Page images

questions I would be pleased to summarize for you, whatever your wish may be.

Mr. ANDREWS. That is very considerate of you. Without objection Dr. Holmes' original statement will be inserted in the record, but his remarks will be limited only to certain portions.

[Dr. Holmes' prepared testimony follows:]


Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, my name is Darrell Holmes. I am the President of East Stroudsburg State College, and I am here today to represent the 427 public institutions of higher education comprising the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. These institutions enroll more than four million students and offer comprehensive education opportunities in or near over 100 American cities as well as in scores of rural communities where they often are the community's sole source of opportunity for post-secondary education ***. As I will elaborate upon later in my testimony, there exists one general but mistaken view of these institutions. Among these institutions are the most sophisticated research universities. They include those institutions that originated as teacher's colleges which have developed into comprehensive institutions, offering a wide array of baccalaureate programs. But less well known is the fact that a substantial number of these institutions, either due to their origin as technical institutions or because they responded to the needs of the communities they serve, have developed technical curricula and offer one-year and two-year programs and award associate degrees across the entire spectrum of occupational and vocational education programs.

We are grateful for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss our viewpoints concerning the so-called "1202 Commissions." Before discussing aspects of the history of this piece of legislation and the proposed regulations prepared by the U.S. Office of Education, it seems appropriate to note that the 1202 Commissions as such need not necessarily be the major focus of these hearings. Perhaps more to the point is the broader question of the relationship between bills passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President and the implementation of those laws by the appropriate executive departments. If I may paraphrase a statement that you, Mr. Chairman, made in addressing a legislative conference of AASCU on February 28th, gathered to express concern at the lack of urgent action on student aid, “Let us for a change try the unusual, let us follow the law." At that time, Mr. Chairman, you were stressing the absolute requirement for the Congress to appropriate monies for the Supplementary Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program in the face of the failure of the Administration to request funding for the program as is clearly and incontrovertably required by the "Education Amendments of 1972,” in order to trigger the new Basic Grant Program. The Office of Education, to date, has not distributed guidelines and regulations for the SEOG program. I would submit that the failure of the Office of Education on the SEOG's, a program very likely to be funded, will have a greater and more damaging impact on the welfare of the students in post-secondary education than the decision to withhold guidelines for the 1202 Commissions. Regrettably, the Acting Commissioner may be correct in assuming that the programs for which the commisions were intended to plan may well not be funded in the near future. Granted that the law passed last year authorizes the establishment of the commissions, it likewise authorizes public service fellowships and cost of education allowances for institutions and other programs for which no guidelines have emanated from the Office of Education. Thus, without special reference to the virtues of the letter of the law permitting the establishment of a federally supported, comprehensive, post-secondary education planning commission in the states, or the quality of the guidelines drawn up by the Office of Education, we initially direct this testimony to the question of the arrogation of authority by a segment of the Executive Branch of the Government contravening the stated intent of the Congress and the President, who signed the law. This issue, of course, Mr. Chairman, takes us far beyond the principal item under consideration before this committee now, and extends to the question of impoundment of funds and requests for appropriations rescissions that serve no legitimate purpose while violating clear Congressional

intent. The question is whether, in effect, no matter what program the Congress determines should be funded, the Executive has the full right to establish its own priorities and disregard Congressional action.

Already a record is being established in the courts, in the Missouri Highway Trust Fund Case recently ruled upon by an appellate court. There is every reason to believe that the courts would rule similarly on all of the instances of rescission requests particularly in programs such as the Bankhead-Jones Land-Grant Instructional Funds. There, a record of six decades of funding coupled with the Presidential signature on a supplemental appropriation, followed by a delay of three months before a suggestion of a rescission was introduced, has caused damages that may be proved before any court of law. We believe that ultimately the Administration will accept the necessity of the balance of power and will allocate funds as appropriated.

With particular regard to the 1202 Commissions, although our Associations have taken no formal position on it we recognize their authorization as part of the law and would no more challenge its validity than we would question any other law of the land. We have had an opportunity, however, to give consideration to various aspects of the 1202 Commissions and offer these observations. As we understand the ultimate objectives of the legislation, the Congress believed that with a variety of new needs having to be met by institutions of post-secondary education, particularly responsive to interest in occupational education training for communities, it would be appropriate and wise for the Federal Government to assist the states' own planning. Those states choosing to review the entire spectrum of community-oriented education and plan for future development so as to avoid unnecessary duplication, and to concomitantly fill gaps in education opportunity resulting from the absence of course offerings, would be given funds to cover the costs of the planning commission. In this intent, the Congress reflected a concern already manifesting itself in most of our states where boards of higher education and other kinds of coordinating councils have been or are being established. Initially, thus, the idea was to encourage planning for a specific category of education and to help defray the cost of carrying out such planning. In addition, the Congress intended to permit the states to consolidate state functions related to several other federal programs where the states believed such consolidation to be wise. Always, the Congress intended the individual states to carry out such planning in a way to be determined by each state. Since most states already had planning boards for higher education in general, this new planning function is dependent upon the existence of other programs sponsored by the Federal Government, principally those in the recently enacted Title X.

