tv Representative Virginia Foxx Delivers Remarks on College Accreditation CSPAN January 31, 2017 7:37am-8:22am EST
aunt, and uncle and four young cousins that she had never met. had we as a country done the right thing and welcomed these refugees fleeing the nazis, millions could have joined their family members in the safety and we could have been proud of our country instead of ashamed -- >> you can find the rest of the speech online at c-span.org. we leave it now to take you to the council for higher education accreditation where north carolina representative bridget newpox is speaking about education policy. >> for setting the stage and indicating what it is you are
all about in terms of postsecondary education. i am delighted to be with you today. i have been with you on other occasions but i want to thank you and all the members of chia for what you do on behalf of students, families and institutions across this country and by extension for what you do for our country. you are here representing a wide varieties of schools, organizations and associations but you share a common goal of working hard to strengthen america's higher education system. as chairwoman of the house committee, a chart of education policy is something you and i have in common.
there is one more thing you have in common, and understanding of how difficult strengthening higher education can be. that is something i learned in congress, as many of you know, my career has been spent as an educator and administrator in north carolina. those experiences gave me a unique understanding of how the higher education system works. they also provided perspective that helps me understand the challenges you face and the work that you do. i have a grandson who is a sophomore in college so i am staying in touch with what is going on in a very direct way. so my experiences as a student, faculty member, mother, grandmother gives me the experience that i need. college wasn't always in the cards for me as some of you
know. i was studious and motivated but came from an extraordinarily poor family, wasn't in the plan. someone, more than once, someone -- i eventually decided to pursue that, that decision with years of hard work in and out of the classroom changed my life, opened doors, to those who helped me achieve more than anyone around me that i could have conceived of when i was growing up and countless other people have had the same experience in our country. that is the power of higher education and the reason you do what you do. that is the reason to strengthen
higher education, institutions and taxpayers. there is a lot of work to be done but we have a lot of opportunity to advance reforms that are bold, responsible and meaningful. you can't talk about reforming our education without discussing reauthorization of the higher education act. as most of you know, reauthorization is long overdue but i can assure you it is one of our top priorities. with the new administration and new committee members, it is too early to know what reauthorization will look like. you have a strong foundation for reform in place, one that was developed after years of hearings, roundtables, meetings and legislative actions. that foundation is a set of principles that will guide the
work ahead. the first principle is empowering 10 families to make informed decisions was choosing a college or university is an important decision that will have a lasting impact on students lives. that is why it is so important they have the information they need to have the right school. unfortunately that information has been all but impossible to come by. the information that is available is misleading or simply inaccurate. it rarely reflects the reality of today's college campuses. students and families access the best information, easy to understand, streamlining that information will enable them to make smart, more informed decisions about their education. the second principle is
simplifying and improving student a. today federal student aid has become too complex. there are six types of federal student loans, tween 9 repayment plans five of which are income driven, eight forgiveness programs and 32 deferment and forbearance options. and students are often left confused about their options and struggle to understand the responsibilities for paying for their education. many of them don't know where to begin. we are ready to eliminate the confusion streamlining federal-aid in the one grant program and work-study program. and make it more efficient and more responsive to the needs of
students. it is a clearer picture of the assistance they are eligible to receive. it will ensure taxpayer dollars are supporting those students who need help the most and make sure we can responsibly serve them for years to come and work to promote innovation and completion. the cost of college in our country was a significant part of the debate during the election last year but it remains an important part of the public conversation today. college costs have risen significantly in the last decade. since 2005, average tuition and fees increased by 40% in four your public institutions, 25%,
four your private nonprofit statistics. what do we have to show for that? have graduation rates gone up, our students better prepared. what we get when these costs go up? there are a number of factors contributing to the trend in college costs but over the years the federal government made the problem worse, tying institutions and states up in red tape has made it harder for students to pursue their education quickly and affordably and it has gotten in the way of innovation that would make it easier to pursue and earn a college degree. many institutions worked to create new ways to help students receive an education.
