AACRAO Board advocates on Capitol Hill

On September 14, 2017, nine members of AACRAO’s Board of Directors*, along with AACRAO staff**, divided into five separate groups and visited a total of 15 congressional offices over the course of a day.

 

“Our AACRAO national office did a fantastic job organizing the visits with numerous House and Senate members who hold positions on congressional education committees,” said AACRAO President Jim Bouse. “The changing landscape and evolving policies that higher education and our students face requires our continuous involvement and advocacy to educate and serve as resources to our legislators in this arena.”

 

The AACRAO team met with members of Congress who sit on either the House or Senate Education Committees.  Each Congressperson was chosen because they represented a state in which a board member’s institution was situated, thereby asserting the relevance of AACRAO members’ interest in the issues from both state and national levels. (Read the Executive Director Mike Reilly’s summary.)

 

AACRAO discussed issues related to updates to FERPA and rescission of the 2012 Obama regulations, and also garnered support for the Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act of 2017 (H.R. 3774), which was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this month. This bill aims to ease the pathway to college completion and comes with the support of many higher education systems as well as national and regional associations. In each conversation, AACRAO representatives positioned AACRAO as a resource for information about relevant legislation.

 

“This is part of AACRAO’s strategic goal of engaging more policy decision makers and ensuring that they are aware of members’ issues,” said AACRAO Government Relations Director William Gil. “As they get to know more about these issues, they will make us part of the conversation and look to us as a resource when making decisions about higher education legislation.”

Overall, AACRAO met with the following offices:

  • U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)

  • U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

  • U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN)

  • U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS)

  • U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)

  • U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

  • U.S. Representative Jared Polis (D-CO)

  • U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

  • U.S. Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA)

  • U.S. Representative Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)

  • U.S. Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

  • U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL)

  • U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)

  • U.S. Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY)

  • U.S. Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)

“All of the offices were welcoming, especially because the Board members were constituents from their states,” Gil said.”AACRAO plans to do similar outreach and advocacy in the future. “We want to build off this initial success,” Gil said, “and increase our footprint on Capitol Hill and agencies around Washington, D.C.”

 

Attendees included:

* Meredith Braz, Lara Medley, Jack Miner, Mark McConahay, Paul Kyle, Scott Dittman, Tina Falkner, Tiffany Robinson, Jim Bouse
** Matt Medeiros, Michelle Mott, Quintina Barnett Gallion, William Gill and Mike Reilly