CASE Statement on College Admissions Scandal and Sen. Wyden Proposal
We at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) are deeply troubled by the allegations of illegal and immoral conduct of those identified in the Department of Justice investigation of the admissions process. We strongly condemn the activities of those who are alleged to have participated in these schemes. Access to higher education is both a right and a privilege, and a college degree has for generations opened the door to a meaningful and productive life for countless students of all socioeconomic backgrounds. The Department of Justice is right to prosecute these alleged crimes.
Moreover, these reprehensible schemes unfortunately contribute to increased skepticism and negativity regarding colleges and universities, despite the immense contribution made by the sector to the United States and the world. If people believe that the admissions process is fixed, that effort and merit and will-to-succeed can be thwarted by people who cheat the system, then harm is done to both the education sector and to civic trust, and most importantly to the students pursuing their dreams of a higher education. At CASE, we are committed to advancing education to transform lives and society, and that requires a belief among students and parents that the playing field is level and that personal and social progress are within reach for those willing to work hard to achieve it.
In response to the DOJ investigation, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has announced his intention to introduce legislation that would eliminate the charitable deduction for donations to colleges and universities made "before or during the enrollment of children of the donor's family." Such a drastic proposal is misguided and would be detrimental to institutions that rely on philanthropic support. Charitable investments that fund scholarships and fellowships help increase access for students from underserved communities or those who are without the means to pay for college. We should be supporting policies that encourage individuals to continue making such gifts. Senator Wyden's proposal would do the opposite - it would discourage giving while hurting students and others who benefit from philanthropy.
Our universities are also victimized by these allegations. The actions of a handful of individuals should not sully the thoughtful and principled work of admissions and advancement professionals who work hard every day to sustain the quality and integrity of their institutions.
CASE will continue to espouse ethical behavior in the thousands of institutions we serve, while working to ensure that tax policy continues to encourage philanthropy that supports students, faculty, facilities, and academic programs in our colleges and universities.
CASE—the Council for Advancement and Support of Education—is a global, not-for-profit membership association with a vision to advance education to transform lives and society.
We are the home for advancement professionals, inspiring, challenging, and equipping them to act effectively and with integrity to champion the success of their institutions. CASE defines the competencies and standards for the profession of advancement, leading, and championing their dissemination and application with more than 97,000 advancement professionals at 3,100 member institutions in 80 countries.
Broad and growing communities of professionals gather under the global CASE umbrella. Currently these include alumni relations, development services, communications, fundraising, government relations, and marketing. These professionals are at all stages of their career and may be working in universities, schools, colleges, cultural institutions, or other not-for-profits. CASE uses the intellectual capital and professional talents of an army of volunteers to advance its work, and our membership includes many corporate partners in the education sector.
Headquartered in Washington DC, CASE works across all continents from its regional offices in London, Singapore, and Mexico City to achieve a seamless experience for all our stakeholders, particularly our members, volunteers, and staff.
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