Who's Who at the Spellings Summit

For weeks, mystery has swirled around who will have a seat at the table(s) this week when Margaret Spellings convenes her higher education "summit," which is designed to help set the course for how the Education Department moves forward in carrying out the recommendations of the education secretary's Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

March 20, 2007

For weeks, mystery has swirled around who will have a seat at the table(s) this week when Margaret Spellings convenes her higher education "summit," which is designed to help set the course for how the Education Department moves forward in carrying out the recommendations of the education secretary's Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

Would business leaders dominate? Will Washington's higher education associations -- which have been frozen out of several other recent policy discussions in Washington -- get a golden ticket? Will you need a Texas birth certificate to join in?

The various conspiracy theories were fed in part by the fact that requests to see the list, from participants and interested reporters alike, were turned away in recent weeks. But department officials insisted that the delays had occurred because they were striving to balance and satisfy the hundreds of nominations and suggestions that college groups and others had submitted for the maximum 300 slots, and to make the final group representative not only of higher education itself but of the many other constituents with an interest and stake in it.

The list that department officials provided late Monday is probably unlikely to satisfy everyone (could any such list?), but it's hard at first glance to find any group that would have a serious gripe about being shut out. Sure, there aren't a lot of individual professors (three by this reporter's count, excluding policy experts who focus on higher education), but major faculty unions are represented. It's hard to find a significant sector of higher education not represented (heck, there are even two officials from rabbinical colleges).

And all of higher education's major Washington lobbying groups will have a voice in the discussion -- remarkably enough, even the invitation to David L. Warren of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, who was the Spellings Commission's most vocal and persistent critic throughout the course of its deliberations, did not get lost in the mail.

"We feel that the process we used to create the invitation list was eminently defensible," said Jason Dean, who as a senior counselor to Under Secretary Sara Martinez Tucker played a key role in planning this week's summit. "We tried to reach out to as many communities as we could, and hopefully our registration list is a reflection of that. I can’t tell you how many times we tried to get the invite list right. But I'd be naive to think that everybody's going to be happy."

So who's coming?

Ten of the Spellings Commission’s 19 members will be there (all were invited), including, of course, now Under Secretary Tucker, as well as Charles Miller, the panel's outspoken chairman, and David Ward, who as president of the American Council on Education was the sole member of the commission not to sign its final report.

The federal government is well represented, with 16 Congressional aides joined by 18 officials from various offices in the Education Department, not including those organizing and leading the conference. But befitting the reality that there is much more to be done at the state level than at the federal level, there are many more state officials of various stripes, including one governor, Donald Carcieri of Rhode Island, several state legislators, and numerous heads of state higher education coordinating boards and university systems.

Twelve accreditors will be there, as will 49 college presidents, from a wide range of institutions: public four-years like the University of Massachusetts system and the University of Maryland Baltimore County, community colleges (including Dyersburg State Community College and Portland Community College), historically black institutions such as Grambling State University, and four-year private institutions like Alverno College and Pacific Lutheran University. All 12 presidents who accompanied Spellings on her trip to Asia last fall were invited.

Most of the major players in standardized testing will be there, as will a wide array of higher education researchers and policy wonks. The corporate sector is represented by companies as diverse as Bison Gear and Engineering Corp. and Sungard Higher Education. (A full list of the attendees and their affiliations appears below.)

What will they be doing?

The summit, which will be held Thursday at the Willard Hotel in Washington, (an agenda can be found here ) will be framed around a set of 25 initial recommendations drawn from reports by five "working groups" that department officials formed on specific subjects: aligning K-12 and college curriculums and requirements; increasing need-based student aid; using accreditation to measure student-learning outcomes; serving adults and other nontraditional students; and making information about college costs more transparent and available to the public. (Department officials do not plan to release those reports or the 25 recommendations until Thursday morning, but here is the document produced by the working group on accreditation, to provide a sense of how broadly framed the recommendations are.)

Thursday’s meeting will begin with reports from the five working groups, and then the participants will break into one of five larger groups to refine, add to or subtract from the original lists of recommendations, which Dean called “conversation beginners.” After a luncheon speech by Spellings, the participants will divide up again into five groups with the goal of identifying specific tasks that need to be done to achieve the recommendations, and which players – federal or state government, college officials, foundations, etc. -- should be responsible for them.  

