U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, has committed to finishing a rewrite of the Higher Education Act by the end of 2015, vocalizing strong support of a plan backed by colleges and universities that would reduce the burden of federal regulation on higher education.
At a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Vanderbilt University President Nicholas Zeppos said that complying with current federal rules and regulations cost his university nearly $150 million each year, or 11 percent of the university’s total non-hospital expenditures.
That figure comes from a new report illustrating the “jungle of red tape” American colleges and universities operate within. The study was commissioned by Sen. Alexander along with Sens. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) and reinforces Sen. Alexander’s optimism that there will be a bipartisan effort to shape the act’s reauthorization to benefit both higher education and the taxpayer by providing appropriate, but not excessive, oversight.
Legislators plan to use the report as a “blueprint” to the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
“I have talked with Secretary Duncan more than once about this effort, and he is eager to do his part to solve the problem. I look forward to working with him and with the President on eliminating unnecessary red tape, saving students money, and removing unnecessary regulatory obstacles to innovation in the best system of higher education in the world,” Alexander stated.Tags: Higher Education Act, Reauthorization, regulatory reform