Little-Known Higher Ed Nominees Raise Eyebrows

Career College Central summary:

  • The Department of Education's  new nominee for undersecretary of education, Ted Mitchell, is little known in Washington, D.C. Neither Mitchell nor the Obama administration’s choice for assistant secretary for postsecondary education, Ericka Miller, currently works in higher education. While Miller was once a professor, and Mitchell a dean and college president, neither has made higher education policy a career focus.
  • Both will be charged with directing an ambitious higher education agenda for President Barack Obama’s second term. That agenda — creating a federal system to rate colleges, then tying federal financial aid to those ratings — has riled the higher education establishment, where the two nominees are relative unknowns. That’s raised eyebrows among both supporters and opponents of the administration’s proposals.
  • The department’s higher education nominees are closely watched in part because Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s expertise lies in K-12 education, and he has delegated much of the higher education agenda to appointees and career staff.

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