Statement on Signing the Education of the Deaf Act of 1986
August 4, 1986
I have today signed S. 1874, the Education of the Deaf Act. S. 1874 reestablishes Gallaudet College as Gallaudet University and authorizes both the university and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf through fiscal year 1991. Gallaudet, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and their related institutions are important components in the educational service system for the deaf in this country. The contributions of both institutions are well known and are a source of great pride for all of us.
Under the bill, the university is governed by a Board of Trustees composed as follows: 1 member of the Board is a United States Senator, appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate; 2 are Members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House; and 18 are elected by the present Board of Trustees for Gallaudet College. The Board is authorized to govern the university, including hiring its professors and administering the funds appropriated for the school by Congress. The functions and composition of the Board of Trustees raise questions under the appointments clause of the Constitution, art. II, sec. 2, cl. 2, as well as the incompatibility clause, art. I, sec. 6, cl. 2. However, inasmuch as the history and role of the university are unique, I am signing this measure, notwithstanding the constitutional issues that would be raised outside this unique context.
Note: S. 1874, approved August 4, was assigned Public Law No. 99 - 371.