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Government & Politics

President Kerwin Joins U.S. Senate Higher Education Task Force

By Maggie Barrett

Dr. Kerwin will join the Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education.

Dr. Kerwin will join the Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education. The group will examine the burden of federal regulation on higher education institutions.

American University President Cornelius M. Kerwin is one of 14 higher education leaders from across the nation named to a newly-formed U.S. Senate task force that will examine the burden of federal regulations and reporting requirements on colleges and universities in the United States.

The Task Force on Government Regulation of Higher Education, announced recently by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, comes at a time when fingers are pointing at government red tape as one of the causes of soaring higher education costs.  

In addition to his expertise and knowledge about higher education, Kerwin brings to the table something that makes him an especially valuable member of the task force—his nationally recognized scholarly expertise on government regulation and the regulatory process.  

“Regulation produces an immense amount of good for our society,” said Kerwin. “The task force faces a fundamental question. Can we determine if there is counterproductive duplication, error, obsolescence and undue burden that can be safely removed through the outright elimination or careful reform of existing rules? And, if so, can we provide recommendation for change and offer some guiding principles for future regulatory efforts? In higher education resides the hope for the nation's future, so I am honored to be part of this important work.”

Kerwin founded AU's Center for the Study of Rulemaking and is the author of Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy and is coauthor of How Washington Works: The Executive's Guide to Government.

Congress is working on renewing the Higher Education Act, the law that outlines the government’s student-aid programs as well as federal funding for colleges and universities. The task force will make recommendations to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee as hearings about the act’s renewal continue.  

The task force will provide specific recommendations to streamline burdensome and confusing regulations, legislation, and reporting requirements; review in detail the extent of all federal reporting and regulatory requirements placed on institutions, including estimates of time and costs associated with that reporting; and make recommendations for reform to ensure that before passing new regulations, lawmakers appropriately consider existing laws and accurately examine the costs and benefits of the new regulations to taxpayers, higher education institutions, and students.

Kerwin is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration; a former president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration; and founding chair of the Section on Public Law and Administration of the American Society for Public Administration.

He is also a member of the board of directors of the American Council on Education (ACE), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. Kerwin is the chair (academic year 2013-2014) of the Board of Trustees of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area and chair of the Patriot League Council of Presidents.

He was named a 2009 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine in its January 2010 issue. Kerwin was also named to the inaugural Irish Education 100 List, compiled by the Irish Voice and comprised of the 100 most influential Irish educators at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada.