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A wake up call

October 26, 2005

Last week Republican leadership in the US House of Representatives proposed more than $15 Billion in cuts to student loan programs. These programs are vital to making college affordable to millions of students. With tuition increases occurring throughout the country because of budget cuts at the state level, these cuts could not have come at a worse time for students.

This announcement should serve as a wake-up call to institutions around that country that they need to develop more sophisticated Government Affairs shops. Long gone are the days when all an institution needed were lobbyists and a handful of influential alumni. Don’t get me wrong, both those components are still important – they just need to be balanced out with an effective grassroots organization and media campaigns. While resources may be tight, developing an effective grassroots program is still one of the best investments institutions can make.

A recent Inside Higher Education article describes how the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) is developing grassroots programs to respond to the Republican proposal. NAICU’s efforts have just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible with a strategic grassroots program. Read the full article here: http://insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/26/budget

Over the next few weeks I will lay out the reason why Higher Education institutions need to develop grassroots programs to effectively fight budget cuts at the state and federal level

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