The independent news organization of Duke University

Hello White House University

Very interesting nota bene over at the Chronicle of Higher Education today. This will be the very first election to usher in a White House where the commander in chief, his VP, and both their spouses have all worked in the higher education field. Obama worked in Chicago Law until 2004, and it seems Biden has been an adjunct professor at a law school for the past 17 years.

But what does this mean for us who are now and will continue to be in the higher education establishment when Obama is inaugarated?  The article doesn't offer too much speculation--mainly because higher education has been such an underplayed issue in this election as a result of the urgencies of the tumultuous financial markets. The Chronicle does believe that research funding to universities will increase, but I suspect that within the first year of a Democrat-controlled Congress and White House, we will see some very important legislation being decided tuition costs, federal aid (e.g., Pell grants), and science funding, especially to stem-cell research (which is a very big issue over at the techie magazine Wired).

The Chronicle of Higher Education also lays out a warning. Woodrow Wilson was also a Professor in Chief, but he served only one term, seeming very distant to the American electorate. While Obama has told a very compelling narrative in this election compared to McCain, a first-term president must not forget to always keep policy discussions relevant to the lives of Americans.

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