Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


3 Senators Urge Education Dept. to Make Studying Abroad Safer

Three U.S. senators urged the education secretary, Arne Duncan, in a letter on Thursday to provide better safety information to college students who plan to study abroad.

The letter—signed by Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, Al Franken of Minnesota, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, all Democrats—recommends, among other things, that the Education Department better advertise the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Links to sign up for the program should be provided in the …


Education Dept. to Release Final Rules on Colleges’ Handling of Crime

The U.S. Education Department on Monday will publish the final rules governing how colleges must alter their handling of campus crime. The new rules, which revise regulations to carry out the law known as the Clery Act, will require colleges to, among other things:

  • Add gender identity and nationality as categories to consider when determining whether a hate crime has occurred.
  • Include in their annual security reports details of their policies covering cases of dating violence, domestic violence…

Army War College Revokes Senator’s Degree After Plagiarism Investigation

The U.S. Army War College has revoked Sen. John E. Walsh’s master’s degree after investigating allegations that he plagiarized his thesis, the Associated Press reports. Mr. Walsh, a Montana Democrat, said he disagrees with the investigation’s outcome but accepts the decision.

A July article in The New York Times revealed that Mr. Walsh had copied large portions of the thesis from other sources without attribution. The senator subsequently dropped his campaign for a full term in the U.S. Senate, …


State Attorneys General Encourage Heavier Regulation of For-Profits

Fourteen state attorneys general have released a letter supporting better federal oversight of for-profit colleges. The letter is addressed to two Democratic U.S. lawmakers—Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland—who wrote legislation that calls for, among other things, the establishment of an interagency oversight committee spanning the nine federal departments that regulate for-profits.

“The bill will provide the federal government with a mechanism by which t…


Cuomo Orders SUNY to Adopt ‘Yes Means Yes’ Policy on Campus Sex

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has instructed the State University of New York to overhaul its approach to preventing sexual assault, including by making “affirmative consent” the rule on all 64 of the system’s campuses, The New York Times reports.

Mr. Cuomo announced the change at a news conference in Manhattan and said it would be put into effect within the next 60 days.

The affirmative-consent standard, also referred to as “yes means yes,” will put New York on the same path as California in dealing wi…


U. of Calif. to Study Whether Campuses Enroll Too Many Out-of-State Students

The number of students from other states and from overseas who are admitted to the University of California has steadily risen in recent years as the institution—like other public higher-education systems around the country—has counted on the extra tuition they pay to help offset declining state support. The issue has raised fears among parents and lawmakers that state residents are being squeezed out.

On Tuesday the university’s president, Janet Napolitano, told the Los Angeles Times that she a…


New Laws in Calif. Will Allow 4-Year Degrees at 2-Year Colleges and More ‘Dream’ Aid

Gov. Jerry Brown of California acted on Sunday on several bills that affect higher education, including signing into law measures that will allow some of the state’s community colleges to grant four-year degrees and that will let public university students who can’t take out federal loans because of their immigration status borrow from their colleges instead.

With Mr. Brown’s signature on the community-college bill, California joins 21 other states that have given two-year colleges the authority…


4 Years and $2-Billion in Community-College Training Grants, State by State

The White House on Monday unveiled the winners of the fourth and final round of Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants. This year $450-million went to nearly 270 community colleges that volunteered to work with 400 employers to train displaced workers for high-skill, high-wage occupations.

All told, nearly $2-billion in job-training grants have been awarded under the program, which was created as part of the 2009 economic-stimulus legislation. A searchable and s…


Lehigh U. Reaches Pact With U.S. to Resolve Racial-Bias Complaint

Lehigh University has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education to resolve a graduate’s complaint alleging that the university mishandled race-related incidents, The Morning Call reported.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights had been investigating a complaint of a racially hostile environment on the campus. The complaint was filed by a 1977 Lehigh graduate who asserted that the university had failed to report an incident of racially charged vandalism at Lehigh’s multicult…


Group Sues Mass. Attorney General Over New Rules on For-Profit Colleges

A group that represents for-profit colleges in Massachusetts has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the state’s attorney general of imposing unlawful and unduly burdensome regulations on the colleges, the Boston Herald reports.

The attorney general, Martha Coakley, announced the regulations in June. In a news release issued at the time, her office said its investigations had shown that stronger standards and consumer protections were needed. The regulations require all for-profit and occupational …