Notwithstanding the potential significance of Section 1202, because of the complex nature of the "Education Amendments of 1972," and the shortage of time to delve into all aspects of that legislation, little legislative history was established to clarify without any doubt the intent of Congress with regard to the purposes of the commissions.

The absence of this record has proved to be most unfortunate. Although the law clearly calls solely for a planning body, proponents of rigid coordination and centralized control of post-secondary education within the states felt free to advise the OE to design guidelines that would go far beyond the law. Where the law is permissive they would make it mandatory; where the law makes USOE a conduit for funds, they would have it become a dictatorial.

It is paradoxical that an Administration which has made one of its maxims the wisdom of local control, proposing such legislation as revenue-sharing and planning to decentralize federal agencies, should at the same time contemplate regulations which would result in quite the opposite effect. As the regulations were developed (and published in December as a Preliminary Report and “Issue Paper") OE would decide the substance and form for each state that would establish a 1202 Commission mandating coordination never contemplated by the Congress. In view of the Administration's stated desire to remove centralized control from Washington into the states and localities, it is especially distressing that regulations should be drafted by the OE arrogating to the Commissioner authority to dictate to the states, denying them funds that might be appropriated until such time as they complied. I am told by friends in the legal profession that any regulations that insist on more than a statement, "We are in compliance," from the states might well violate the established principle of comity.

The first issue paper was published and distributed to thousands of institutions and other concerned parties. We understand that several hundred responses to this preliminary report were returned. The substance of the paper aside, the officials in OE responsible for the decision to consult widely with the communities affected by the new law deserve high commendation. We hope this becomes a standard practice. The final version of the guidelines has not been published however, we understand it to be highly responsive to the critical comments received from the post-secondary education community and is more in keeping with what the Congress intended. I would imagine that the interested committees of the Congress and their supporting staffs had much to do with bringing about the changes in the issue paper, since it is likely that had the Congress anticipated the December publication by the OE it either would not have passed the law allowing thhe establishment of the 1202 Commissions, or, more likely, would have elaborated upon its intent in the law itself and in its committee reports so that the OE could not possibly misconstrue that intent. It is appropriate, too, I believe, to commend Dr. Joseph Cosand, the former Associate Commissioner for Higher Education, and Dr. Jack Phillips, the former Director of the Task Force responsible for the guidelines for the 1202 Commissions, for their candid and receptive approach to all parties concerned, most of all for adhering to what the law states rather than following a path that would grant a segment of an executive agency more unauthorized power. Many states, either on their own initiative or in anticipation of the requirement of having a 1202 Commission, are moving ahead in their plans. It may well be too late to correct the impressions given in the December issue paper, since so much time has passed without a more accurate paper being published. The situation is comparable to having a libelous story printed on page one with a retraction weeks later on page fifty-five. We would submit respectfully that before final guidelines are published it may be necessary for the Congress to amend Section 1202 to clarify its intent to the point where no state would feel obliged to establish a commission unsuited to the state's special circumstances.

It is necessary, in discussing the 1202 Commissions, to discuss the Federal programs for which they were to provide planning. Of particular import is Title X, both Part A, the community college section, and Part B, the occupational education section. When Title X was first proposed three years ago, in what was known as the Williams Bill, after its principal Senate sponsor, it was viewed as a junior college bill. Among its chief objectives was to make certain that nowhere in the United States would there be large numbers of persons wishing to partake of post-secondary education and training who would be deprived of that for lack of an institution nearby. This objective made it clear, ultimately, that the bill should be aimed not at a type of institution but rather at the type of services and activities offered by institutions. Since a large number of public four-year institutions, themselves or their branch campuses, offer two-year occupational education programs, the eligibility to participate in the new program was to be based on the community orientation of the institution rather than how many years of education it might offer. Thus, the definition of “community college" includes scores of institutions in the two Associations I represent today. In fact, should appropriations be made for Title X and allocated among the states, our institutions would be among the principal participants in the expansion of communityoriented education. We would add one note, however. When the bill was first drafted, among its major emphases was establishing new institutions-to respond to the huge growth of enrollments in the 1960's. Today, however, enrollments appear to be leveling off, and in fact, in many instances are dropping. This is true for junior colleges as it is for other institutions. Therefore, the emphasis of Title X should turn from the establishment of new institutions to the support of existing institutions that wish to expand their course offerings and programs to meet community needs except in geographical areas clearly in need of new institutions.

