December 3, 2011

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Obama Invites College Leaders to Closed-Door Meeting on Affordability.

The White House and the Education Department did not respond to questions about the meeting, which was first reported on Friday by Inside Higher Ed, an online news source.

But an official of a higher-education association, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the presidents and other leaders in attendence will include F. King Alexander, president of California State University at Long Beach; Francisco G. Cigarroa, chancellor of the University of Texas system; Jared L. Cohon, president of Carnegie Mellon University; William (Brit) Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland; Holden Thorp, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Nancy L. Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York. The names of other invitees could not be learned late Friday.

The discussion will be a candid conversation about how higher education can remove barriers “to college access, affordability, and success for students,” according to a letter of invitation, from the White House to the higher-education leaders, that was obtained by The Chronicle.

The letter says the Obama administration wants to discuss ways to bring down “overall campus costs” and to make other innovations so college is more affordable for students.

More here:

President Obama has invited the presidents or chancellors of 10 colleges or state university systems to a meeting at the White House on Monday to discuss affordability and productivity in higher education. The move is highly unusual: While administration events often feature college leaders in various roles, a meeting called on such short notice, with the president himself in attendance, is rare.

Hey, maybe someone over there has been reading my stuff.

It would be smart if they invited Andy Rosen, too, but he’s from the hated for-profit sector and this — if cynicism offers a correct guide — is more about shoring up a key source of Democratic support before November of 2012.

But maybe, for once, the cynics are wrong. Anyway, for those journalists and pundits who are interested in the substance of the matter, just go here and keep scrolling.

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