By late afternoon, facilitators from the five groups will present to the entire assemblage on their conclusions, and the day is designed with end with a session aimed at identifying “the nation’s action plan and next steps," as the agenda describes it.

In June, the department plans to hold a series of five regional mini-summits (in Atlanta, Boston, Kansas City, Phoenix and Seattle) that are designed to (1) sustain whatever momentum emerges from Thursday’s meeting, (2) solicit more advice and involvement from people who were unable to attend the Washington meeting, notably students and others for whom travel was impossible, and (3) explore whether and how the issues and problems are playing out differently at a local or regional rather than national level.

Exactly how much say the nearly 300 attendees at Thursday's meeting will have in shaping the department's ideas going forward, and how easy or difficult it will be to reach any sort of consensus in a group that big are two of the questions that will make the day potentially interesting, if messy.

The full list of those planning to attend Thursday's meeting follows:

Lois Adams-Rodgers Council of Chief State School Officers Deputy Executive Director
Susan Aldridge U. of Maryland University College President
King Alexander California State U. at Long Beach President
Frank Alvarez TMC HealthCare President & CEO
Loren Anderson Pacific Lutheran U. President
Arthur Anthonisen Orange County Community College Trustee
Theresa Antworth Fla. Dept. of Education Director, State Scholarships and Grants
James Applegate Ky. Council on Postsecondary Education Vice President for Academic Affairs
Bart Astor National Association of State Student Aid and Grant Programs Director, Washington Office
Wendy Ault MELMAC Education Foundation Executive Director
Guy Bailey U. of Missouri at Kansas City Chancellor
Thomas Bailey Community College Research Center, Columbia U. Teachers College Director
Kristin Bannerman U.S. Dept. of Education Deputy Assistant Secretary of Congressional Affairs
Diane Barrans Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education Executive Director
Sandy Baum The College Board Senior PolicyAnalyst
Julie Bell National Conference of State Legislatures Education Program Director
Roger Benjamin Council for Aid to Education President
Thomas Bennett Parkland College Trustee
Barbara Beno Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges President of ACCJC
Andrew Benton Pepperdine U. President
Julia Benz Ohio State U. Director, Student Financial Aid
Robert Berdahl Assn. of American Universities President
David Bergeron U.S. Dept. of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education Director, Policy and Budget Development Staff
Carrie Besnette Metropolitan State College of Denver Vice President and Foundation Executive Director
Ronald Blumenthal Kaplan Higher Education Senior Vice President
Victor Boschini Jr. Texas Christian U. Chancellor
Karen Bowyer Dyersburg State Community College President
James Boyle College Parents of America President
Kitty Boyle Assn. of Community College Trustees Chair
Kathleen Boyle Dalen Partnership for Regional Education Preparation-KC Associate Director
Adam Briddell U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Staff
Kerri Briggs U.S. Dept. of Education Acting Assistant Secretary, OESE
Barbara Brittingham New England Assn. of Schools & Colleges Director, CIHE
Steven Brooks N.C. State Education Assistance Authority Executive Director
J. Noah Brown Assn. of Community College Trustees President and CEO
Jonathan Brown Assn. of Independent California Colleges and Universities President
Beth Buehlmann Senate HELP Committee Staff
Ronald Bullock Bison Gear & Engineering Corp. Chairman & CEO
Ken Burke St. Petersburg College ACCT Immediate Past-Chair
Patrick Callan National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education President
Rebecca Campoverde Kaplan, Inc. Vice President, Government Relations
Nancy Cantor Syracuse U. Chancellor and President
Donald Carcieri State of Rhode Island Governor
Kevin Carey Education Sector Research and Policy Manager
Max Castillo U. of Houston-Downtown President
Daniel Chambliss Hamilton College Tobin Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Sally Clausen U. of Louisiana System President
David Cleary U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander Staff Director
Michael Cohen Achieve, Inc. President
Ann Coles The Education Resources Institute Sr. Vice President, College Access Programs
George Conant California State U. Legislative Director
Shari F. Crittendon United Negro College Fund VP,General Counsel,Government Affairs & Secretary
Ronald A. Crutcher Wheaton College President
Ding-Jo Currie Coastline Community College President
Stephen Curtis Community College of Philadelphia President
Jason Dalen Civic Council of Greater Kansas City Associate Director
