Arnold Mitchem’s Vision: A Pragmatic Strategy to Protect TRIO Programs - Higher Education: In his departing address as president of the Council of Opportunity in Education at the organization’s annual conference last month, Dr. Arnold Mitchem mixed tough talk and inspirational oratory. His tough talk defined the brutal political realities confronting the federally supported TRIO college access and academic support programs for low-income students aspiring college success.
“And as I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it one last time,” Mitchem told hundreds of TRIO program administrators who were in Chicago for the conference, “you are the proxies for the poor. You identify with the poor. You care and have concern about the aspirations, the welfare and the tears of the poor.”
With federal programs, including TRIO, having been hit hard by budget sequester cuts at the time of his speech, Mitchem urged his audience to not “lose faith or hope” in their efforts to seek congressional support for their programs.
“We’ll get through this storm. There’s no question about that. TRIO is going to exist,” he said.