Daily News

Lawmakers to Host Conversation with Higher Education Commissioner on College Closures

AMHERST — State Sen. Jo Comerford and state Rep. Mindy Domb announced they will host Department of Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago for a regional conversation on the topic of preventing and addressing the impact of college closures. The event will take place on Friday, July 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the town meeting room at Amherst Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Ave., Amherst.

This event is an opportunity for community members to learn about the governor’s proposal for preventing closures and share questions, concerns, insights, and recommendations with the commissioner.

“Rep. Domb and I represent districts whose communities have deep relationships with higher-education institutions,” Comerford said. “What’s true, therefore, is that any talk of preventing or addressing college closures must take the impact on our communities into consideration. I look forward to our constituents having the opportunity to join in this conversation with Commissioner Santiago, bringing their concerns, questions, and ideas.”

Added Domb, “Senator Comerford and I have partnered on the issue of college closures since taking office, and I’m excited that our constituents will have this opportunity to meet with the commissioner. I greatly appreciate Commissioner Santiago’s willingness to meet and discuss these issues in Amherst, his openness to clarify the governor’s proposal, and his commitment to understand the effect closures have not only on students, but also the significant impact they have on Massachusetts residents, communities, and local economies. I am looking forward to a meaningful discussion.”

The conversation will be interactive, and concerned individuals who are not able to attend in person can submit questions and comments for the commissioner by using the hashtag #askDHE on Twitter. Additionally, in an effort to make the event as accessible as possible, Comerford and Domb will also live-stream the event from their Facebook pages and take questions via those Facebook feeds as well.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to visit Amherst and share thoughts on the proposed regulations,” Santiago said. “Massachusetts will continue to see major shifts in the higher-education landscape, most notably due to demographic changes. Our goal is to adopt a more proactive regulatory stance in order to protect students from the devastating impact of sudden college closures.”

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