St. John’s President Christopher Nelson Testifies for Higher Education
Christopher Nelson is a national spokesperson for higher education.
Burdensome federal regulations threaten the livelihood of many colleges and universities by diverting precious staff resources away from their mission. The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) invited Christopher Nelson, president of St. John’s College in Annapolis, to testify regarding this issue before the Committee on Education and the Workforce U.S. House of Representatives. The hearing that was held on Tuesday, March 1 was the first in a series.
Nelson, a national spokesperson on higher education issues and the importance of liberal arts education, urged Congress to eliminate old rules as new ones are added –and relieve higher education from the stranglehold of excessive regulations. “The concept would be something along the lines of a ‘pay-go’ system.” He also advocated for the independence of higher education institutions. “Diversity of mission and purpose is the greatest strength of American colleges and universities. Attempts to regulate us as though we are all trying to accomplish the same thing would be a mistake, “ said Nelson.
Nelson also described how he became involved in the fight against burdensome regulations. “St. John’s is one of the over 1,000 members of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), an organization that represents the diversity of private, non- profit higher education in the United States. Some years ago, I was involved with a NAICU group that looked broadly at the responsibilities of independent higher education. Our conversations about these responsibilities offer a general framework for illustrating the many different ways to look at regulatory burden on colleges.”
Nelson’s testimony was enthusiastically received and covered by both the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed.
Read Mr. Nelson's testimony: Education Regulations: Weighing the Burden on Schools and Students
Read the Inside Higher Ed story: Rules Relief
Read the Read the Chronicle story: Speakers at House Hearing Assail Regulatory Burden on Colleges. The Republican chairman of the education committee and a college president agreed on the problems created by the multiplication of rules.