U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx: Limit Federal Role in Higher Education

As head of the House Education Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, expect U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., to play a pivotal role in crafting federal policy impacting a wide range of higher education issues. The 21-member subcommittee holds jurisdiction over postsecondary student assistance and employment services, the Higher Education Act, Title IX and science and technology programs, among other issues.

Foxx is no stranger to the world of higher education. She holds an Ed.D. in curriculum and teaching/higher education from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and is a former community college president. She says the federal government has too much control over higher education, and she would like to explore whether some of that power could be wielded at the state level.

The outspoken lawmaker voted against the Higher Education Act of 2008 and is firmly opposed to the controversial "gainful employment" regulation being proposed by the U.S. Department of Education, saying it unfairly targets for-profit institutions. She sat down with Diverse to discuss her vision for the subcommittee, her criticism of the Education Department and the role of the federal government in higher education.

DI: What are your goals and priorities for the subcommittee?

VF: The subcommittee hasn’t met yet and the full committee hasn’t met. I want to wait until we have a full committee meeting for us to talk about what our overall goals and priorities are going to be.

I think that you’ve heard from Speaker of the House John Boehner and other leadership that all committees are going to be very involved with oversight issues in this session, so I expect us to spend a lot of time doing oversight and looking at regulatory issues. Those are two major things that I know we’re going to be involved with but we have not set the priorities yet in terms of which particular issues we’ll address within the broader framework.

Click through for full interview text.


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