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Baptist univ. president leads national study of tuition rates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The president of a Baptist-related college is the chairman of an 11-member National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education.
William E. Troutt, president of Belmont University, Nashville, Tenn., a 3,000-student college affiliated with the Tennessee Baptist Convention, was appointed to the commission by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R.-Miss., and elected chairman during the commission’s first meeting, Aug. 11 in Washington.
The commission, which met at Belmont Nov. 17-18, will issue its report in mid-December for use during the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
“Congress has given us a very challenging assignment. This is important to higher education, to students and their families and to our nation’s future economic and social welfare,” Troutt said.
Rep. Buck McKeon, R.-Calif., was instrumental in creating the commission’s study of rising college tuition rates. McKeon is chairman of the Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education, Training and Lifelong Learning of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
“By establishing a bipartisan commission to study this issue, we hope to answer the question that is on the minds of millions of parents and students, ‘How am I going to pay for college?'” McKeon said in a news release. “It is my hope this commission will develop sound recommendations as to how higher education can become more accessible to people from all economic backgrounds.”
Making up the commission are individuals appointed by the following: three by the speaker of the House, two by the minority leader of the House, three by the Senate majority leader, two by the Senate minority leader and one by the secretary of education.
In addition to Troutt, other members of the bipartisan commission, created when President Clinton signed the FY97 Supplemental Appropriations bill in July, include Martin Anderson, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former domestic policy adviser to President Reagan; Frances Norris, former Education Department assistant secretary for legislation under Reagan; Bill Hansen, executive director of the Education Finance Council; Jonathan Brown, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities; and Clare Cotton, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts.
Other college leaders on the commission are Barry Munitz, chancellor, California State University; George Waldner, president, York College; Walter Massey, president, Morehouse College; Blanche Touhill, president, University of Missouri at St. Louis; and Robert Burns, professor from South Dakota State University.
The commission is charged with reporting findings to Congress in a number of areas, including:
— increase in tuition compared to other commodities and services.
— innovative methods of reducing or stabilizing tuition.
— trends in administrative and faculty costs.
— extent to which tuition discounting and federal student aid have affected tuition.
— federal, state and local regulations as a possible contributor to increasing tuition, and recommendations on reducing those mandates.
With its enrollment of approximately 3,000 students, Belmont University is the second-largest accredited private college or university in Tennessee.

Campbell is news and information officer in Belmont University’s office of communications.

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  • Ian Campbell