innovative approaches like online learning. these and other creative solutions can help student earn relevant degrees. help them graduate with less debt. they can help meet the unique needs of students and encourage students to complete their education but none of these things are possible if the federal government is acting as a roadblock. institutions need more flexibility to adapt. it is an excellent example of why that is so important. a long time ago. when i was in college i participated in a distance education program for a semester. it was wonderful to get knowledge from a learned professor in my living room. i thought the trend would catch
on as it was such a good thing to do but it took years for the concept to spread but it has recently become more commonplace. distance education has changed significantly since my first experience but it's definition in the books looks more like a program i participated in than the innovative options available to students today. the world is changing, time for our policies to do the same. innovation is the key to giving families more affordable choices in higher education especially at a time contemporary students represent the majority of individuals on college campuses so let's get out of the way and let schools innovate. by the way, you may not have heard the term contemporary student. when we were holding a lot of
hearings, people kept talking about traditional student, with the traditional student who graduates from high school and goes straight into a four your institution of 20% of the student population. can we come up with a modern word? they suggested contemporary, thought that was pretty good but at the same time we need to advance policies that will help more americans pursue higher education in the first place. and parents make informed decisions as i said earlier, is one way to do it. another is to better evaluate federal programs to ensure they were effective in providing students the academic support they need. we encourage students to complete their education. many students who step on college campus walk away before
they are disagree. students who start in college in the fall of 2010, 55% earned a degree or certificate by 2016. higher education is an investment and the best way to earn a return on that investment is to complete the degree. the final principle is providing strong accountability and a limited federal role in higher education. as you know, institutions are subject to a great deal of federal reporting requirements and regulations, and on institutions. protecting hard-working taxpayers has always been one of the top concerns and remains one today. we should be mindful that federal rules and requirements have administrative costs is the
reason study at vanderbilt university colleges and universities spend $27 billion a year to comply with federal regulations. let me repeat that, $27 billion every year on compliance costs. equates to roughly $11,000 per year for each of the university students. that is simply astonishing. important to note because those costs are usually passed on to students in the form of higher fees and tuition. i say that not to point a finger at institutions but to illustrate the real world consequences of the current system. we need to provide relief by repealing unnecessary reporting requirements and addressing many of the harmful and misguided
regulations imposed by the former administration. strong, common sense accountability, it means continuing current accreditation system, refocusing attention to quality and results. accrediting agencies, you face a monumental task and a critical one. unfortunately in recent years you have been forced to shift your focus to compliance rather than promoting academic integrity. you spend more time looking over your shoulder rather than looking to the future of higher education. no doubt this uncertain environment has made it more difficult to meet your mission and more difficult for institutions to innovate and meet the needs of today's students. it has never been and never
should be the federal government's role to judge the quality of a school's education programs. in trusting independent bodies like you, not congress or the department of education, with that responsibility to protect academic freedom and student choices. this framework preserves a critical balance between flexibility for institutions and accountability for students and taxpayers, that framework must be maintained but make no mistake there is room for improvement, a lot of room, we both have jobs to do if we are going to get this right. it will be our job to refocus federal accreditation requirements on academic quality and student learning. we work to ensure the law is clear federal guidelines are
easy to follow and no administration, republican or democrat, changes the law through unilateral decree or enforcement overreach. these are things congress can do to improve the accreditation process, you have a job to do as well. it is a commitment to high-quality and improve student outcomes. some are already doing this and others are slowly stepping up as well. we need you as an industry to do better because people rely on you. which schools participate in federal student aid grams, and we need to know those hard earned dollars are going to institution serving students as
well? more importantly students rely on accreditors, they rely on you to hold schools accountable for the quality of education they provide. isn't that what accreditation is all about? students look for you to ensure schools are producing resulted it is important they have an honest and accurate assessment of those results. your stamp of approval means something, or it should mean something. it is not congress's responsibility or place to tell you what makes a high-quality education or what outcomes you need to look at. that is something you need to determine on your own, you need to do it. there is an openness to innovation and opportunities you can create in higher education but as i explained already, we do everything we can to roll back restraining regulations and
ensure the secretary of education doesn't have the power to recklessly second-guess the just decisions you have to make or for that matter any number of congress. it is up to you to take the flexibility we are working to provide and do something meaningful with it. many of you have already made a commitment to do that, there's much more that needs to be done. share that message. be an example, you will raise the bar across your industry. you will send a signal that you are prepared and willing to keep up with the innovation that is happening in higher education. finally we need you to come to us with your ideas and suggestions for how we can help you improve in these critical areas. what do you need from us. working together we can balance
