Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


Virginia College Presidents Come Out Against Obama’s Ratings System

Citing three broad concerns, 50 private- and public-college presidents in Virginia have signed a letter objecting to President Obama’s proposed college-ratings system. The objections are well worn in a debate that has raged for nearly a year. They are:

  1. The ratings system will discourage institutions from enrolling low-income and part-time students.
  2. The proposal places too much emphasis on graduates’ earnings.
  3. Existing data measuring graduation rates are flawed and unfit to be used in the rating…

For-Profit Bridgepoint’s Business Practices Are Under Investigation

Bridgepoint Education Inc., the for-profit higher-education company that runs Ashford University, is the subject of two new investigations over its business practices, according to a corporate filing made on Friday.

The Massachusetts attorney general’s office notified Bridgepoint on Monday that it would investigate whether the company had complied with the state’s consumer-protection laws. The office has requested information on students and complaints from the company dating to 2006.

The U.S. S…


Corinthian Agrees to Make Online Disclosures to Prospective Students

Corinthian Colleges Inc. has agreed to warn prospective students online of its plans to sell most of its campuses, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The company’s move was in response to legal action by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California.

A judge ruled this month that the for-profit educator did not—at least temporarily—have to make such disclosures to prospective students, and the judge scheduled a hearing for August to consider the matter.

But the company has now agreed to post “…


Alabama State Trustees Targeted by Governor Are Now Off the Board

Two Alabama State University trustees who had been asked to resign by the state’s governor are now off the board, the Montgomery Advertiser reports. Elton Dean, the board’s chairman, resigned earlier this week. Gov. Robert Bentley removed the board’s vice chairman, Marvin Wiggins, on Friday.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bentley asked the two trustees to resign, having just found out about a proposed amendment that would have diminished the authority of the university’s president.

In his letter to Mr. Wiggins


Education Dept. Identifies New Areas for Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. Department of Education issued new guidance on Thursday clarifying that it will recognize same-sex marriages for the purpose of providing in-state tuition to spouses of armed-service members, and determining eligibility for Parent PLUS loans and income-driven repayment of student loans.

The guidance was released in two “Dear Colleague” letters, one on the issue of in-state tuition and the other on PLUS loans and repayment. The letters are not the first to follow the Supreme Court’s 2013…


Bill Gates Talks Performance Funding and MOOCs in Conference Keynote

Bill Gates, a founder of Microsoft and billionaire philanthropist, touched on a myriad of issues facing higher-education institutions during his keynote address on Monday at the annual conference, in Seattle, of the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Here are some of the highlights:

On access: “The United States really stands for the proposition of equal opportunity. We’re striving in our work [at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] to have the U.S. maintain and s…


Senators Ask Education Dept. to Release Records on Former Official

Two Republican U.S. senators have asked the Department of Education to release the records of a former deputy under secretary of education amid an investigation into whether the official, Robert M. Shireman, shared sensitive information with an advocacy group he founded, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Sen. Tom A. Coburn of Oklahoma wrote a letter on Wednesday to the education secretary, Arne Duncan, asking that the department release records of Mr. Sh…


U. of Wisconsin Can Ban Former Student From Campuses, Court Rules

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin ruled on Wednesday that the University of Wisconsin system could ban a former student from its campuses because of protests and other activities by the student that it considered harassment, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The former student, Jeffrey S. Decker, is a longtime protester of how the university uses student fees. He graduated from the university’s Stevens Point campus in 2005 and re-enrolled in the spring of 2010 to give himself a better platfo…


Colleges Must Make ‘Good-Faith Effort’ on Clery Act Compliance, U.S. Says

The U.S. Department of Education said on Monday that colleges must make a “good-faith effort” to comply with changes in the campus-crime reporting law known as the Clery Act before the department issues final rules outlining how colleges should work to prevent crimes such as sexual assault and domestic violence.

When Congress renewed the Violence Against Women Act last year, the Clery Act was amended to require colleges to collect statistics on incidents of domestic violence, dating violence, se…


In California Court, Corinthian Dodges Demands for More Disclosure

A California judge ruled on Friday that Corinthian Colleges Inc. does not have to warn prospective students of its bleak financial condition, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ruling was made in response to a request for a restraining order filed by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California, who alleged that the company was advertising its colleges in a “false and misleading” manner, given that it had agreed to either sell or close all 107 of them.

Last week Corinthian and the U.S. Educa…