Reporter’s notebook

Photo: Matthew Dembicki

  • Kvaal in as under secretary
  • Delgado celebrates 100 years, while it is closed
  • Examples of Excelencia finalists

Kvaal in as under secretary

The Senate has finally approved James Kvaal as under secretary, the U.S. Education Department’s top higher education post.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted 55 to 37 to confirm Kvaal. The nomination stalled for months when a key Democrat used the process to pressure the Biden administration to move forward with broad student debt cancellation.

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement following the vote that Kvaal, who has broad support from the higher education community, “has a deep understanding of the strengths, needs, and challenges in postsecondary education. This is critical at a time when increasing college access, affordability, and completion is key to helping America build back better.”

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in April advanced Kvaal’s nomination by a 19-to-3 vote. During his confirmation hearing, Kvaal called on states to contribute more toward public higher education in order to to help contain college costs for students.

Kvaal previously served at the U.S. Education Department, the Obama Domestic Policy Council and most recently as president of the Institute for College Access and Success. He has broad support in the higher education community to serve at the department’s top higher education post.

Delgado celebrates 100 years, while it is closed

Delgado Community College this week celebrates its 100th anniversary. However, the New Orleans college remains closed until September 20 due to the effects of Hurricane Ida.

Most classes will be virtual from September 20 to October 1, with the exception of nursing/allied health clinicals, practicums, labs and other courses that must be taught face-to-face, according to the college. In addition, the semester has been extended by one week.

On Monday, Delgado sent a press release noting its centennial. The college opened on September 13, 1921, at 615 City Park Avenue in New Orleans. The school was part of the legacy of its founder, businessman and philanthropist Isaac Delgado.

“Longevity does not mean that an institution has done something correctly for a long time,” the release said. “Rather, it means that it has adapted to changes in ways that keep it viable. Delgado, the college, has grown and developed far beyond the inspired vision of Delgado, the man, who wanted to ‘give a boy a trade.'”

Examples of Excelencia finalists

Excelencia in Education, an advocate for accelerating Latino student success in higher education, has announced 21 evidence-based programs across the U.S. as finalists for its 2021 Examples of Excelencia – including six community colleges:

The programs at Howard and Miami Dade were finalists last year, too.

“We believe these programs are the foundation for student-centered transformation at their institutions and organizations,” Excelencia said in a press release.

Winners will be announced on October 28 for each of four categories: associate, baccalaureate, graduate and community-based organizations. Excelencia this year received more than 310 program nominations and 145 submissions representing 23 states and Puerto Rico.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.