Many higher education leaders take care to note that a presidential candidate's appearance on campus does not suggest any institutional or personal endorsement. And many campus presidents are nowhere to be seen when candidates appear. But that wasn't the case Saturday at Bryant University at a campaign rally for Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination and is hoping to pick up delegates in Rhode Island.
Kasich was introduced by Ron Machtley, a former member of Congress who is now the president of Bryant. “This is the only candidate, in my opinion, who understands the privilege, the prestige and the purpose, not only of the presidency, but of the process to get there,” said Machtley, according to WPRI News.
Machtley did not respond to an email from Inside Higher Ed about whether his comments constituted a formal endorsement.
Kasich also had an exchange about college affordability during his appearance. Nicholas Celico, a freshman at the University of Rhode Island, asked whether Kasich's emphasis on reducing the federal deficit would have an impact on student borrowing. Kasich responded by asking Celico why he hadn't gone to a community college and then went on to say tuition rates are too high. Celico, a Kasich supporter, told WPRI of the candidate's response, “It’s cool. I appreciate that he’s being honest. … Sometimes you need the cold, hard truth in life.”
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