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Beyond the Partisan Divide: Charting a Principled Approach to Federal Higher Education Policy

Higher education can increase individual opportunity and strengthen the country’s workforce. But what is the appropriate role for the federal government in ensuring students and the economy reap the maximum benefit?

Join the Urban Institute and higher education experts, including former secretary of education Margaret Spellings, as we consider how the federal government can most effectively serve students and the country without stifling innovation or creating undue burden on institutions. As Congress and Secretary DeVos’s education department grapple with the future of critical higher education programs and issues, including Pell grants, student loans, accreditation, and accountability, our bipartisan panel will suggest policies and principles that can appeal to both sides of the aisle and serve the nation’s students for decades to come.

This event will continue the conversation started by Urban’s series of memos to Congress and the administration on higher education policy.



  • Margaret Spellings, President, University of North Carolina; former Secretary of Education, US Department of Education
  • Douglas Harris, Professor of Economics and Schleider Foundation Chair in Public Education, Tulane University
  • Amy Jones, Director, Education and Human Services Policy, House Committee on Education and the Workforce
  • James Kvaal, former Deputy Director, White House Domestic Policy Council
  • Ted Mitchell, President, American Council on Education; former Undersecretary of Education, US Department of Education
  • Sandy Baum, Fellow, Education Policy Program, Urban Institute (moderator)
  • Andrew Kelly, Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy, University of North Carolina (moderator)
Event Materials


For inquiries regarding this event, please contact [email protected].

Support for this event is provided by Lumina Foundation. For more information on the Urban Institute’s funding principles, go to


Date & Time Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Urban Institute 2100 M Street NW
5th floor
Washington , DC , 20037
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