Federal Legislative Season Greetings,

In my role as VP for External Relations, a number of Clarkson faculty and staff have approached me about how to contact federal representatives regarding the various bills and legislative actions occurring in Washington DC right now The easiest and most effective way to reach them is via phone. The numbers as well as e-mail addresses and forms are at https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org/ to express your opinion directly.   

These are a number of issues under immediate review that are good to be on our radar as members of the higher education community.   Your individual opinions and experiences on how these issues impact you, our students and our sector do matter to our elected officials. 

As part of a major Federal Tax Reform initiative to rewrite the USA tax code, there are numerous changes being proposed that will lead to personal financial changes for students, families and our employees, including the graduate students who receive benefits for teaching and research work done at the University.  These are still “in committee” being hashed out so not a done deal. The American Council on Education keeps it comprehensive, easy-to-read digest of the proposed changes up to date and includes ways to express your opinion with various links.   

Congress is moving quickly to also move PROSPER forward (Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform), which is a bill to reauthorize the Higher Education Authorization Act last updated in 2008.  The mark up of the bill begins today at 10am --- again there are a number of proposed changes that will impact the availability of aid to our undergraduate and graduate students, and we understand there may be amendments proposed on the mobility of transfer credits across the sector.  Graduate students in the current proposed version could lose work-study eligibility and have limits placed on federal loans.  Read more.

Another item of particular interest is the topic of net neutrality.   Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers must treat all data on the Internet the same, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, etc. The FCC has said it will vote on whether to keep or repeal these protections on December 14th. This could result in Internet traffic to/from the University being relegated to 'slow lanes' unless the University pays for prioritization of its traffic. For more on this topic, please see this statement released by EDUCAUSE, the American Library Association, the American Council on Education and others:  https://library.educause.edu/~/media/files/library/2014/7/epo1305_1-pdf.pdf  .  The FCC can be reached at 1-888-CALL FCC (225-5322), with option #5 on this issue.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach me as well.  Your voice to your representatives matters most.   

Kelly O. Chezum, MBA ’04, DLP

Vice President for External Relations | Clarkson University                                        

Box 5500 | 8 Clarkson Avenue | Room 333 Cora & Bayard Clarkson Science Center

Potsdam, New York 13699

Office: 315.268.4483 | Cell 315.345.5454 | chezumk@clarkson.edu


Meetings By Appointment at Capital Region Campus

80 Nott Terrace | Schenectady, NY 12308


The important thing is not to stop questioning.
- Albert Einstein