President Trump

As the 45th president is inaugurated, background on his campaign, his stated policies toward higher education and the deep concerns of many in academe.

January 20, 2017

Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated today as the 45th president of the United States. Here is a backgrounder on the new president and higher education.

The Campaign

The Transition and Policy

  • President-elect Trump in November nominated Betsy DeVos, known for her work promoting charter schools and support for private schools, as education secretary. She doesn’t have a record on higher education policy issues.
  • Those hoping the DeVos confirmation hearing would yield insights into her plans for higher education were disappointed. Her answers were consistently vague, and she was criticized for not demonstrating knowledge of higher education issues.
  • Supporters of diversity efforts in higher education have expressed alarm about the nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general. They cite Sessions’s opposition to the use of affirmative action in college admissions.
  • Many scientists have been speaking out against Trump nominees for senior positions who reject the scientific consensus on climate change and other issues.
  • During the campaign and the transition, Trump criticized talk of “global citizenship,” alarming many educators who embrace the concept.

Campus Responses During the Transition and Going Forward

Looking Back at the Obama Administration


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