Scott Hosts Roundtable with Officials from Local Colleges & Universities

August 16, 2021
Press Release
Roundtable focused on response to the COVID-19 pandemic and supports from the Federal government

NEWPORT NEWS, VA Earlier today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, convened a virtual roundtable with presidents and other officials from local institutions of higher education. The roundtable was a chance for college and university officials to discuss how they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, how their institutions utilized federal funding made available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan, and what challenges they still face in light of surging infections driven by the delta variant.

“The COVID-19 pandemic had a tremendous impact on colleges and universities, and most importantly students,” said Congressman Scott. “I had a very productive conversation with presidents and other leaders from many local colleges and universities about their responses to the pandemic. As the Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, I am focused on making sure colleges and universities have all the resources necessary to support these institutions and minimize the impact the pandemic has on students.”

Congress enacted the CARES Act in 2020, which secured $14 billion to help institutions of higher education address the immediate challenges facing their campuses and students.

Last December, Congress passed provisions to drastically expand the Pell Grant program, repeal the ban on Pell eligibility among incarcerated students, and restore Pell Grant eligibility for students defrauded by their institutions. The package also streamlined the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and discharged loans made to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) under the HBCU Capital Financing Loan program, providing $1.34 billion in relief to these institutions.

In March of this year, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which provided nearly $40 billion to support students and struggling institutions.


Full list of attendees can be found below:

  • Hampton University, Bill Thomas, Associate Vice President of Government Relations;
  • Norfolk State University, Dr. Justin Moses, Vice President for Operations and Chief Strategist for Institutional Effectiveness, Dr. Leonard Brown, Vice President for Student Affairs;
  • Richard Bland College, Dr. Debbie Sydnor, President;
  • Thomas Nelson Community College, Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon, President;
  • Paul D. Camp Community College, Dr. Corey L. McCray, President;
  • Virginia State University, Dr. Donald Palm, Provost, Dr. Robert Corley, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs;
  • Virginia Wesleyan University, Dr. Scott Miller, President;
  • Tidewater Community College, Dr. Marcia Conston, President;
  • College of William & Mary, Dr. Katherine Rowe, President.


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