LAWRENCE — On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Achievement & Assessment Institute’s Center for Educational Opportunity Programs will welcome to campus Arnold Mitchem, president emeritus of the Council for Opportunity in Education and senior scholar for the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education.
Mitchem will speak on “President Johnson’s Great Society: A Reflection on Its Impact, Struggle, and Success Within Higher Education” at 4 p.m. in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union; a 5 p.m. reception will follow at the Natural History Museum. Mitchem will also lead a professional-development workshop for CEOP staff the following day.
KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little will introduce Mitchem. CEOP’s campus partners for this event include the Chancellor’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the School of Education and the Department of Special Education.
Mitchem has been a voice for low-income and disabled Americans his entire career. As a result of his work, the federally funded TRIO programs – the largest discretionary program in the U.S. Department of Education – have expanded by nearly 400 percent and now serve nearly 850,000 students at more than 1,200 colleges and universities. CEOP offers all eight onsite TRIO programs at KU.
“We invest in human capital and change lives in positive ways because we believe the return is critical for our nation to be competitive in the global market economy and that a credible support system is sine qua non to access and success in higher education,” said CEOP Director Ngondi Kamatuka. “Arnold Mitchem has championed the cause of college access throughout his distinguished career, and we are delighted to welcome him to campus.”
Mitchem’s remarks at KU will touch on the egalitarian traditions within American higher education, including the expression and redefinition of these historic values and goals in the 1960s, which emphasized the federal focus on removing financial and social barriers to higher education. He will discuss the emergence and role of the TRIO programs as an integral part of the federal strategy to advance equal educational opportunity from the passage of the Higher Education Act in 1965 until the present.