Jarret Cummings serves EDUCAUSE as Senior Advisor for Policy and Government Relations. In this role, he oversees association efforts to address federal policy and regulatory issues with significant implications for member interests. This includes serving as the lead contact for such issues; managing the activities of consultants in crafting responses and positions; facilitating cooperation and collaboration with other higher education associations and relevant organizations; and representing EDUCAUSE in related forums and processes under the direction of the President. Cummings also supports the President in working with the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors on federal policy and regulatory matters. Cummings previously worked as a policy specialist in the EDUCAUSE Washington Office. In that position, he advocated on behalf of higher education IT in federal legislative and regulatory contexts and collaborated with representatives of EDUCAUSE member institutions to promote effective institutional IT policies. Cummings has also served the association as special assistant to the president, helping to assess and respond to strategic and tactical issues as well as to support presidential outreach and special projects; and as program administrator for the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), where he coordinated ELI strategic and operational planning as well as delivery of ELI events, services, and resources. Before joining ELI, Cummings provided IT strategic planning, institutional strategic planning, and general management consulting services to institutional clients of SunGard Collegis, which included colleges and universities of all types. He focused on helping institutions link their technological progress to the achievement of their missions and strategic objectives. Cummings began his career as a program analyst administering higher education grant programs at the U.S. Department of Education. After completing a master's in public administration at Syracuse University, he joined the staff of the executive vice chancellor of the California State University system to coordinate a system-wide strategic planning task force. Following that, Cummings worked with the University of North Carolina system as special projects director and later as special assistant to the system CIO. In those roles, he managed system-wide IT strategic planning and network infrastructure planning projects. He also analyzed state and federal IT policy issues for the system president and CIO and coordinated the CIO's participation in the state's joint select committee on information technology. In addition to the MPA, Cummings holds a bachelor's in philosophy from Southwestern University. His personal interests include strength training/physical fitness and science fiction.
EDUCAUSE and the Association of Research Libraries submitted a joint response to the U.S. Department of Education that includes examples from their members of the problems posed by the recent third-party servicer guidance.
A recent guidance letter from the U.S. Department of Education applies “Third-Party Servicer” regulations to higher education institutions and to their content, software, systems, and services providers. Given the disruption this would cause, EDUCAUSE has asked the department to rescind the letter, fully consult with institutions and their stakeholders, and revise its guidance.
A recent notice from the office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) provides a brief review of the pending changes to the Safeguards Rule and explains how FSA plans to ensure institutional compliance with the new requirements.