Preserving America's Economic Security

President Allen speaks on the fight for Pell grants and other scholarships

On Feb. 5, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) hosted a United States Senate Appropriations Subcommittee field hearing, called "Preserving America's Economic Security," on health and human services, education and other issues.

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin comes to UNI to hear panelists testimonies.

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin came to UNI to listen to seven panel members' testimony on the effects budget cuts would have on their specific programs.

At the hearing, students, community members and elected officials listened to Sen. Harkin and a panel of local agency heads discuss funding and budget cuts.

Harkin listened to seven panel members' testimony on the effects budget cuts would have on their specific programs. Among the panelists was UNI President Ben Allen. Allen spoke about the importance of not decreasing the university's funding for Pell grants and other forms of scholarships.

Allen's role in the hearing was to provide testimony on behalf of UNI and its role in preserving America's economic security.

"Clearly, our universities must do their part to make higher education affordable," said Allen. "We at UNI understand that, and we also know we must be vigilant in searching for ways to contain costs… We will continue to vigorously explore ways to maintain the quality of education provided with a minimum of resources." 

President Allen spoke of programs and initiatives that UNI employs, such as the TRIO Programs, which are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to offer quality education to financially disadvantaged and minority students.

"These gains in achievement and productivity are critically important if the United States wants to regain its competitiveness in the global economy," said Allen.  "Cutting back these programs will indirectly affect the long-term vitality of the economy. Now is not the time to reduce the funding for these programs."

Allen finished by looking toward the future for all parties involved.

President Ben Allen was among panelists would gave their testimonies to Sen. Harkin during a U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee field hearing called "Preserving America's Economic Security."
President Ben Allen was among panelists who gave their testimonies to Sen. Harkin during a U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee field hearing called "Preserving America's Economic Security."

"Offering every young man and woman, and indeed, displaced adults, the opportunity to obtain the knowledge and tools needed for a successful, productive life is the right thing to do," he said. "Here at UNI, and I would argue that at all institutions of higher learning, we strive to make every student achieve the best education possible for them. To make that happen, those students first have to recognize that the opportunity exists for them to get a degree. Those students have to be prepared properly for college."

Read President Allen's testimony to Senator Harkin, students, staff and community members.

Other speakers included Iowa State Sen. Bill Dotzler, who spoke about the benefits of the Workforce Investment Act; Jerry Nelson, who manages the Waterloo office of the Social Security Administration; Kim Young-Kent, executive director of Tri-County Head Start; Jerry Durham, chancellor of Allen College of Nursing; and Jonathan Keniston, a student at Hawkeye Community College and recipient of a Pell grant.