Negotiated Rulemaking

Negotiated rulemaking is a process in which a governmental agency forms a committee with representatives of various interested parties ​to ​​negotiate the ​terms of a proposed rule. ​The goal of a negotiated rulemaking proceeding is to build consensus on regulations before notice and comment rulemaking procedures.

​If the stakeholders on the committee reach consensus on the content of the rule and make a recommendation, the final rule, when issued, is much more likely to be implemented without costly legal challenges or delays. If, however, the negotiated rulemaking committee does not reach consensus, the federal agency may submit their own final draft of the regulation.


Negotiated Rulemaking for 2018-2019

Accreditation and Innovation Negotiated Rulemaking

On July 31, 2018, the U.S. Education Department announced a new round of negotiated rulemaking, set to begin in early 2019, on more than a dozen topics.

The wide-ranging negotiated rulemaking session seeks to:

  • rewrite federal rules governing accreditation, non-traditional education providers, and federal funding of religious institutions; and
  • reexamine the standard definition of an academic credit hour, state authorization rules, and "regular and substantive interaction" regulations, among other things.
Public Hearing Information

The Education Department held three public hearings on September 6 in Washington, DC, September 11 in New Orleans, LA, and September 13 in Sturtevant, WI, to solicit feedback on the proposed topics for consideration for action by the negotiated rulemaking committee.

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee and Subcommittee Meetings

The Accreditation and Innovation Negotiated Rulemaking Committee will convene in Washington, DC for three sessions in early 2019.

  • Session 1: January 14-16, 2019
  • Session 2: February 19-22, 2019
  • Session 3: March 25-28, 2019

The Education Department also formed three subcommittees comprised of some voting members of the main committee as well as other non-voting experts. The subcommittees—focused on distance learning and educational innovation; faith-based entities; and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants— will also convene in Washington, DC for three sessions.

  • Session 1: January 17-18, 2019
  • Session 2: February 12-13, 2019
  • Session 3: March 11-12, 2019

Final rules could be developed and published by fall 2019 to take effect July 1, 2020.


Sourced from AACRAO Transcript. Member login required.

AACRAO nominated Board President Dr. Tina Falkner to serve on the committee as a representative of the association. Dr. Falkner, Director of the Office of Student Finance at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, was selected and will serve as an alternate on the Accreditation and Innovation Negotiated Rulemaking Committee, representing 4-year public institutions. 

Dr. Falkner has over 25 years of experience at higher education institutions. Her extensive knowledge of student financial aid issues and student education records policies will be an asset to the committee, particularly with regard to distance learning, educational innovation, and institutional policies concerning the credit hour.

Committee and Subcommittee Members