Affordability, campus safety, regulation take centerstage in DeVos confirmation hearing
- The Chronicle profiles yesterday's U.S. Senate confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, the controversial secretary of education pick who faced questions about college affordability, Title IX compliance and regulation of for-profit education.
- DeVos was fact checked by Sen. Al Franken on the total increase of national student debt and was non-committal about her vision to enforce restrictions upon schools with poor postgraduate outcomes.
- DeVos, who has been criticized for past philanthropic support of organizations which seek to limit campus oversight of sexual assault cases, also deflected questions about maintaining current regulations to report and punish schools with poor records in response to claims.
All college and university presidents should be watching DeVos' answers carefully to gain insight into the best ways of engaging with the potential secretary and assessing how her views may coincide with state regulations on some of these key issues. With her confirmation, there could be a complete overhaul of the primary compliance standards on sexual assault reporting, federal aid disbursements and eligibility for grant and contract funding.
Campuses will not be able to be reactionary to new rules on these issues because avoiding or not preparing for them could leave universities vulnerable to lawsuits, enrollment decreases and massive shifts in operational outlook.
- The Chronicle of Higher Education DeVos takes center stage: Highlights from her confirmation hearing