Should private colleges and universities be subjected to adversarial oversight by politicians in 50 state capitals? That's the question posed by federal regulations set to take effect on Nov. 1, unless congressional objections slow down the timetable. Centennial Institute Policy Brief No. 2010-1, "No Political Oversight for Private Colleges," written by education expert Krista Kafer and released today, analyzes the proposal and concludes it is regulatory overreach, "unnecessary and unacceptable."
As Kafer explains in the introduction: "The Education Department is set to mandate more government control over a private-sector accreditation process that has served higher education well. To what purpose? The new regulations offer little benefit to these institutions, their students, or the taxpayers. Abuses by a few unethical, for-profit colleges do not justify a power grab against 6,000 nonprofit schools. If states politicize their authorization process, colleges may face the choice of compromising their mission or closing their doors. In a nation founded on the free exchange of ideas, that’s wrong. Policymakers should withdraw the proposed regulations."
"No Political Oversight for Private Colleges" is available here: Centennial Policy Brief No. 2010-1.pdf (80.58 kb)
Here is the proposed regulation as published in the Federal Register, June 18 2010.