[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 188 (Thursday, September 29, 2005)]
[Pages 56895-56896]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-19465]



A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on 
the Future of Higher Education; Notice of Establishment

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of establishment of A National Dialogue: The Secretary 
of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education.


SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education announces her intention to 
establish A National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission 
on the Future of Higher Education (Commission). The Federal Advisory 
Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463 as amended; 5 U.S.C.A. Appendix 2) will 
govern the Commission.
    Purpose: The Secretary has determined that the establishment of 
this Commission is necessary and in the public's interest. Today, 
higher education in the United States encompasses a wide array of 
educational opportunities and programs. Students attend institutions of 
higher education offering programs that range from baccalaureate and 
advanced degrees to occupational training of less than one year. The 
Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, has benefited millions of 
students by making higher education more affordable as well as by 
ensuring its quality. As we look to the future, it is imperative that 
we maintain a system of higher education that meets the needs of our 
diverse population, and in particular the needs of traditionally 
underserved communities; provides enhanced opportunities for lifelong 
learning; and addresses the economic and workforce needs of the 
    In particular, the country is encountering a significant change to 
its economic structure, resulting in unmet workforce needs. This is 
particularly true with respect to highly skilled workers and in the 
fields of mathematics and science. The need is clear and unavoidable: 
only 68 out of 100 entering 9th graders graduate from high school on 
time. Yet, 80 percent of our fastest-growing jobs will require some 
higher education. As the need for highly skilled workers continues to 
grow, institutions of higher education must assess whether they are 
providing the necessary coursework and incentives that will enable 
American students to compete in the new global economy.
    The purpose of this Commission is to consider how best to improve 
our system of higher education, to ensure that our graduates are well 
prepared to meet our future workforce needs and are able to participate 
fully in the changing economy. To accomplish this purpose, the 
Commission shall consider Federal, State, local, and institutional 
roles in higher education and analyze whether the current goals of 
higher education are appropriate and achievable. By August 1, 2006, the 
Commission will provide its written recommendations to the Secretary.
    The Commission will be composed of no more than 20 representatives 
appointed by the Secretary from the

[[Page 56896]]

public and private sectors, as well as up to 5 ex officio members from 
the Department of Education and other Federal agencies. These 
representatives shall include former or current public and private 
college presidents, and may also include former elected officials, 
representatives of Fortune 500 corporations, the financial services 
industry, for-profit education companies, nonprofit education 
foundations, higher education researchers, and other such group 
representatives as the Secretary deems appropriate. As representatives, 
the members will speak for the groups of persons they represent, 
drawing on their personal experiences as members of these groups with 
respect to these issues.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl Oldham, Executive Director, A 
National Dialogue: The Secretary of Education's Commission on the 
Future of Higher Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 205-5233.

    Dated: September 23, 2005.
Margaret Spellings,
Secretary, Department of Education.
[FR Doc. 05-19465 Filed 9-28-05; 8:45 am]