Our associations are on record along with most of our higher education colleagues calling for substantial funding for both parts of Title X, along with funding for all legislation enacted by the Congress. However, the document in which that request was made last summer was deemed wholly unrealistic by the Administration. More regrettable is the apparent acceptance by the Congress, not of the $268.7 billion ceiling for total expenditures for FY 1974 which we feel may

well be imperative to help control inflation, but of the separate ceilings established by the Administration for individual categories of programs. In our view, the national needs for education and social services far exceed the budget proposed by the Administration. Were the Congress prepared to reorient priorities and made additional funds available for education, we would join in supporting funding for Title X. However, if the Congress abides generally with the Administration's budget request, and established and proved programs are cut back and even eliminated as a result of a shortage of available dollars, we would find it hard to justify funding new programs the objectives of which are valid, but no more so than programs that are not receiving funding. In a better of all possible worlds, we would join our colleagues from the junior colleges in calling for funding of Title X now. In the world in which the Administration has certain powers, we feel that Title X must be held lower on the scale of priorities. This is especially true when inadequate funding exists today for student aid, and grossly inadequate requests for funding have been made by the Administration for both FY 1973 and 1974.

In summary, we believe it would be useful for the Office of Education to disseminate the revised issue paper. This would give the entire post-secondary education community the opportunity to discuss with OE officials the manner in which they propose carrying out the intentions of the Congress without feeling the pressures that were present previously. At the same time, we believe the funding of the Commissions ought to wait until the Congress decides the priority of Title X.

We are grateful for the opportunity to appear before your committee Mr. Chairman, to present our views. We will be pleased to respond to any questions you may have. Thank you.

Mr. HOLMES. We first ought to point out in relationship to the planning function that the public universities and colleges of the Nation do, in fact, have community college-type community-related programs and we are vitally affected by those aspects of planning which do, in fact, call for filling educational gaps around all the States.

We ran a study sometime ago and made an estimate that around. 25 percent of our colleges and universities offer programs at less than the baccalaureate level. So we have a very real stake as regional, State, and national institutions in the planning which is done.

In our conclusion to my statement we do say we believe it would be useful for the Office of Education to disseminate the revised issue paper. This would give the entire postsecondary education community the opportunity to discuss with Office of Education officials the manner in which they propose carrying out the intentions of the Congress without feeling the pressures that we did previously.

At the same time we believe the funding of the commissions ought to wait until the Congress decides the priority of title X. And, in fact, in a broader sense the funding of all of the amendments.

In balance there is a serious funding problem that we see on our campuses now and there is an urgent need to resolve these funding priorities. The supplemental opportunity grants present serious problems to individual students. We are in transition. The signals do have to be straightened out on a national basis, but the mere admission of a basic opportunity program is of such magnitude that it cannot possibly get off the ground nationally. The need, therefore to have supplemental educational opportunity grant as a funding priority is paramount. We have on our campus, for example, 30 young men and women who should be coming to our school this summer. We cannot tell them that we have funds for them because we don't know what the picture is. This is serious to those students. I firmly believe this picture is multiplied throughout all of the campuses in the Nation.

The need for these funds in terms of a priority basis is paramount. The direct student loan program is terribly important.

One thing may not be understood. There is a feeling that the repayment of loans will replenish the direct student loan pot so that it can be reloaned. But in institutions such as ours and in some of your institutions in North Carolina when a student is on a national direct student loan, formerly the national defense student loan, if he goes to a deprived school district and teaches, he receives 100 percent forgiveness of his loan.

He does not have to repay anything. So our loan funds that are coming in are quite reduced.

We believe that after the basic priorities that Congress passed as law are met, that the title X provisions as you are currently rethinking them, would then be well considered. I have indicated that timing is a problem particularly on the student grant provisions of the legislation and appropriations. The priorities are a problem and we are reassured that you are having hearings here at this point in time. not only to look at the 1202 program, but the 1202 program in relationship to other priorities and also to establish a record of congressional intent in relationship to the 1202 commissions.

Finally, the question did come up as to the attitudes of other institutions. I would be remiss in saying that I believe all of the institutions within the two associations that I am representing here today would buy the general principle. But I think there would be considerable discussion on what constitutes planning and what constitutes the administration of an institution and who, in fact, controls the destiny of the institution.

And it is for this reason that I think I would speak for my colleagues such as the president of the University of Maryland, Wilson Elkins, when I say it is extremely important to keep these guidelines flexible and sensitive to the local situation in each State. There is in the administration of an institution a tremendous efficiency which comes from the freedom to administer as differentiated from being a partner in a total planning effort.

It is for this reason the flexibility in congressional intent, as I understand it, is good and it is for this reason that the point-bypoint prescription of the characteristics of planning commissions can create problems, because what seems to be timely today by way of prescription of a specific solution to a problem for each State, tomorrow can in itself become a problem. Therefore, the generality, the broad goals of the 1202 commissions in trying to fill the gaps, in trying to improve the quality are good.

By the same token anything which suggests there ought to be an additional control of institutions ought to be looked at very carefully. Thank you.

Mr. ANDREWs. You make me think I am back in the general assembly. We went through all of that, whether it be coordinating board or coordinated planning or what.

Mr. HOLMES. I would like to introduce Jerry Roschwalb, who is a legislative associate of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and will be joining the land-grant group in a fulltime capacity.

« PreviousContinue »