"We are pleased that Under Secretary Tucker will visit Nebraska and the university," Milliken said. "This is an excellent opportunity for the senior Bush administration official with responsibility for higher education to learn about what the University of Nebraska and others are doing in our state to make higher education more accessible, affordable and accountable."
Tucker oversees all policies, programs and activities of the federal government related to postsecondary education, vocational and adult education, and federal student aid. She is also responsible for carrying out the recommendations of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, which called for expanding the accessibility, affordability and accountability of postsecondary education.
She is visiting college and university campuses across the country to talk with students about their pathways to postsecondary education and solutions to barriers they’ve encountered in their journey.
Tucker will hold a town hall meeting on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8. The event, at the Milo Bail Student Center, is free and open to the public. All students, parents, faculty and other community members who have an interest in students successfully preparing for and completing college are encouraged to attend. Limited reserved parking will be available on the UNO campus north of the Student Center, and north of the Eppley Building.
"We’re pleased to welcome the Under Secretary to our campus, and delighted that she will have an opportunity to discuss these important issues with UNO students, faculty and the public," UNO Chancellor John Christensen said.
In addition to the town hall, Tucker will hold roundtable discussions with students from UNO and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She will meet leaders in education, business and government, and will learn about Omaha’s Building Bright Futures initiative, a public-private community-wide partnership aimed at increasing participation in education from early childhood through college.
Tucker is also expected to meet with Gov. Dave Heineman, who has announced goals for increasing the college going rate in Nebraska’s higher education institutions, and who has partnered with Milliken in launching Nebraska’s "Know How 2 Go" college access campaign.
Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Tucker worked for nine years as the CEO and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), where she pursued an aggressive goal to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees by 2010. While she led HSF, Tucker raised $280 million for scholarships and community outreach programs to raise college expectations in Latino families and communities. Among her many awards and honors, Tucker was named Hispanic of the Year in 2000 by Hispanic Magazine, and one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States in 2005 by Time Magazine.
Tucker and Milliken accompanied U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on a trip to Latin America last year as part of a delegation to promote international education and collaboration. At that time, Milliken invited Tucker to visit the University of Nebraska. As part of her listening tour, in addition to Omaha and Lincoln, Tucker is visiting campuses in Houston, Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.