Dear ACHE Colleagues,
What an incredible experience at the 2017 annual conference in Portland, Oregon, and a job well done by Past-President Clare Roby and her planning committee! What a wonderful opportunity for professional development, fellowship and fun! Thanks to all of you who contributed to the conference. As an organization with volunteer leadership, board and committees, the time, commitment and dedication of our membership shines through in our conferences and professional development opportunities.
As the fall semester and 2017 conclude, we have the opportunity to take stock of our current work and look ahead toward the opportunities and obstacles that we face locally, and higher education faces nationally.
As such, you are likely well aware of current federal tax reform package (H.R. 1 (115)), a version of which the House has already passed and Senate will vote on during the coming days. As this package currently stands, it has an adverse effect on the post-secondary populations that many of us support. Under the current plan, graduate assistantships (tuition waivers) will be taxed as regular income, making graduate education an unaffordable prospect for many of our students. Interest on student loans will no longer be tax deductible under the proposed legislation.
Access and affordability in post-secondary education are at risk in the current legislation. I encourage you to call and email your representatives to articulate the potential impact of these changes. It is a turbulent time rife with reform that impacts higher education, with the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act looming as well. As an organization, ACHE must provide the voice for those who seek mobility through affordable education options.
I look forward to the year ahead, especially seeing you at the regional meetings in the coming months. Feel free to reach out with questions, concerns and comments anytime.
ACHE President, 2018