NAICU Washington Update

Introduction by Barbara K. Mistick

July 29, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing this week from the great state of South Carolina. Earlier this week, I was joined by several of my NAICU colleagues in Charleston to attend the annual summer workshop hosted by our National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives (NAICUSE).

Due to the pandemic, this was the first NAICUSE workshop I’ve been able to attend in person and it delivered on a packed agenda. Prior to the pandemic, I had the good fortune to be able to visit many of our state associations and see and learn first-hand about the issues they are facing in their states. That facetime is so important to the work we do.

This week brought all that and more. There is so much to learn from our state leaders about the challenges they are facing and how they are facing them. Many of the issues our state executives are seeing in their states end up surfacing at the national level. Their experiences help inform strategies and tactics that could potentially be used here in Washington.

Their commitment, dedication, and passion for private, nonprofit higher education and the students we serve is energizing and inspiring. Our NAICUSE members are integral to independent higher education and I thank them for all that they do and for welcoming us back in person to their annual meeting.

A special thank you to Jeff Perez, president of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, and his wonderful team for hosting us and to Claude Pressnell, president of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association for his work in helping Jeff coordinate the meeting.

This week’s Washington Update covers updates on the reconciliation package and the American competitiveness bill, action in the Senate on spending priorities, the most recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the Department of Education, and our launch of the 2022 Your Vote, Your Voice voter registration initiative.


  • During last week’s virtual meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), committee members engaged in a policy discussion regarding Florida’s new law that requires public institutions of higher education to seek a new accreditor in every new accreditation cycle. Despite a partisan divide on the advisory committee, members were united in criticizing the Florida statute as misguided. New guidance from the Department of Education is intended to counteract the Florida law.
  • The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reminding private, nonprofit colleges and universities that they are eligible to receive grants under the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act. Under the law, annual grants are available from the DOJ to fund violence prevention programs, environmental deterrent measures at schools, and the development and operation of school threat assessment and intervention teams. While FY 2022 grants from DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services and Bureau of Justice and Assistance are now closed, interested institutions can sign up now for future alerts regarding grant opportunities.

Double Pell

As the House heads home for the traditional August recess, and the Senate scheduled to join them at the end of next week, it is a great time to invite members of congress to campus to remind them of the importance of your campus to the economic and cultural strength of your community, congressional district, and state. And while they are on campus, don’t forget to talk about how important Pell Grants are to your students. You can find all you need to make a compelling case to your elected officials on our dedicated DoublePell webpage and at

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

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