Knapp joins college leaders

University President Steven Knapp traveled to New York City Tuesday to participate in the inaugural meeting of the Higher Education Cabinet – a group made up of presidents and leaders of higher education institutions from across the country.

The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education developed the group because they wanted to discuss the pressing issues of higher education today, said Jeffrey Selingo, editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Knapp said the meeting’s participants discussed issues ranging from students taking online classes to the importance of study abroad programs.

“For me, the most significant discussion was on how you pay for higher education,” Knapp said. “We talked about a number of steps to improve affordability.”

At the inaugural meeting held in The New York Times building, the 76 cabinet members brainstormed on issues including media, globalization, technology and financing. Selingo said the cabinet plans to continue these discussions through the Internet and will convene annually in person.

The selection process to the cabinet was based primarily on personal experience with the presidents and leaders of various institutions. Staff of both publications helped with the formation of the cabinet.

The cabinet invited Knapp based on his extensive experience in higher education and his personal relationship with the Chronicle, Selingo said. In June, the GW president and the Chronicle hosted a discussion on the upcoming presidential election.

“President Knapp is a new president, but he had a lot of experience from his time at Johns Hopkins,” Selingo said. “We knew he could offer some very thoughtful views on all issues of higher education.”

Additionally, Selingo said GW’s status as a fairly large institution in an urban area would generate valuable discussions.

Other members include the presidents of Syracuse University, University of Pennsylvania, Amherst College, Cornell University and University of Vermont.

“The cabinet is a very prestigious small group of presidents and chancellors, and the selection of President Knapp is a great testament to his background,” University spokeswoman Tracy Schario said. “It reflects highly on our institution as well, and we should be very proud.”

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