Sharon Darling National Center for Family Literacy President & Founder
Thomas Dawson U.S. Dept. of Education Office of Postsecondary Education Chief of Staff
Philip Day Jr. City College of San Francisco Chancellor
John Dean National College Access Network Chairman
Robert Dickeson U. of Northern Colorado President Emeritus
Kathryn Dodge N.H. Postsecondary Education Commission Executive Director
Lawrence Dotolo Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education President
James Duderstadt U. of Michigan President Emeritus
Mary Ellen Duncan Howard Community College President
Johanna Duncan-Poitier New York State Education Department Senior Deputy Commissioner of Education
Gwendolyn Dungy National Assn. of Student Personnel Administrators Executive Director
David Dunn U.S. Department of Education Chief of Staff
Janet Durfee-Hidalgo Gov. Donald Carcieri (R.I.) Education Policy Adviser
Judith Eaton Council for Higher Education Accreditation President
John Ebersole Excelsior College President
Phyllis Eisen The Manufacturing Institute/National Assn. of Manufacturing Vice President
Richard Ekman Council of Independent Colleges President
Sandra Elman Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities President
Edward Elmendorf American Assn. of State Colleges and Universities Sr. Vice President
Bill Evers U.S. Department of Education Consultant
Peter Ewell National Center for Higher Education Management Systems Vice President
Nancy Farmer Independent 529 Plan President
Ricardo R. Fernandez Lehman College -- City U. of New York President
A. Lee Fritschler George Mason U. Professor
Matthew Gandal Achieve, Inc. Executive Vice President
Les Garner Cornell College (Iowa) President
Mary Gershwin Center for Workforce Studies, National Assn. of Manufacturers Senior Fellow
Ronald Gidwitz GCG Parners Partner
Scott Giles Vermont Student Assistance Corporation Vice President for Policy, Research and Planning
Larry Gold American Federation of Teachers Higher Education Director
Gabriella Gomez U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Senior Education Policy Adviser
Gerrit Gong Brigham Young U. Assistant to the President
William (Bill) Graves SunGard Higher Education Senior VP, Academic Strategy
Joanne Greathouse Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology Chief Executive Officer
Alison Griffin Chartwell Education Group Assistant Director
Terrell Halaska U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary, Legislative and Congresssional Affairs
Eve Hall Thurgood Marshall College Fund Vice President of Programs
Matthew Hamill National Assn. of College and University Business Officers Senior Vice President
Cynthia Hammond U.S. Department of Education, Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs Legislative Liaison
Judy Hample Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Chancellor
Eric Hanushek Hoover Institution Senior Fellow
Mary Jane Harris Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education Director
Natala (Tally) Hart Ohio State U. Senior Adviser for Economic Access
Sarah Hawker Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Vice President for Adult Education
David Hawkins National Assn. of College Admission Counseling Director of Public Policy
Patricia Hayes U. of Colorado Chair
Susan Heegaard Minnesota Office of Higher Education Director
Erika Heikkila U.S. Rep. John Boehner Policy Advisor
Carolyn Henrich U. Of California Legislative Director
Richard Hersh Council for Aid to Education Co-DirectorCLA
Marc Herzog Connecticut Community College System Chancellor
Marshall Hill Nebraska Coordinating Committee for Postsecondary Education Executive Director
Nancy Hoffman Jobs for the Future Vice President, Youth Transitions
Lucy House Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.) Legislative Assistant
Freeman Hrabowski U. of Maryland, Baltimore County President
Amanda Hughes U. of Texas System Coordinator for System Federal Relations
Mary Jacquart Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Director State & Federal Government Relations
Kenneth James Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner of Education
Bruce D. James Director, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Commissioner, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Connie Jameson Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Government Relations Consultant
Sally Johnstone Winona State U. Vice President
Amy Jones U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor Professional Staff
Stan Jones Indiana Commission for Higher Education Commissioner
Todd Jones Assn. of Independent Colleges & Universities of Ohio President
Horace Judson Grambling State U. President
Troy Justesen U.S. Education Department Office of Vocational and Adult Education Assistant Secretary
Richard Kazis Jobs for the Future Senior Vice President
