for you to meet with your elected officials to build deeper relationships and highlight your campus, students, and community impact. This is a particularly opportune time for colleges and universities as it coincides with the back-to-school calendar, a time when education is on the minds of so many policy makers. We strongly encourage you to have your elected officials to campus this month to meet with students, showcase your programs, emphasize your student successes, and remind them of the contributions your institutions make to the local economy.

While Congress is leaving D.C., the Administration is in full swing. Next week I, along with several presidents and provosts from member institutions, will be participating in a summit on student success at the Department of Education. 

Additionally, the NAICU staff continues its detailed work on the substantial number of proposed regulations that are under consideration. While we have reported on the various regulatory proposals in previous issues of Washington Update, we are continuing to assess and analyze the Title IX proposals and the impact they will have on college campuses. For the latest on Title IX, you can visit our dedicated webpage, which includes our Executive and Technical summaries of the regulations and the presentation slides of the webinar we hosted on this topic.

We are also working on the plethora of pending student aid rules and new accountability proposals for colleges (see summaries of two recent notices of proposed rulemaking and here).

We will keep you posted on these and other issues in the weeks ahead. This week’s Washington Update provides details on a grant opportunity for FY 2022 to provide resources to colleges and universities to help with programs focused on student basic needs.

  • NAICU joined an amicus brief filed in support of Harvard University in a Supreme Court case that will test the constitutionality of race-conscious admissions at colleges and universities. The legal challenge may give the new conservative majority on the Court an opportunity to overturn long-standing precedents on affirmative action programs in higher education. The Court will hear the case in October and is expected to issue a ruling at some point before its next term ends in June 2023.
Double Pell

In an op-ed published last week in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education urging policy makers and representatives to “redouble their support for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs),” Lodriguez V. Murray, senior vice president of public policy and government affairs for UNCF (United Negro College Fund), includes doubling the Pell Grant maximum as one of the key actions Congress can take to strengthen HBCUs.

Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.
President, NAICU