The Republicans of the 112th Congress have appointed Rep. Virginia Foxx to chair the higher-education subcommittee. The conservative Foxx was the only committee member to vote against the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, and she has been a big supporter of for-profit colleges. In fact, she plans to oppose the current attempts to regulate these exploitive institutions, and of course, she has received large campaign contributions from the for-private schools themselves.
Foxx also opposes the government taking over the handling of student loans, and she has called for a more free market approach to student funding. It should also be pointed out that she is a former professor and president of a community college, but she disagrees with President Obama's plan to produce more community college graduates.
As an extreme right-winger, Foxx has called for the cutting of funding for higher education, and like so many of the other new congressional committee chairs, she plans to actively push for legislation that will reduce the public support for the area her committee oversees. It is now clear that the new Republican leadership has purposely put in power people who will try to dismantle any program supported by the Obama administration. We should then expect a very rough two years for higher education.