N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson visited the White House on Tuesday for a brainstorming session with President Barack Obamas main adviser on economic policy about how to make higher education more accessible and affordable. The results may include a new outreach program across the state.
Woodson was in Washington for a meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the nations oldest higher-education association. He was named chairman of the associations board of directors, and it was in this role that he was invited as part of a group of about half a dozen university chancellors and presidents to meet with Gene B. Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy.
Sperling urged university leaders to begin working with kids years away from college age to help them get a sense of what it takes to go to and stay in college, Woodson said.
The president is anxious to get university presidents interested in reaching down into the middle schools and high schools, and I think its likely hell have an event of some kind in December where hell talk about that, Woodson said.
A particular focus of the discussion, Woodson said, was the gulf between the children of high-income parents and those of low-income parents to get into college and graduate.
NCSU, he said, is particularly well-suited to this kind of outreach because its extension work already reaches into every North Carolina county.
We have an opportunity to develop and deliver programming across the state to help young people understand what it takes to go to college, Woodson said.
In addition to his new chairman role, Woodson also will lead APLUs Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity, where hell help promote economic engagement activities among public universities across the country.
APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization representing 223 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and related organizations.