NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

February 18, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

What had started as a relatively quiet week in Washington, with the House in recess, was amped up last night as the Senate finally passed the continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a government shutdown. The Senate’s action keeps the government open through March 11, as attention now turns to the FY 2022 omnibus package. This week’s lead story provides more detail on the CR and next steps on the budget.

Unfortunately, an issue that continues to make headlines is the ongoing threat to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This week, NAICU joined 63 other organizations in signing a letter to congressional leadership urging immediate action. Specifically, the letter asks Congress to take three steps:

  1. Fully and aggressively investigate the threats and prosecute the offenders in accordance with the grievous harm they have caused;
  2. Immediately pass Con.Res. 70 to put Congress on record on this matter of national importance; and
  3. Hold congressional hearings on an expedited basis, with a focus on the persistent issues underlying these crimes and how to prevent future occurrences.

In closing, the letter stated: “We reiterate that for too many of our students and colleagues, the threats against HBCUs across the country are a reminder of the reality of racial violence and inequities that are present every day. Congress can take meaningful action to address the very real harm that has been caused. We urge you to do so, and quickly.”

In other news, many of you are reaching the deadline for reporting to the Department of Veterans Affairs for the “35% reset” and 85/15 requirements for student veterans using their GI Bill benefits. We continue to hear from campuses that the implementation of the new regulations are confusing, inconsistent, and could potentially have the unintended consequence of denying eligibility for programs popular with student veterans. As I wrote in a Presidents’ Network email on January 31, I hope you will continue to keep us informed of your concerns with this process.


  • The Department of Education held the second session of the negotiated rulemaking to continue the discussion of institutional and programmatic eligibility. An additional topic of transcript withholding was discussed at great length. The Department indicated it will consider placing language into the regulations prohibiting institutions from withholding transcripts. No topics were officially voted on this week and consensus votes are expected to take place during the next meeting of the rulemaking committee March 14-18.
  • A group of lawmakers sent a letter requesting that the Department of Education prioritize efforts to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses. The letter follows the Department’s recent decision to postpone its planned rulemaking that would implement President Trump’s 2019 Executive Order on anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Double Pell

“Raising the funds provided by the Pell Grant will give even more people like myself the ability to obtain a higher education with less personal sacrifice. The Pell Grant has given me an opportunity to excel beyond that which was expected of me, and I fully intend on taking advantage of this opportunity, wherever my journey takes me.”

Justin Fantroy, student, Saint Louis University, MO

As we continue our national campaign to Double Pell and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the program later this year, I encourage you to engage your students and alumni and capture their stories about the impact the Pell Grant has had on their lives. As we saw first-hand during our annual meeting celebration of Pell, these student and alumni stories are extremely moving and inspirational and also effective in promoting the value of the Pell Grant. I hope you will find ways to tell these stories among your campus community as well, including on your websites and social media channels, in your alumni magazine, and e-newsletters.


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

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