Forging bipartisan support to invest in higher education
Working with clients at both public and private institutions, McGuireWoods Consulting has played a leading role in garnering support for higher education-a chief concern of state government across the nation. Our integrated efforts have included government relations work, media relations, and community support efforts.
In today's competitive political environment, where party power is in constant flux, success has depended on McGuireWoods Consulting's bipartisan connections and our credible, balanced approach to messaging. Several examples from the Commonwealth of Virginia illustrate the impact of McGuireWoods Consulting's expertise and strategic working methods.
Garnering Bipartisan Support
How do you fund the high-tech research that will keep our nation competitive in the 21st century? The issue often divides Democrats and Republicans. So when a major initiative to invest in university-based research arose in Virginia, McGuireWoods Consulting acted decisively. We knew that leaders in both parties supported the bill. So before the legislative session began, we worked behind the scenes to organize a press conference at which they would jointly endorse the bill, with legislators from both sides of the aisle.
Expertise and Innovation
Working year-in and year-out on the issues, McGuireWoods Consulting has developed expertise in higher education, and we often coordinate closely with legislators to help them enact reforms that are both practical and innovative. In Virginia, this resulted in landmark operational restructuring legislation, which gave public colleges and universities more autonomy and flexibility in managing daily activities, such as planning, procurement, and purchasing. The bill re-focused state oversight on measurable educational outcomes.
McGuireWoods Consulting also helped to pass a $1.8 billion bond-financed investment in capital construction for higher education—the largest-ever in Virginia history. This innovative legislation also reformed the planning process, integrating each institution's plans for growth into an overall plan for the commonwealth.
Despite periods of economic challenge, and a competitive and at times intensely partisan political environment, McGuireWoods Consulting continues to play an instrumental role in helping to forge bipartisan, executive-legislative support for major higher education initiatives.