The U.S. Senate recently confirmed Robert “Bob” King as assistant secretary for postsecondary education after his nomination in February by President Trump. The impact King’s appointment will have on diversity in higher education remains an open question.
King is a new player on the national stage. However, his tenure as president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education might offer some clues, some say.
When King came to Kentucky in 2009, Dr. Mary Evans Sias, the former president of Kentucky State University, felt some trepidation as a leader of the state’s only historically Black college. She heard tuition rose when King was chancellor of the State University of New York system (SUNY).
It was true. During his five-year tenure as chancellor, tuition on SUNY campuses increased by 28 percent, according to the New York Times. King, an attorney by training, previously served in the New York governor’s office as budget director and director of the Office of Regulatory Reform, roles that critics argued left him mindful of the governor’s budget at students’ expense.