those perspectives and ensure the law reflects solutions that will be mutually beneficial solutions that will hold us accountable to each other, most important me solutions that will enable and ensure we are both serving the best interest of students and families. all these things, the areas in need of improvement in the principles i outlined today are essential for the work ahead. we don't have a timeline for the reauthorization but please rest assured we are already working hard to get it done. hda reauthorization is a top priority, it is not our only higher education priority. those who know me, know that i'm a strong believer in accountability and the importance of congressional oversight. every member of the educational workforce committee not only has constitutional authority to conduct oversight but we have a
responsibility on behalf of the american people to conduct oversight of the department's agency and bureaucracy under our jurisdiction. i take that responsibility very seriously and for the past eight years it has been more important than ever, given the obama education department's flawed approach to higher education we had no choice. under the former administration we saw proposal after proposal that would drive up costs, restrict access to higher education and cost taxpayers billions of dollars, not to mention coordinated attack on career colleges and universities that hurts low income and minority students the most. that is why we remain vigilant in oversight efforts, and spoke out against bad policy, was
accountability american people deserve. to demand from the department and the white house. fortunately we have already seen indications that new leadership is bringing about a new, more responsible regulatory approach. a little more than a week ago after the inauguration, the trump white house acted to delay a number of previous administration's misguided rules. it was a promising sign of what we hope will be a brighter future at the department of education. we should all have full confidence it will be. let me repeat myself. even with a new administration our commitment to accountability remains unchanged. when it comes to higher education in all areas under our jurisdiction, we will continue to conduct robust oversight to hold the executive branch accountable for how it spends
taxpayer dollars and how it administers the law. ensuring the federal government is efficient, effective and accountable remains a priority. enclosing let me thank you again for all you have done to support our efforts and all you have done on behalf of students, parents, administrators and institutions across the country. please rest assured that you and your organization will continue to be a critical part of our efforts to include higher education, we want your ideas and concerns and insights to help inform and shape the work ahead. speak out and continue to make your voices heard both here in washington and at home. policymakers need to hear from you and you should know your voices are not falling on deaf ears was never underestimate the power you have to make a difference. these are exciting times. thanks to the innovation taking place on campuses across the
country students have a host of new opportunities to pursue a college education. schools are finding creative ways to accommodate the unique needs and circumstances of their students. turning the idea of a, quote, traditional student on its head. we now have a chance to encourage that innovation, strengthen the system and help more men and women achieve the dream of higher education. a new congress and a new administration mark a new beginning for america, one that is full of opportunities. time to roll up our sleeves and sees them. it is an honor to work alongside all of you. thank you very much and i look forward to working with you in the future. [applause]
>> any easy questions? okay? i think there is a microphone somewhere. the lights make it hard to see up here. >> i'm from the american university in cairo, i listened to your presentation, very delighted you are here. pleased to hear your academic integrity, that is something that i have seen in more than one session. can you clarify the kind of decisions that were perhaps not ongoing to be opportunistic in the future?
also domestic in a way but i want to know more about what you see in the pipeline? >> when you repeat your question. >> decisions made by the administration? >> and the ones that make you more optimistic in the future. >> >> i realize you coming from the american university, the best examples arrest examples or however you want to look at it, the ministration defining what the credit hour is. ..
i don't know what my first bill is going to be. i'm going to wait until he gets a great idea from a constituent and sure enough about three weeks after i got elected i got a great idea from a constituent. it became the first bill i got past and it was signed by president bush in the oval office. it turned out to be a really good idea. but i think the ideas are going to, from the grassroots about the kinds of things that need to be being done, the changes that need to be done in higher education. they often say that changing a program in a university is like trying to turn a battleship, it's very difficult to do. but there's a lot of innovation going on all over the country in terms of delivering programs to students. and what i count on is for the
people involved in higher education and the people not involved in higher education but you might want to be involved, possibly students to come up with ideas for us to look at. i've often said it's the most exciting time to be involved in higher education because all of the options that are out there. and because people are being very creative in terms of how they're making suggestions to give credit to people for life experiences, which has existed for a long, long time. when i was an assistant dean i dealt with at a long time ago. but there are more and more ways that we can honor students,, honor their knowledge, honor their learning and also create ways for people to learn and gain the skills that they need. so i will look for some
suggestions to come from lots of other people. >> i'm with inside higher ed. yesterday you put out a statement of the president executive order on emigration saying that came with a little clarity and it created much uncertainty for foreign travelers. many in higher education say they share concerns because they're able for congress in doing something about this? is there any legislation you would consider in your committee? >> i'm not aware of any legislation that we might consider in our committee. my understanding is that executive, the executive order that the president put out is completely legal and authorized. and so i don't know of anything that the congress might do in response to it.
