Scholars call for dramatic changes to Higher Ed Act
- A national organization primarily associated with advocacy for reforms in campus freedoms for speech and academic exposition has called for sweeping changes to the federal guiding document on higher education spending, specifically in areas involving gender equity and student aid disbursement.
- In a letter, the National Association of Scholars calls for the Higher Education Act to be reformed to authorize student vouchers in place of grants and loans directly awarded to institutions, and calls for colleges that have high rates of non-completion to pay a portion of principal and interest owed back to the federal government.
- The group also says that gender discrimination should be limited to the basic description of gender as defined by biology, and not by sexual self-identification.
It is not clear how much influence that advocacy organizations like NAS hold over federal legislative interests, but is is clear that many of the provisions outlined in its guiding document have been shared by some members of the Republican-controlled House and Senate, and that recent coverage suggests that the education committees in the Congress could be shifting their focus to many of these issues.
Lawmakers can very easily implement some form of these recommendations under the auspices of cost control and restoring more jurisdiction over academic enterprises to states and individual campuses. This will place more burden on campus leaders to explain to diverse stakeholders specific decisions on a wide range of topics, from affordability to sexual assault response to diversity.
- National Association of Scholars NAS advocates for Higher Education Act reform