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Gibson To Serve On U.S. Senate Education Task Force

Dec. 5, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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Dana Gibson
SHSU President Dana Gibson

Sam Houston State University President Dana L. Gibson has been named to a new national task force that will recommend solutions for curtailing the financial impact of federal regulations on universities.

The Task Force on Government Regulations of Higher Education was created at the request of Senate education committee ranking member Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and members Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), in response to complaints that government red tape has driven up tuition costs.

The task force will be co-chaired by Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos of Vanderbilt University and Chancellor William Kirwan of the University System of Maryland and will comprise 16 college and university presidents and higher education experts. The American Council on Education will provide organizational assistance.

“I’m looking forward to working with other education leaders from across the nation to make recommendations that will address this increasing burden on our universities,” Gibson said. “I am honored to serve with this group.”

In letters to request participation in the task force, the senators wrote: “Our higher education system remains the best in the world and is often credited for its breadth of choice and commitment to institutional autonomy. Over the past decade, however, Congress and the U. S. Department of Education have added more mandates, reporting requirements and regulations with which institutions must comply.

“This Task Force creates an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive review of federal regulations and reporting requirements affecting colleges and universities and make recommendations to Congress and the Administration to streamline and reduce federal regulations, while at the same time maintaining student and taxpayer protections.”

The task force is charged to:

  • Provide specific recommendations to consolidate, streamline and eliminate burdensome, costly and/or confusing regulations, legislation and reporting requirements;

  • Review and quantify the extent of all federal reporting and regulatory requirements that institutions must comply with, including estimates of the time and costs associated with specific regulations and requirements; and

  • Provide recommendations for reform to ensure future regulations are promulgated in a manner that appropriately considers existing law and accurately examines the costs and benefits to taxpayers, institutions and students.

Gibson assumed the presidency of Sam Houston State University in 2010 after serving the previous year as the university's vice president for finance and operations. Under her direction, SHSU has increased admissions standards for freshmen, seen enrollment records surpassed each year, and opened a new campus in The Woodlands. The university has been named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service and Service Learning; ranked high among colleges with low student debt; and been named a “Great College To Work For” for four consecutive years.

She currently serves as chair of the American Academic Leadership Institute; a member of the policies and purposes committee and member of the board of directors for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and a member of the board for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Before coming to SHSU, she served as president of National University, the second-largest private nonprofit institution of higher education in California, and held vice presidential positions at Southern Methodist University, the University of Colorado at Denver, YMCA of Metropolitan Denver and Texas Woman's University.


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