Clinton Was Advised on Options for a Higher Ed Venture

November 3, 2015

In the final months of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, one of her advisors drafted ideas for how she could create a public policy school, newly released emails show.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, who was director of policy planning at the State Department until 2011, emailed Clinton a four-page memo in May 2012 that outlined a range of “options for creating a public policy school, institute, or consortium, both generally and in the greater New York area.”

The memo detailed the advantages and challenges of various ways Clinton could venture into public policy education: starting her own school from scratch, renaming and endowing an existing institution, establishing an institute that brings together multiple professional schools on a campus, or developing a degree program that cuts across a consortium of universities.

It doesn't appear, though, that planning for a possible Clinton venture in higher education went any further.

Slaughter, a former dean of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs who now heads the think tank New America, said in an email on Monday that she had “one follow-up conversation with someone from [Clinton’s] staff just to answer some questions but nothing after that.”

The email and memo were among the latest batch of messages released last Friday by the State Department as it complies with a court order to produce the contents of the personal email account Clinton used while secretary of state.

Previously released emails show that Clinton was pitched on making moves in higher education on at least one other occasion.

Roy Spence, an advertising executive, emailed Clinton in 2010 with an idea for an “HRC University.”

The purpose of such an institution, he wrote, would to “empower people everywhere with knowledge, purpose and passion so that they are destined -- not lucky -- to fully develop their God-given talents.”

It’s not clear how serious Spence’s proposal was intended to be, though Clinton responded by instructing her assistant to “pls print” his message.

Former President Bill Clinton in 2004 opened the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Ark. The school, which awards masters degrees in public service, is affiliated with the University of Arkansas and housed across the street from the Clinton presidential library. 

+ -

Expand commentsHide comments  —   Join the conversation!

Opinions on Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U

Back to Top