State Policy Advisory Banner

 2012 State of the State Addresses and Higher Education

Compiled by Thomas Harnisch, Policy Analyst and Emily Parker, Research and Policy Associate
February 29, 2012
At the outset of each calendar year, governors typically outline their policy priorities for the legislative session in the form of a State of the State address. State chief executives use these speeches to articulate policy proposals aimed at addressing challenges and opportunities affecting the state at large, and virtually every aspect of citizens’ daily lives.
AASCU has reviewed all 43 State of the State addresses that have been delivered in 2012 to get a sense of the extent to which higher education is a gubernatorial policy priority during the balance of states’ current legislative sessions. Higher education was mentioned in 39 of the gubernatorial speeches. Key themes from this year’s addresses include higher education’s role in economic and workforce development, greater attention to public-private partnerships and an expanded role for community and technical colleges.
Key higher education themes stemming from the State of the State Addresses are shown here. A detailed state-by-state accounting of higher education-related gubernatorial policy proposals is available via the link below. 

Key Higher Education Themes
  1. Role of higher education in economic and workforce development (CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, ME, MD, MA, MN, MO, MS, NE, NH, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, WA, WV, WY)
  2. Partnerships with the private sector (GA, ID, IL, MD, MO, NE, NH, RI, SD, WV, WY)
  3. Recognition of community and technical colleges (GA, ID, IL, KY, ME, MA, MS, OH, PA, SC, WY)
  4. College readiness (AK, HI, IA, ME, MI, NH, NM, OK, UT)
  5. State operating support/funding (ID, MA, MN, NH, PA, TN, VA, VT, WA) 
  6. Degree attainment (IL, MN, MO, OK, OR, TN, UT)
  7. Early college/dual enrollment (IN, KY, MS, MO, VA, VT)
  8. State financial aid (AK, CO, GA, IL, MO, TN)
  9. Higher education performance (OH, OR, PA, SC, VA)
  10. College affordability (MD, MO, TN, WA)   
  11. STEM education (MD, NH, VA, WY)
  12. Teacher preparation (CT, IA, MS)
  13. Facilities (MN, NH, OH)
  14. Career/vocational pragmatism in higher education (GA, FL,OH)
  15. Veterans education (MN, VA)
  16. College completion (OH, TN)
  17. Immigration (CA, IL)
  18. Tax credits (NJ)
  19. Guns on campus (NH)
  20. Governance (OR)
Addition Resources
Visit’s State of the States 2012 for a composite sketch of fiscal, policy and political dynamics encompassing the 2012 gubernatorial speeches.
Visit the Education Commission of the States’ 2012 State of the State Addresses—Education-Related Proposals for a summary of all (P-20) education-related proposals.


Subscribing to AASCU Policy Publications
here to subscribe to AASCU's free higher education policy publications
Follow AASCU Policy on Twitter: @aascupolicy