Washington lobbyist to visit with administrators

Washington lobbyist to visit with administrators

The man considered to be higher education’s top lobbyist in Washington, D.C., will visit the university Tuesday to talk with administrators about academic issues concerning higher education institutions, university officials said.

Terry Hartle, senior vice president for the American Council on Education’s government and public affairs division, will speak to TCU’s Administrative Council – a 40-50 member assembly of vice chancellors, academic deans and other administrators – about issues that could include containing costs, efficient resource management, learning outcomes, administration of loan programs, campus safety, need for financial aid, endowment transparency and student health insurance, said Lisa Albert, director of communications.

Hartle was director of social policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and a research scientist at the Educational Testing Service, according to the ACE Web site. Before joining ACE in 1993, he served for six years as education staff director for the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, according to the site.

Hartle’s campus visit will be his second in the past two years. He spoke in April 2008 about nationwide tuition costs at Chancellor Victor Boschini’s invitation.

Vice Chancellor for Government Affairs Larry Lauer, who works with Hartle in Washington, said he invited Hartle to speak to the Administrative Council about issues that the ACE could focus on this year. The ACE’s agenda for the year will be set during meetings in February and March, Lauer said.

“He’s going to talk about what are the issues ahead, and he’s going to talk about where we are at the moment,” Lauer said.

Lauer, the former vice chancellor for marketing and communication, completed his first semester as vice chancellor for government affairs in the fall. In his new position, Lauer said, he has worked with legislators and education associations, like Hartle and the ACE, on issues affecting higher education. He said that because of the prevalence of other issues in Congress, like health care, the economy and terrorism, higher education was not receiving much attention.

Lauer said the new position gave the university a presence in Washington that it lacked before.

“We never made a concerted effort to have a regular presence in that setting, and now we are,” Lauer said. “So I think we’re making good progress because what I can see is we are involved and we are being welcomed by virtually everybody I talk to.”

Boschini said the creation of Lauer’s position last fall has helped the university because now only one person focuses on representing the university at the government level.

“It’s his main job to be ‘at the table’ at appropriate times in Washington and Austin,” Boschini said. “It helps us now to have somebody concentrating their time on this because, in the past, I would do it part time, he would do it part time, and it’s just too much because of physically being in different cities.”

Most recently, Lauer was involved with the formation of the Schieffer School in Washington program, a semester-long mixture of an internship and coursework for university journalism students through the nonprofit Washington Center, Lauer said.

Last fall, Lauer said, the university’s goal was to make a place for itself at the forefront of higher education. He said it’s hard to tell when the university actually reached that goal, but its recent national presence have helped.

“What I’ve learned is when you show up, they will talk to you, and when they talk to you, you become influential,” Lauer said. “And we’re trying to make the most of that in both Austin and in Washington to say, ‘TCU’s here, we’re at the table, we’re involved, and we’re going to be a player in the shaping of the future of our industry.'”