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November 5, 2014

In the News: Election 2014 and Higher Education

With Republicans now in control of Congress, what can we expect in terms of higher education policy?

Both The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed ran full pieces on yesterday's midterm elections. While we recommend checking out both articles (linked above), read on for a summary of the most high-impact results:

GOP Majority & Federal Policy

  • The Obama administration's agenda will likely be complicated under Republican majority. Inside Higher Ed predicts major roadblocks to the administration's efforts toward a college ratings system that ties student aid to colleges' performance, and tighter regulation of for-profit institutions. 
  • Lamar Alexander (R-TN) will now lead the Senate education committee. We can expect Alexander—a staunch proponent for deregulating higher education—to both challenge President Obama's policy initiatives and propose the removal of federal requirements. 
Gubernatorial Races 
  • Governor Rick Scott (R-FL) and Scott Walker (R-WI) both won reelections despite significant backlash against their budget-cutting policies for higher education. 
Research Funding
  • Despite Republican interest in budget cuts, we can still expect strong advocates for research funding from Congress. Republican Senators Richard Shelby (AL), Jerry Moran (KS), and John Thune (SD) are slated to lead the appropriations and science committees—all of whom have strong backgrounds in supporting NSF, NIH, and NASA funding. 
The ND Referendum
Be sure to check out the full articles for more information. Use the comment box below to share your thoughts on higher education policy!