Cheryl Keenan U.S. Education Department Office of Vocational and Adult Education Director, Division of Adult Education and Literacy
Kimberly Kiely National College Access Network Associate Director
Cheryl King National Commission on Adult Literacy Study Director
William Kirwan University System of Maryland Chancellor
Dale Kuehne Saint Anselm College Professor
George Kuh Indiana U. Center for Postsecondary Research Chancellor's Professor
Holly Kuzmich U.S.Department of Education Deputy Chief of Staff
Hudson LaForce U.S. Department of Education Senior Counselor to the Secretary
Michael Lambert Distance Education and Training Council Executive Director
Richard Lariviere University of Kansas Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
J.D. LaRock U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) Senior Education Advisor
William Law Tallahassee Community College President
Jon Lawniczak Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute Executive Director
Thomas Layzell Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education President
Richard Legon Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges President
Moira Lenehan-Razzuri Rep. Rubén Hinojosa Legislative Assistant
Justin Lepscier Georgetown University Student
Valerie Lewis Connecticut Department of Higher Education Commissioner
Brett Lief National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs President
Paul Lingenfelter State Higher Education Executive Officers President
Dane Linn National Governors Association Director
Dennis Littky The Big Picture Company & The Met High Schools Founder and Co-Director
Kathleen Little The College Board Senior Executive Director, Financial Aid Services
Evelyn Lynn Florida Senate State Senator
Lauren Maddox U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary, OCO
Arturo Madrid Trinity U. Murchison Distinguished Professor
Geri H. Malandra U. of Texas System Vice Chancellor for Strategic Management
David Mandel Carnegie-IAS Commission on Mathematics and Science Ed Executive Director
Kathryn Mannes National Retail Federation Managing Director, Workforce Development
William Massy The Jackson Hole Higher Education Group, Inc. President
Joe May Louisiana Community & Technical College System President
James McCormick Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor
Townsend McNitt U.S. Department of Education Deputy Chief of Staff
M. Peter McPherson National Assn. of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges President
Mary Meehan Alverno College President
Robert W. Mendenhall Western Governors U. President
Thomas Meredith Institutions of Higher Learning (Mississippi) Commissioner of Higher Education
Denise Merrill Connecticut General Assembly State Representative
Christina Milano National College Access Network Executive Director
Charles Miller Meridian National Chairman
Margaret Miller National Forum on College-Level Learning Director
John Moder Hispanic Assn. of Colleges and Universities Senior Vice President/COO
David Moldoff AcademyOne President
Sheryl Moody Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools Executive Director
Robert Moran Perennial Strategy Group Vice President
Geanie Morrison Texas House of Representatives State Representative
Anne Neal American Council of Trustees and Alumni President
Elaine Neely-Eacona Kaplan Higher Education Corp Senior V.P. - Regulatory Affairs
Michael Nettles Educational Testing Service Senior Vice President
Sheftel Neuberger Ner Israel Rabbinical College President
Kay Norton U. of Northern Colorado President
Charlene Nunley Montgomery College Retired President
Michael Offerman Capella U. President
Daryl Ogden Project GRAD USA Vice President, Strategy
Sean O'Hare iThink Technologies, Inc. President
Robert O'Leary State of Massachusetts State Senator
Shirley Ort U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Associate Provost & Director
Katie Ortego U.S. Education Department Office of Federal Student Aid Program Specialist
H. James Owen Piedmont Community College President
Matt Owens Association of American Universities Assistant Director of Federal Relations
Raymund Paredes Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Commissioner
David Payne Educational Testing Service Executive Director
Paula Peinovich Walden U. President
Mark Pelesh Corinthian Colleges, Inc. Executive Vice President
William Pepicello U. of Phoenix President
Laree Perez The Medallion Company Managing Partner
Robert Perry South Dakota Board of Regents Executive Director
George Peterson Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology Executive Director
Tony Peyton National Center for Family Literacy Senior Director
Neil Pickett Office of Gov.Mitch Daniels (Ind.) Senior Policy Director
William L. Pollard U. of the District of Columbia President
Nan Poppe Portland Community College Campus President
