President Leath to Senate committee: College should be more affordable, accessible

AMES, Iowa --- Iowa State University President Steven Leath will testify Thursday (July 19) before a U.S. Senate committee on the importance of making college more affordable.

Leath is scheduled to appear before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which convenes at 10 a.m. (EDT) at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin is committee chairman.

The committee invited Leath and four other higher education officials to explain their strategies to improve affordability and deal with financial pressures facing higher education. In addition, the committee is seeking recommendations for federal policy on student financial aid.

“I appreciate this opportunity to talk about the importance of an affordable college education and what we at Iowa State are doing to minimize the debt that students and their parents accumulate,” Leath said.  “Higher education is a critical component in our nation’s future and in our ability to maintain our leadership position in the world.”

Also scheduled to appear before the committee are:

  • Don Heller, dean of the college of education, Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Jim Murdaugh, president of Tallahassee, Fla. Community College
  • Thomas Snyder, president of Ivy Tech Community College, Bloomington, Ind.
  • Carol Twigg, president and CEO, National Center for Academic Transformation, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

The Senate committee hearing will be live streamed at:

Leath assumed leadership of Iowa State University on Jan. 16, 2012. Prior to coming to Iowa State, Leath was vice president for research and sponsored programs for the 16-campus University of North Carolina system. He holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Illinois, Urbana.