The University of North Carolina is a leader in higher education, and individuals from across the system are regularly asked by Congress to testify on issues of national importance.
"Examining Access and Supports for Servicemembers and Veterans in Higher Education"
On May 22, 2014, Kimrey Rhinehardt, the UNC system Vice President for Federal Relations, testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions at a hearing entitled Examining Access and Supports for Service members and Veterans in Higher Education. Rhinehardt discussed UNC system progress and best practices in serving our growing student veteran population.
"Defining and Improving Success for Student Veterans"
On May 8, 2014, UNC system President Tom Ross testified before the U.S. House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. At a hearing entitled Defining and Improving Success for Student Veterans, Ross emphasized the University's strong and long-standing commitment to student veterans. Testifying on behalf of the American Council on Education (ACE), President Ross offered specific steps the nation’s colleges and universities are taking to improve the academic and personal success of student veterans.
President Ross drew attention to the University's strong support for providing in-state tuition for veterans and their families. He discussed the University's aggressive advocacy with the North Carolina General Assembly to enact legislation to enable in-state tuition for veterans and their families. Further, he highlighted the University's new policy to classify incoming student veterans as transfer students.
"Strengthening Minority Serving Institutions: Best Practices and Innovations for Student Success"
On May 13, 2014, Dr. Jason DeSousa, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Retention at Fayetteville State University, was called by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee to provide testimony on how the United States can better support minority serving institutions. Dr. DeSousa stressed the importance of broadening horizons and possibilities, and also the need to provide academic and personal support. Among FSU's programs mentioned was the Bronco MILE (Male Initiative on Leadership and Excellence), a program that increases retention and degree completion rates by fostering a culture of excellence on campus.
"Examining Recent Actions by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs"
Tom Shanahan, Vice President and General Counsel of the UNC system, testified in front of the House Education and Workforce Committee on December 4, 2013. During the hearing, which focused on regulations instituted by the OFCCP, Shanahan commented on the rising regulatory and compliance costs in the higher education sphere.