Homeland Security Tops List of Critical Higher Education Policy Issues

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON

Homeland security and affirmative action are at the top of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges' (AGB) list of 10 public-policy issues that higher education leaders will need to address in the next two years.

Published biennially, "Ten Public Policy Issues for Higher Education in 2003 and 2004" is distributed to AGB-member chief executives and governing board chairs, senior institutional officials, governors and their education aides, state and national officials responsible for setting higher education policy, and all members of Congress.

The list, compiled by national higher education and public policy experts, includes these issues:

homeland security

affirmative action

deteriorating economic and fiscal environment

surging numbers of diverse students

rapid tuition increases

reauthorization of the Higher Education Act

federal tax policy

assessment and accountability

scientific research

intercollegiate athletics

"This is the seventh in AGB's biennial series summarizing federal and state public-policy issues affecting higher education, and it arrives in the midst of what may be the most tumultuous times in our lives for the nation and the academy," says AGB President Richard T. Ingram.

"Budget crunches, war in Iraq, homeland security demands, soaring enrollments -- a near `perfect storm' of challenges -- demand new advocacy efforts from trustees. …