Whitlock Participates in White House Meeting Related to College Affordability

President Whitlock photo

­Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock was among approximately 25 presidents and chancellors from state higher education institutions nationwide to meet at the White House with Obama Administration officials recently for a 90-minute roundtable discussion on college affordability.

Whitlock was part of a delegation from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities – he is a member of AASCU’s Council of State Representatives. The group met with several key Administration officials, including domestic policy director Cecilia Munoz, Deputy Education Secretary Tony Miller and Office of Public Engagement Director Jon Carson. President Barack Obama, who spent more than an hour with college presidents in a similar meeting in December, was not present.

“It was a great opportunity to engage in a two-way conversation with senior White House and Department of Education officials,” Whitlock said. “The discussion centered around affordability and innovative ideas aimed at reducing college costs. They were interested in in our success in reducing the need for math remediation though our math transitions program that has now reached more than 40 school systems in Kentucky.

“I was pleased to see an understanding of the effect reduced state support per student has had on tuition increases and the Federal commitment to the Pell Grant Program,” Whitlock added. “A high degree of interest exists in Washington for improvement in teacher education programs, something to which we are dedicated at EKU.  There also was a concern noted for the increasing amount of Federal aid and high attrition rates in the for-profit sector. It was an opportunity for us to have our voice heard along with those of institutions of similar missions.

“We presidents listened and so did the representatives of President Obama's administration.”

Published on March 30, 2012