James Ptaszynski Microsoft Corp. Senior Director, WW Higher Education Strategy
Karen Quarles U.S. Department of Education, Office of Legislative and Government Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary
Julie Radocchia U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor Education Policy Advisor
Kathy Randolph Sproles National Council for Higher Education, NEA President
Chris Rasmussen Midwestern Higher Education Compact Director of Policy Research
Charles Reed California State U. System Chancellor
Travis Reindl Jobs for the Future Program Director
Stephen Reno University System of New Hampshire Chancellor
Kimrey Rhinehardt U. of North Carolina Vice President for Federal Relations
Robert Rivera Project GRAD USA President & CEO
Reginald Robinson Kansas Board of Regents President and CEO
Jason Rohloff Office of Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.) Director of Federal Affairs
Raul Romero Alliance Consulting Group, LLC President and CEO
Joseph Russo U. of Notre Dame Dir. Student Financial Strategies
Donald Saleh Syracuse U. Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
Stefanie Sanford Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Deputy Director, National Initiatives
William Scheuerman United University Professions President
Bill Schilling U. of Pennsylvania Director, Student Financial Aid
Sandra Schroeder American Federation of Teachers -- Washington President
Jewel Scott The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City Executive Director
Nancy Segal ACT, Inc. AVP and Director, Washington, DC office
Marlene Seltzer Jobs for the Future President & CEO
Rev. Michael Sheeran, S.J. Regis U. President
Robert Sheets U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Business and Industry Services
Robert Shireman Institute for College Access and Success President
Sanford Shugart Valencia Community College President
David Shulenburger National Assn. of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Vice President for Academic Affairsn
Ray Simon U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary
John Simpson State U. of New York at Buffalo President
Celia Sims U.S. Sen. Richard Burr Legislative Assistant
Andre Smith Florida Dept of Education Deputy Director
Kathleen Smith Education Finance Council President
Janis Somerville National Association of System Heads Senior Associate
David Spence Southern Regional Education Board President
Pat Stanley U.S. Education Department Office of Vocational and Adult Education Deputy Assistant Secretary
Sheila Stearns Montana University System Commissioner of Higher Education
Richard Stephens Boeing Co. Senior VP, Human Resources and Administration
John Stevens Texas Business and Education Coalition Executive Director
Debra Stewart Council of Graduate Schools President
Peter Stokes Eduventures, Inc. Executive Vice President
Karen Stout Montgomery County Community College President
Louis W. Sullivan Morehouse School of Medicine President Emeritus
Robert Templin Northern Virginia Community College President
Michael Thomas New England Board of Higher Education Sr. Vice President
William Troutt Rhodes College President
Carol Twigg National Center for Academic Transformation President and CEO
Johan Uvin Rhode Island Department of Education State Director of Adult Education
Richard Vedder Center for College Affordability and Productivity Director
Martha Walda California State U. Trustee Emeritus
Danielle Walking Eagle St. Francis Indian School Elementary Principal
David Ward American Council on Education President
Jack Warner Rhode Island Office of Higher Education Commissioner
David L. Warren National Assn. of Independent Colleges and Universities President
Chad Waukechon College of Menominee Nation Education/Outreach Director
Rabbi Moshe Z. Weisberg Yeshiva Administrators of Financial Aid President
Edwin Welch U. of Charleston President
Mary Ann Welch NASSGAP President
Jane Wellman Delta Project on Postsecondary Costs Director
John D. Welty California State U. at Fresno President
Ben Wildavsky Ewing Marion Kauffman Fdn. Senior Fellow, Research & Policy
Benna Wilde Prince Charitable Trusts Managing Director
Gene Wilhoit Council of Chief State School Officers Executive Director
Reginald Wilkinson Ohio College Access Network President & CEO
Roger Williams Accrediting Council for Career Education and Training Executive Director
Jack Wilson U. of Massachusetts President
Ralph Wolff Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges Executive Director
Shaun Yoder Business Alliance for Higher Education & Economy Director
Mark Yudof U. of Texas System Chancellor
Tony Zeiss Central Piedmont Community College President
Nancy Zimpher U. of Cincinnati President
Susan Zlotlow American Psychological Assn. Director, Program Consultation and Accreditation


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