The New Federal Task Force On Higher Education


The Trump administration is creating a new task force on higher education, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. It will be headed by outspoken Trump supporter Jerry Falwell, Jr., the current president of the Christian Liberty University, a school founded by his father and known for its teaching of “young earth creationism” in biology courses.

The Chronicle reports that the “scope, size, and mission of the task force has yet to be formally announced,” adding that

Mr. Falwell said he sees it as a response to what he called “overreaching regulation” and micromanagement by the department in areas like accreditation and policies that affect colleges’ student-recruiting behavior, like the new “borrower defense to repayment” regulations. “The goal is to pare it back and give colleges and their accrediting agencies more leeway in governing their affairs.”

Liberty University’s accrediting organization is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Its accreditation was last reaffirmed in 2016 for a ten-year period. Many Christian colleges lack accreditation, though (here is a list of unaccredited institutions of higher education). You can read a little more about Falwell here, including his support for concealed weapons on college campuses.

Donald Trump, infamously, recently agreed to pay $25 million to settle several lawsuits alleging he defrauded stridents with his “Trump University.”

Though it is unknown who else will populate the task force or what other issues it will take up, it might behoove us to consider what issues we would want such a task force to address. I imagine that the American Philosophical Association (APA) would want to have a document in place with various possible agenda priorities for the task force, should the opportunity arise for input (invited or not).

(from left) Jerry Falwell Jr., Donald Trump, Becki Falwell, Playboy Magazine

 

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