FROM OuR pResident
Seizing the Moment
When more than 1,400 higher education leaders gathered in
Washington, DC, for ACE’s 91st Annual Meeting in February, we
were just under three weeks into President Obama’s administration.
Since that time, higher education has been moved to the
forefront of the federal government’s plan to bring our country out
of the most severe economic downturn in generations. I believe
that this new emphasis on the role of higher education positions
our campuses to take advantage of a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised
as impossible situations.
A New Recognition of Higher Education’s Role
On the heels of major legislation like the Higher Education Opportunity Act and the
Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, the new administration has continued
to highlight the role of higher education in providing the solutions America needs to
compete in the world economy. The landmark American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act, signed in February, represents the biggest investment in higher education in
history, providing tens of billions of dollars. It includes funding for student aid, job
training, state fiscal support, and research at colleges and universities.
Just a week later, in his address to a joint session of Congress,
the president provided an overarching vision for the resources made I believe that this new emphasis
available to colleges and universities and their students in the stimulus on the role of higher education
legislation. He appealed to the national interest and the responsibility positions our campuses to take
of every citizen to aspire to at least one year of postsecondary study. advantage of a series of great
It is clear that, if America is to compete economically, we must have opportunities brilliantly disguised
a competitive workforce and a new generation of innovators and as impossible situations.
At the end of February, the release of the fiscal year 2010 budget
outline introduced the most dramatic changes to federal student aid since
the passage of the Higher Education Act in 1965. We continue to review the budget
plan carefully, but are