Thursday, February 26, 2015

Regulatory Report

A report has been released to a U.S. Senate committee that complains about costs of excess federal regulation of higher ed. A task force had been set up by a bipartisan group of senators to study the issue.  The California Institute describes the release of the report in its Feb. 26 online bulletin:

On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee convened for its first hearing regarding higher education. The hearing, entitled "Recalibrating Regulation of Colleges and Universities: A Report from the Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education," outlined recommendations to facilitate revision of inefficient and costly federal rules and regulations faced by institutions of higher education. Witnesses included William E. Kirwan, Chancellor, University of Maryland, Adelphi, MD and Nicholas S. Zeppos, Chancellor, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. The task force consisted of sixteen presidents and chancellors. "Through the task force's work, we have learned that many regulations are well developed, address critically important issues, and provide appropriate means of institutional accountability. On the other hand, we have also discovered that too many regulations are poorly framed, confusing, overly complex, ill-conceived, or poorly executed," testified Mr. Zeppos...


The report itself is at

Note that while there is likely to be agreement with the general concept that excessive regulation is costly, the specifics of regulations may spark some disagreement about what is necessary and what isn't. For example, there is a citation of the regulation below as unnecessary:

Vaccination policies. Institutions must disclose their vaccination policies in order to be eligible for Title IV funding.43 While arguably related to student health, information about an institution’s policy does not make students any safer, and is unlikely to be a consideration for any prospective students or parents when they select a college.  (pages 30 and 57)

That regulation may have seemed burdensome when the report was being put together.  It may be viewed differently in the aftermath of more recent events.

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