Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


Accreditor Threatens to Step In as Illinois Colleges Wait for State Funds

The Higher Learning Commission sent a letter to Illinois lawmakers on Thursday, saying it is “obligated to move swiftly to protect Illinois students” if the state’s budget impasse continues and public colleges are denied state funds. Capitol Fax, an Illinois politics blog, obtained a copy of the letter, which is addressed to the state’s governor and members of the legislature.

In the letter, Barbara Gellman-Danley, president of the commission, wrote that the accreditor had contacted the state’s …


Chain of For-Profit Beauty Schools Will Close After U.S. Cuts Off Funds

All campuses of the for-profit Marinello Schools of Beauty chain will cease operations by Friday, following an announcement this week that the U.S. Department of Education was cutting off the institution’s access to federal student aid.

The chain has campuses in California, Connecticut, Kansas, Nebraska, and Nevada, with about 4,300 students and 800 employees. The department said Marinello was “knowingly requesting federal aid for students based on invalid high-school diplomas, underawarding Tit…


Chicago State Declares Financial Exigency as Budget Standoff Continues

Chicago State University has declared financial exigency, signaling the possibility of sharp cuts as the state’s public colleges struggle to find a way forward after seven months without state funding. The Chicago Tribune reports that the university says it does not have enough money to pay its employees through March.

Declaring financial exigency typically makes it easier for an institution to take drastic measures to cut expenses, including the firing of tenured professors. The university’s Bo…


Iowa State Senator Wants Public Colleges to Cut Ties With Stanford Over Halftime Show

bill in the Iowa Senate would ban the state’s three public universities from collaborating with Stanford University, except in athletics, until Stanford apologizes for its marching band’s halftime performance when Stanford and the University of Iowa faced off in the Rose Bowl.

Introduced on Wednesday by Mark Chelgren, a Republican, the bill asks Stanford to ”publicly apologize to Iowa’s citizens and to the University of Iowa for the unsporting behavior of the Leland Stanford Junior Universit…


Education Dept. Suspends Student-Aid Eligibility for Dozens of For-Profit Programs

[Updated (2/1/2016, 6:39 p.m.) with comment from a Marinello representative.]

The U.S. Department of Education has suspended student-aid eligibility at 26 for-profit education programs, in California, Illinois, and Nevada, after an investigation found several rules violations by the programs, the department announced on Monday.

The programs found in violation were 23 Marinello Schools of Beauty campuses in Nevada and California, with about 2,100 active students, and three Computer Systems Instit…


Claiming Deceptive Practices, Education Dept. and FTC Take Action Against For-Profit DeVry

[Updated (1/27/2016, 2:43 p.m.) with remarks from a call with reporters to announce the actions.]

The Federal Trade Commission says the for-profit DeVry University deceived prospective students through exaggerated claims in its advertisements. The commission announced on Wednesday that it had filed suit against DeVry, seeking to have the company “provide redress to consumers” and to prohibit it from continuing to make deceptive claims.

Among the company’s claims that the commission is calling de…


Arne Duncan Joins Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics

Arne Duncan, until recently the U.S. secretary of education, has joined the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the commission announced on Wednesday. The commission, which has worked to reform college sports since its inception, in 1989, welcomed three new members in all.

“I’m delighted to join the Knight Commission, which has done so much to foster and protect athletics and academics,” Mr. Duncan said in a news release. “But we have a lot more to do to protect the integrity of coll…


Which States Allow Guns on Campuses? New Study Takes Stock

As lawmakers in many states weigh whether to allow concealed weapons on campuses, a new report by the Education Commission of the States and Naspa — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education attempts to quantify the legislative landscape.

According to the report, nine states have allowed concealed-firearm carriers to bring guns on campuses, while 21 other states have effectively banned them. Eight other campuses have banned concealed firearms but allow them to be stored in locked vehi…


Is Community College Already Free? It’s More Complicated Than That, Researchers Say

One critique of the free-college movement, or even debt-free college, is that students have plenty of low-cost options within higher education. For instance, community colleges. “Public two-year colleges … are free or nearly free for low-income students,” wrote Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the U.S. Senate’s education committee, in a July 2015 op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

Really? Two researchers took up the question and concluded the reality is more complex. In a policy brief, Sara Gold…


Education Dept. Will Publish List of Colleges With Title IX Exemptions

The U.S. Department of Education will publish a list of religious colleges that have received exemptions from some provisions of the gender-equity law Title IX, the assistant secretary for civil rights, Catherine E. Lhamon, said in a letter on Wednesday.

Dozens of religious colleges have been granted waivers that exempt them from having to enforce provisions of the law that run counter to their religious tenets. A report released in December by the Human Rights Campaign drew attention to the num…