Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review – Executive Order: Part 1

 

 

This past week, President Obama issued the executive order – Improving Regulation and Regulatory Overview.  The actions by President Obama are a very positive sign, especially in light of the newly introduced regulations of the Department of Education this past year.  Those regulations in the areas of “new programs” and “gainful employment” have the potential to be very costly to higher education, and many of us have believed that they did not strike the right balance between protecting consumers of education with assuring consumers access to education.  President Obama had called for an approach that would “strike the right balance” in his Wall Street Journal op-ed, explaining the rationale for his action

The Department of Education’s gainful employment rule and its approval process for new programs have the potential to impact negatively both higher education and the broader economic recovery.  They can do so by slowing the growth of new programs with a “chilling effect” on new programs that comes from the additional, imposed processes associated with adding new programs.  They can also slow growth in higher education by imposing additional risk to the potential yield from new educational programs due to threats from the gainful employment rule.  Their impact may well limit innovation and growth in new jobs in this very large sector of our economy.

But perhaps the more significant potential impact of regulations like the ones the Department of Education chose to implement is on the slowed growth in human capital that comes from limiting job-related training and education for industry sectors where the value of human capital is increasingly critical.  U. S. productivity matters, and one way we increase our productivity is through education that improves the quality of our labor supply.

I applaud the direction that President Obama has announced, and I look forward to its effect throughout government, including the Department of Education.

Be sure to check back on Monday, as I will post Part 2 of this blog on an exciting new issue that I hope to blog about more in the future.

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White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

On Tuesday, President Obama announced the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.  In attendance were some of my fellow board members from the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) – Mark Ponce and Charlie Garcia – along with the CEO, Manuel Gonzalez.

In order to achieve the President’s national goals for college graduation, it will be essential that we improve the education pipeline for Hispanic students, including a focus on readiness for college.  Too many Hispanic students do not complete high school with the mathematics, science and English classes that they will need for college readiness.  Too many postpone college because they need to earn an income, or their family doesn’t see the value of higher education.  Too many of those who do attend will choose a local community college without ever achieving an associate’s degree or without ever transferring to an institution with a four-year degree.

There are many reasons to support President Obama’s Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.  We cannot exist as a republic without informed citizen participation, and that requires education, including higher education.  We cannot expect to have a quality labor force for global competition without educating the fastest growing segment of that labor force.  And we cannot expect to have equity of opportunity when one group of our citizens disproportionately is not so well educated.

I applaud the President for his Initiative, and I applaud the diverse set of schools – both traditional and for-profit – that have made it part of their mission to assure that Hispanics have educational opportunity.