Scholars Announce Guidelines for Higher Education Bailout

National Association of Scholars

New York, NY, April 29, 2020 — The National Association of Scholars (NAS) has released Critical Care, a plan to guide the federal response to the unprecedented disruptions facing higher education in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has inflicted enormous financial damage on colleges and universities and the cost is still growing. American higher education will undergo an unprecedented financial crisis in the coming months.

Many colleges and universities are clamoring for a federal bailout. NAS believes that they will need government support. However, NAS also believes that legislators and regulators should tie bailout funds to reforms that address long-standing problems in American higher education.

Critical Care provides a blueprint for those reforms.

Critical Care’s guidelines put students first by supporting students in need, refocusing colleges and universities on rigorous classroom instruction, and prioritizing intellectual freedom and intellectual diversity on campus.

These guidelines provide common-sense reforms to revitalize higher education and restore it to public esteem. On April 15, the President announced the Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups, which included many sectors of the American economy. “Higher education was conspicuous by its absence,” said NAS President Peter Wood. “Its exclusion from the list makes good sense. Higher education has shown little willingness to put its house in order. No amount of money can revive our colleges and universities until it does.” Critical Care outlines how higher education can remake itself to be a worthy recipient of taxpayer funds.

These guidelines will provide strategic principles to govern a federal bailout of higher education. But they will also establish a model for future reforms and demonstrate that such reform can be enacted. American higher education reform begins here.

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at


If you would like more information about this issue, please email Chance Layton at [email protected].

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