News Release from AASCU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2008-09-10

Contact: Jennifer Herrera (202) 478-4665

PROTECTING AMERICA’S FISCAL FUTURE FOCUS OF INITIATIVE

ADP Program will Look at Student Education and Bipartisan Solutions

Washington, D.C. – The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) announced today the formation of a new initiative titled America’s Future: Protecting the Fiscal Health of Our Democracy. Given that the next generation of adults will labor under current debt accumulation, the initiative will look at what college students can do to educate themselves and their communities about the need for a bipartisan solution to the nation’s looming fiscal crisis.

Launching with nine participating AASCU institutions, America’s Future will experiment and pilot programs on college campuses that foster an increased citizen understanding of our nation’s fiscal circumstances and the policy options needed to confront and address these complex issues. The initiative is a collaboration between members of AASCU’s American Democracy Project (ADP) and Public Agenda, a non-profit research and civic engagement organization based in Washington, D.C.

“The United States is confronting a fiscal crisis that threatens future generations and the vitality of our nation,” says George Mehaffy, AASCU vice president for Academic Leadership and Change. “Among current generations of adults, college students face the longest consequences from our fiscal irresponsibility.  Yet they can also be the future leaders who create a climate of public opinion that demands fiscal accountability from our elected officials.”

On September 11-13, representatives from participating colleges and universities will attend the America’s Future Institute in Washington, D.C. Participants will study fiscal challenges and the impact of U.S. debt on future generations, and begin project planning for campus and national events. Speakers for the Institute include: Andrew Yarrow, author of Forgive Us Our Debts and vice president of Public Agenda, Diane Rogers of the Concord Coalition, and Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation.

Institute participants are expected to undertake one or more activities on campus during the 2008-2009 academic year focused on engaging a broad section of the campus community in a conversation about America’s fiscal health. Participating institutions are as follows: Dalton State College (Ga.); Emporia State University (Kan.); Fort Lewis College (Colo.); Keene State University (N.H.); Lyndon State College (Vt.); Stephen F. Austin State University (Texas); The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey; University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez.

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AASCU is the leadership association of 430 public colleges and universities Delivering America’s Promise through their common commitments to access, affordability and educational opportunity. Enrolling more than 3 million students, these institutions fulfill the expectations of a public university by working for the public good through education, stewardship and engagement, thereby improving the lives of people in their community, their region and their state.