IU School of Education
Appointment fills student representative slot on commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has named a doctoral student in the IU School of Education to serve on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
Clayton Slaughter, a doctoral student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program who also holds a degree from the IU School of Law, has just started a two-year term that will expire on June 30, 2010. A student nominating committee recommended Slaughter for the appointment. By law, one member of the commission must be a student representative.
"This is a chance for me to learn more as a student," Slaughter said. "This is a chance for me to give back and show to the commission, 'This is what I've learned in almost nine years of college.'"
Slaughter earned his undergraduate degree at Purdue University and said he first pursued a spot on the commission while on campus in West Lafayette, interviewing and finishing as a finalist.
"This is appealing because it's a service-oriented position," Slaughter said. "It's taking my passion for education and marrying it with my passion for serving other people, especially the people of this state."
The native of Marion brings a varied academic résumé to the commission, having earned a degree in genetic biology at Purdue, then a law degree, before entering the doctoral program at the IU School of Education.
"That gives you a unique perspective," Slaughter said. "I've been in the sciences; I've been in the professional schools -- and now the School of Ed. It gives me a different perspective than a lot of students would have, and hopefully allows me to better represent the students."
Slaughter now works part-time in the IU Student Advocates Office.
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has 14 members, nine from Indiana's congressional districts, three at-large members, a faculty representative, and the student seat. The commission is a coordinating agency of the state government. It helps define educational missions of Indiana's public colleges and universities, reviews budget requests from those institutions, plans and coordinates postsecondary education in Indiana, and approves new programs or campus expansions.
The new commission has not held its first meeting, but Slaughter said he has had conversations about what the job will entail. He said he views the job of the commission as ensuring the resources of the state are best used for the benefit of Indiana residents and students. In his role as the student representative, he said considerations for students will be foremost.
"If we're not giving the students what they need to be successful, we haven't done a good job," he said.
Media Outlets: The following comments are available as mp3 files on the IU School of Education Web site at http://www.education.indiana.edu. Look for this news release under "News" on the home page. The sound bites below will have a clickable link to hear and to save the files.
Slaughter talks about why he was interested in joining the Indiana Commission for Higher Education:
"This is appealing because it's a service-oriented position. It's taking my passion for education and marrying it with my passion for serving other people, especially the people of this state. I'm a native Hoosier, so being able to give back to the state that's given me so much throughout my undergrad and my law degree and now my Ph.D., that's appealing to me, being able to serve others."
Because of his varied academic experience, Slaughter says he'll bring something different to commission discussions:
"That gives you a unique perspective. A lot of people are compartmentalized into whatever their specialty is or their department is. I've been in the sciences, I've been in the professional schools, and now the School of Ed. It gives me a different perspective than a lot of students would have, and hopefully allows me to better represent the students, because I'm not just representing the students in my field -- but I can see what the students from the School of Science are saying or one of the other professional schools."
Slaughter says he views his role as making sure students and the Indiana public are served well:
"As far as what we're going to do, we're a coordinating agency. People think of the Commission, and unfortunately, they think of, 'Well, what kind of teeth do you have.' Well, part of being a good public servant is not necessarily always having teeth, but being able to coordinate within the state what all the schools are doing, so that the resources of the state are used best and so the people of Indiana and the students of Indiana schools are getting the best education possible."