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C-RAC Statement on Department of Education’s “Rethinking Higher Education” White Papers

Updated: Feb 3, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Barbara Gellman-Danley, chair of C-RAC and president of the Higher Learning Commission, today issued the following comment in response to two “Rethinking Higher Education” white papers released by the U.S. Department of Education:

“The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with the Department on regulatory changes that could strengthen accreditation and, in turn, our higher education system. The white papers released by the Department today demonstrate an interest in exploring greater flexibility while also streamlining some potentially duplicative and overly-burdensome processes. “The Council is cautiously optimistic that the upcoming negotiated rulemaking will generate meaningful policies that support institutional improvement and encourage the innovation necessary to keep our higher education system competitive. However, the devil is in the details, and it’s important to make sure accreditors retain the authority necessary to carry out our central responsibilities to protect students and assure institutional quality. Above all, any regulatory changes must benefit our most vital stakeholder – students – and the Council looks forward to working closely with the Department to accomplish that goal.”

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The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions is a collective of seven regional organizations responsible for the accreditation of roughly 3,000 of the nation’s colleges and universities.



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