Thursday, October 16, 2008

AICUO President Testifies at HEA Public Hearing

C. Todd Jones, AICUO President and General Counsel, testified Wednesday on behalf of Ohio's independent colleges regarding the general impact of the recently passed Higher Education Reauthorization Act. Specifically, Todd referenced the new, additional reporting requirements for institutions as well as suggesting that the US Dept. of Ed "embrace flexibility" while aligning accounting data and implementation of rules and regulations. A copy of AICUO's testimony may be found here. Any questions regarding this testimony may directed to AICUO's Ask Todd feature.

In addition to AICUO's presentation, a few Ohio independent colleges sent individuals to testify on their behalf. Nancy Hoover, representing Denison University and the National Direct Student Loan Coalition (NDSLC), discussed the need for a standard collection instrument for data among colleges and the need to simplify the private loan disclosure.

Karen Saracusa from Mount Union College, also representing the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), took the opportunity to discuss the need to increase preparation of teachers with regard to disabled students. She also advised on the creation of an advisory commission for textbooks as well as additional transition programs into higher education for students with disabilities to ensure they have the outlets necessary for a successful progression.

Case Western Reserve University was represented by their Chief Information Security Officer, Thomas Siu. Mr. Siu noted that "effectively combat" could be defined many different ways by institutions in regards to Peer-to-Peer file sharing and could create problems for institutions without the means to "effectively combat." He also discussed that for some colleges the tech-based deterrents could be another costly venture and should look to engaging their students with information and services to eventually cease all university broadband usage for file-sharing.

AICUO thanks all those who testified on behalf of independent colleges and would also like to thank the US Department of Education for holding these public hearings to ensure that colleges' voices are heard while the rule-making is being implemented.

- Dustin A. Holfinger