The leaders of six higher education associations on Thursday released a statement deploring the impact of the federal shutdown, stressing the impact not on college-specific programs but on the nature of American government. "We are deeply concerned by the growing resignation of the American people to this 'new normal': the idea that Washington is so broken and dysfunctional that it cannot be fixed, only ignored or ridiculed. Our democratic government is most effective when it embraces open discourse, bipartisan cooperation, and the art of compromise. These traditions have served us well since our founding and are at the heart of the success of the American Experiment," the statement says.
It adds: "We believe this gradual acceptance of government dysfunction should be vigorously challenged and that each college and university can play a role in doing so. We call on higher education institutions around the country to engage in conversations, lectures, and events, both on and off campus, that bring together students, business and community leaders, and the public. We should focus attention on the processes that ensure responsible government and sound budget policy."
The statement was signed by the presidents of the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Association of American Universities and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.