Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coming Attractions: Assessment and Loans

By Richard Vedder

Tomorrow, Monday, May 18, CCAP will join with the American Enterprise Institute, with which I maintan an affiliation, in having a conference on assessing colleges. It is free, begins at 9 a.m. at the AEI Conference Center, 1150 17th St. N.W., 12th floor.

Speakers, besides Luke Myers and yours truly from CCAP, will include Carol Geary Schneider, president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities, Pat Callan from the National Institute of Public Policy and Higher Education, Cliff Adelman, Institute of Higher Education Policy and a top higher education researcher and innovater, Steve Goodman, private college counselor extraordinare and book author, Jim Boyle, prez of College Parents of America, and last, and certainly not least, both Mel Elfin and Bob Morse from US News & World Report. The moderators are interesting too --- Doug Lederman from INSIDE HIGHER ED, Bob Glidden, Prez Emeritus of Ohio University and a founding father of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and Michael Noer, the Executive Editor of, that sponsors rankings on colleges that CCAP does. It should be a lively discourse on assessing American colleges and universities, asking questions like: Are college rankings harmful or helpful? Are there other (non-ranking) modes of assessment that are valid? Be our guests and join us at the conference. It concludes at 12;30 p.m.


As readers know, I have been critical of the Obama Administration's higher education policies. On Thursday, I will be voicing those concerns more visibly, testifying before the House Education and Labor Committee at 10:00 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building. I suspect the hearing will be covered by CSPAN, but who knows. I will be the skunk at the federal student financial assistance lovefest, opposing the socialization of student loans, making Pell Grants an entitlement, etc. I haven't decided whether to be deferential and polite or really vent, endangering future invitations to testify, which may well be a good thing. Some of the other witnesses I respect, especially Charlie Reed, chancellor of the Cal State University system, the nation's largest. Should be an interesting discussion on the student loan issue.

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