i haven't heard any discussion. >> but would you support the administration doing something to change what they put out so far? >> i haven't heard anything about the administration wanted to change anything from what it's done. >> okay, thank you. >> thank you again for being here. i'm nancy from san diego state university, and the question is an easy one, only that you have heard it so many times before. talking about college costs, for those of us at public research universities, of course it's more of the state support that influence the increase in college costs because the state support is dramatically decreased. our total budget is in the teams in terms of state support. it's been made up in terms of tuition increases. do you see the role between the federal and the state situation in that very critical and for students changing at all?
>> no. there isn't any more money at the federal level. i just don't see how schools can look for any more money coming from the federal government, from taxpayer dollars. what i suggest, and i am amazed actually that legislators are not acting more quickly on this. but it's not rocket science that we need to look to come to bring down the cost of higher education, in my opinion. i think there are some rather simple things for individuals to be able to do, and for colleges and universities to do. i'm a huge believer in early college programs. i think students need to be encouraged to take more courses while they are in high school.
i think the universities ought to be encouraging that. i think there ought to be more encouragement of students going to community colleges and taking courses before the transfer into universities. i just think there are lots of ways to do it, and i suspect legislators are going to wake up one of these days and say, you know, we are tired of paying for the same education over and over again. students who are planning to go to college, many times in their junior and senior years, are taking courses that they didn't repeat in the freshman and sophomore years in college. and i think legislators are going to begin to say we are paying for this education twice. why are we doing that? it's a lot less expensive to do it at home through community colleges in the high schools. so i think the can go down. i think universities need to look at how much money they're
spending on administrative costs. and if they can tie some of those administrative costs directly to unnecessary rules and regulations, then you need to show us that and do similar things to what vanderbilt has done and say, all right, you have x number of duplicate the regulations here, and i've seen the stacks that the college presidents have brought into all hearings and they will say these are our compliance reports, and they are about this high. so tell us what's duplicate it and shows what does it need to be done. and then help us reduce those. molly broad just sent me a big book to read on regulations that need to be done away with. i suspect that something we're going to do. i wanted to actually that into my comments today to you all to say it would be helpful if chea
were to look at the report. i'm sure you know about it, and say look, these regulations don't need to be done. they are driving up the cost of education. they are taking people away from their core mission and saying, you know, why do we have these? and let's look, we can reduce cost. my suggestion to anybody looking for more money from the federal government is, it ain't there. figure out ways to reduce cost. that's what most people do when they run up in their own family budgets and they run up against a situation where their paycheck doesn't match all their expenses. they say, well, what can i do without? and i think that's what everybody is getting money from the federal government, and i suspect from the state government and from local government, is going to have to start looking at. what can i do without? and if it's somebody else
causing you to have that expense, then negotiate with that person why you have that expense and what can be done to eliminate it. but i would look internally first and say what is that we are doing? because i think more and more students and parents are going to start looking at that and saying, do i really want to go there because they have this fantastic climbing wall? >> good morning. i'm with the council on national medical education. first i like to say that i deeply appreciate your commitment to academic freedom. i think independent higher education sector within our society is absolutely essential to a working democracy, and it's a functional civil society. there have been a number of
cases of financial improprieties about student aid associated with the for-profit higher education sector. and while states and nonprofit higher education institutions are not immune to financial improprieties, at least from my reading of the various periodicals and reports and so forth, it seems like perhaps the for-profit sector may be overrepresented in terms of the issue. while i appreciate your candor about having necessary regulation but not overregulation, i'm curious to hear from you whether you think the for-profit higher education sector might need to be regulated differently from the nonprofit sector? >> let me say, i have absolutely no tolerance for people who break the rules and abuse the privileges that they are given in terms of having hard-working
taxpayer dollars to spend. so i don't care who it is. if you misuse the publics money, i don't have any patience. i would say that the rules ought to be the same for everybody. >> thank you. >> i'm a reporter at buzzfeed. i'm wondering, can you -- >> with whom? >> buzzfeed. can you -- >> is that -- >> it's a news organization, yes. can you talk about -- are the barber defense regulations among those who think the administration, do you think there should be eliminated and can you talk about why or why not?
