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President Hays participates in meeting with U.S. Education Secretary Duncan and Senator Kerry

February 7, 2012

Regis College President Antoinette Hays, PhD, RN, was one of 13 college presidents to meet Monday, February 6, with the nation’s top education official and Massachusetts’ senior senator, John Kerry. The purpose of the meeting held at Emerson was to deliver the message to Washington that support of higher education is central to strengthening our economic competitiveness and increasing our tax base. The college presidents expressed concern about the President’s proposal to link federal financial aid to higher education institutions’ ability to control tuition costs and prepare students for jobs.

“College and university presidents in greater Boston are grateful,” President Hays said as she reflected on the meeting afterwards, “for the attention Secretary Duncan and Senator Kerry are giving to higher education and the daunting challenges it faces. This country absolutely needs to protect its future by encouraging the academy,” she continued, “to build shorter, more intensive degree programs, connections between two-year community colleges and four-year institutions, and partnerships between higher education and the workplace. But crucial to all of that is the support of federal and state government.”

Among the topics explored was a proposal for the federal government to forgive loans for students who major in and go to work in mathematics and scientific fields. President Hays, who is on the advisory board for college and university STEM efforts in the Metrowest region of Boston, noted that several presidents referred to the need for federal support on tuition and loan forgiveness in STEM fields, much as prior generations knew similar programs when the country needed teachers and nurses.


Regis College is a Catholic co-educational community that prepares undergraduate, graduate and continuing education students for engagement and service in a changing world. In the School of Liberal Arts, Education and Social Sciences and the School of Nursing, Sciences and Health Professions, approximately 1,600 students are enrolled in 20 undergraduate majors; 30 minors; 10 interdisciplinary pathways toward professional success; master’s degree programs in biomedical science, education, communication, cultural heritage for a global society, health administration, regulatory and clinical research management, and nursing; and a doctoral program in nursing practice. With a strategic graduate focus on health care, Regis College was recently named a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League of Nursing. The College also provides accredited pre-school and kindergarten programs and a Life Long Learning Program (LLARC) for retired seniors.

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