Student Appointed to Education Dept.’s National Advisory Committee
Aaron Shimeles ’10 has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to a new national committee on higher education accreditation issues.
Shimeles, a critical theory and social justice major from Seattle, is the only student of six that Duncan appointed last month to the 18-member National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. He underwent a competitive application and interview process prior to his appointment to the committee.
“It’s valuable to learn how higher education is structured. As a student, you only see one side of it,” Shimeles said. “This is really an excellent opportunity because I’m also interested to see how public policy works in general.”
Established in 1972, the committee recommends to the Secretary which accrediting or state approval agencies can reliably judge the quality of postsecondary institutions and programs. The U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives will soon appoint six representatives each to fill the remaining slots of the committee, which is expected to meet shortly thereafter. All committee members will serve three-year terms.
"This committee will play a vital role in ensuring the highest standards of accountability for accrediting agencies … which have the formidable task of assuring that schools participating in federal student aid programs provide a quality education,” Duncan said in a written statement.
“These six new members bring varied expertise, talent, and experience to the committee, and their input will be invaluable as the department continues to improve these programs."
In addition to Shimeles, Duncan appointed: Earl Lewis, Emory University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs; Susan Phillips, provost and vice president for academic affairs, University of Albany, State University of New York; Jamienne Studley, president and CEO of Public Advocates Inc.; Frank Wu, Howard University Law School professor; and Frederico Zargoza, vice chancellor of economic and workforce development, Alamo Colleges.
For more information about the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, go to: http://www.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/naciqi.html .
For more information about Occidental College, go to: www.oxy.edu .