>> we have not gotten into the details of which ones of the regulations we are going to be changing, so stay tuned. >> on and a creditor. my question relates to the role of science in decision-making. and what using the help to meet his rule will be moving forward in terms of protecting the role of science and peer review and federal decision-making and decisions that are made on the hill as well, and also the support for science and peer review at universities. how would the help committee maintain connections universities and the knowledge that is coming out of them in these areas with the decision-making that will happen moving forward?
thanks. >> you know, i consider myself a social scientist, but also worked in medical science research over the years peer and so i have a healthy respect for the role of science in our culture. i'm not sure how to apply your question to what we might be doing. it seems to me that that is more a role for the accreditors to make that decision, as to what you think the role of science is in the institutions and the decision-making that is done there. i'm not sure that we're going to get into subject matter issues on the committee. >> good morning. thank you very much. i'm going to be moderating the panel at lunchtime with student
leaders about what students want and need and think about accreditation. i wonder if i can just ask you to return to your opening point about additional information that could be helpful to students and families as they make their decisions. what do you think remains to be done in that area, and how do you see the committee contributing to that effort to help improve information for students and families? >> well, i think students need to know the exact cost of going to a college or university. they need to know what the tuition is, what that these are. they need to know the total cost. they need to know what the graduation rates are. after four years, after six years, they need to know things like what percentage of the students get jobs in their fields. it's very difficult to get information on how much money people are making in their
positions, particularly right after college and how that relates. but to whatever extent we can do that i think we ought to be doing that. i think as much information as we possibly can get without it causing another burden on the colleges and universities, representing that information in a way that's easy to access by the student. we called it a dashboard, a college dashboard. and giving that information out to the students, what, how, what's the ease of transferring into the college or university? where are -- these wouldn't be on the dashboard but these are more the kinds of things that i think students should have pics of those are the sort of very basic kinds of things that the students need to know. >> well, thank you all very much. have a wonderful day.
i hope it's very productive. [applause] congresswoman foxx, thank you for being here. we heard your challenge with regard to accountability with regard to innovation speed will break away at this point and that wraps up virginia foxx remarks in our education. if you missed any of this program it will be available shortly online at c-span.org. we have more life programming coming in about 105 minutes. when the senate education committee will vote on betsy devos nomination to be the next education secretary. that is scheduled to start at 10 am eastern and you can watch it here on c-span2. the sin is in session today. lawmakers will gavel in at noon eastern and vote on elaine chao as transportation secretary about 2 20 minutes later. following weekly party caucuses
lunges, the senate will continue debate on rex tillerson as the next secretary of state. you can watch in the senate live as always right here on c-span2. tonight president trump will unveil his choice to be the next supreme court justice. that is expected tonight at eight p.m. eastern and you can watch that live at 8 p.m. eastern also here on c-span2. the washington -- >> in case you missed it, here are a few programs c-span viewers saw last week. >> i will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which i am about to enter. so help me god. >> congratulations. >> thank you. >> send it a is questioning secr of health and human services congressman tom price. >> you bought over 400,000
shares at discounts that were as much as 40% cheaper than the price on the australian stock exchange, and you were sitting at the time on committees that have jurisdiction over major healthcare programs and trade policies. yes or no, doesn't that show bad judgment? >> british lawmakers discussing their prime ministers visit to washington. >> in her forthcoming meeting with president trump, she will be prepared to offer up our sacrifice the opportunity of american companies to come in and take over parts of our nhs or our public services spirit president trump visit to the department of homeland security speed the second of homeland security working with myself and my staff will begin immediate construction of a border wall.
i. >> house democratic leader nancy pelosi reacting to president trump's claim of voter fraud. >> all we want is the truth for the american people. i frankly feel very sad about the president making this claim. i felt sorry for them. i even prayed for him but then i prayed for the united states of america. >> liz cheney addressing enhanced interrogation. >> i do support enhanced interrogation. i think that it's something the court has helped us in the past to prevent attacks and save lives, and so i was glad to see president trump take that step. >> to watch any time to do c-span.org. >> the washington institute hosted a discussion with an israeli cabine cabinet ministera former israeli ambassador on the future of use israel relations. from yesterday, this runs just over 90 minutes.