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Government Relations

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Into the Storm
CURRENTS Article Within hours of the June 2016 Brexit referendum in which 51.9 percent of voters in the United Kingdom opted to leave the European Union, many U.K. universities created special teams to address their most immediate concerns: student and staff recruitment and retention. University College London convened a Brexit planning group, chaired by its president and provost, with top representatives participating from offices such as communications, development, international, education and student affairs, the registrar, and human resources, as well as the college's unions.

Talking Points: State of Attainment
CURRENTS Article Federal policies provide crucial support to students working to earn a degree, but states play the primary role in determining the educational attainment of their population. The opportunity to enroll in and complete college varies from state to state, as well as within states. Here are three key ways states can help more students obtain higher levels of education.

Bonding with Voters
CURRENTS Article When community colleges need resources, they must seek funding through bond initiatives or property tax hikes. A successful campaign engages the community and uses a number strategies to gain voters' support.

A Little Help from Their Friends
CURRENTS Article Today’s economic climate is accelerating the trend of institutions investing in alumni legislative advocacy. These programs typically follow one of two models: Grasstops advocacy, which engages targeted groups of alumni who have a personal connection with public officeholders, and grassroots advocacy, which involves the larger alumni body and mass communication efforts. Despite having somewhat different needs from their four-year, public counterparts, private colleges and universities, community colleges, and international institutions all can benefit from forging closer relationships between graduates and their elected representatives.

States of Emergency
CURRENTS Article Given the stakes and the current economic climate, U.S. higher education officials across the country are stepping up their advocacy efforts.

President’s Perspective: Politically Correct
CURRENTS Article CASE President John Lippincott provides his perspective on five questions about political correctness.

To the Rescue?
CURRENTS Article Faced with large and continued cuts in state funding, U.S. public postsecondary institutions are looking for new ways to both communicate their needs and garner support. This article discusses how they are calling on long-time supporters, enlisting new allies, developing strategic alliances, and crafting new messages and campaigns, all to underscore the importance of higher education.

President's Perspective: A Is for Advocacy
CURRENTS Article CASE's president summarizes the organization's recent advocacy efforts, both within the United States and abroad as well as within the halls of government and academe.

Advance Work: Make It Brief
CURRENTS Article Birkbeck, University of London is shaping debate with its new communications vehicle.

Outlook: The Perfect Storm for Reform
CURRENTS Article U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan describes "a historic alignment of interests and events that could lift American education to an entirely new level."

President's Perspective: Endowed with Wisdom
CURRENTS Article CASE President John Lippincott describes why legislative attention to educational endowments is both welcome and worrisome.

Springboard for Life
CURRENTS Article This article focuses on public perceptions--and misperceptions--of community colleges and explores how these institutions fit into the overall landscape of higher education in the United States. It also looks at what community colleges are doing to combat some negative images that persist about them.

Career Path: Growing Good Relationships
CURRENTS Article A former speechwriter learned how to do her job in legislative affairs by mimicking the work of a good development officer.

Advance Work: Blast from the Past
CURRENTS Article After the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the University at Buffalo developed a series of visually interesting postcards to inform government and funding leaders about its security-related research.

The Art of Advocacy
CURRENTS Article As more state budgets are slashed, lobbying has taken on more prominence, with some campuses keeping lobbying firms on permanent retainer. States are being squeezed by health care, Medicaid, and K-12 costs on one side and a low-tax ideology on the other. The article looks at these and other related issues and what the government relations function looks like in this new political environment. The article gives an overview of the how the political and legislative climate is affecting higher education, and in turn, how campus government relations and advocacy functions are responding and changing.

Closing Remarks: States of Emergency
CURRENTS Article Even as federal and state dollars for U.S. higher education decline, for public institutions the proportion of public funding from all sources still exceeds that of private gifts. With that in mind, the author questions why public institutions spend so little time and money on state and federal government relations. Using alumni and donors as campus champions and understanding state and federal budget cycles are two strategies she suggests for improving government relations.

Talking Points: The Other White Meat
CURRENTS Article Earmark grants can be an important funding source for institutions, and the authors of this article posit that some campuses don’t pursue them because of a lack of understanding about what they are and how the process works. They define earmarks--appropriations that members of Congress award for projects involving specific colleges and universities, bypassing the normal competitions for federal funds--offer examples of campuses that have received them, outline the process for securing an earmark, and discuss the pros and cons of hiring a lobbyist to help secure them.

Speaking Through the Media
CURRENTS Article When crucial issues such as public funding for higher education are being debated, the right media coverage can make an important difference in the attitudes of legislators and taxpayers. Media relations and government relations staff sometimes find working with reporters to be challenging. But the article includes numerous examples of institutions that have successfully reached out to legislators and the media on key issues.

From the Barbershop to the Boardroom
CURRENTS Article A $3.1 billion higher education bond issue in North Carolina passed a statewide vote with 73 percent of voter support, thanks to a large-scale collaborative campaign by the state’s 16 universities and 59 community colleges. The campaign involved a huge, multi-institution advancement team and support from business and community leaders. The authors give a step-by-step account of the organization an

AdvanceWork: "Double" Trouble
CURRENTS Article An impending enrollment glut sends Ontario universities into crisis-management mode

Voices That Ring Loud & Clear
CURRENTS Article Campus communications directors need to find and focus on people who have significant influence in the communities that are important to their campus' well-being. These opinion leaders can provide crucial and cost-effective influence. To maximize your efforts, decide which of your constituencies are most important; identify the specific opinion leaders in each group; communicate with these people;

In Advance: The View from Capitol Hill
CURRENTS Article An interview with Constance Cook, author of Lobbying for Higher Education: How Colleges and Universities Influence Federal Policy.

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