Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


Tennessee Lawmakers Approve Plan to Make Community College Free

The Tennessee legislature has overwhelmingly approved Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature proposal to create a program that would pay the tuition and fees for two years for all state high-school graduates who want to go to a community or technical college, the Associated Press reported. The State House of Representatives voted, 87 to 8, in favor of the plan, called the Tennessee Promise, on Tuesday, a day after the Senate approved it, 30 to 1.

Higher-education officials and leaders of national college-…


Florida Polytechnic U. Selects Its First President

Florida Polytechnic University, which is scheduled to open this fall as the state’s 12th public university, has named as its first president Randy K. Avent, who is now associate vice chancellor for research development at North Carolina State University.

A professor of computer science who holds a Ph.D. in biomedical mathematics and engineering, Mr. Avent previously served as chief scientist in the Office of Basic Research in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Eng…


Obama Will Nominate Colby College’s President to Top Humanities Post

President Obama will nominate William D. Adams, the departing president of Colby College, as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the White House announced on Thursday.

Mr. Adams, who has led Colby since 2000, announced last January that he would retire. Before taking the helm at Colby, Mr. Adams served as president of Bucknell University for five years. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Adams would succeed James A. Leach, who resigned as the NEH’s chairman last year.


Miami Dade College’s Chief Regrets Blasting Lawmakers in Tax-Bill Feud

Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College, on Thursday said he regretted his harsh criticism of a group of local lawmakers in a dispute over a tax proposal that would benefit his institution, the Miami Herald reported.

The measure involves a proposed five-year, half-penny sales-tax increase that would raise about $1-billion for the community college. To take effect, the tax increase would have to be approved by voters. In an interview this week with the newspaper’s editorial board, Mr…


U. of Texas Regent May Have Committed Impeachable Offenses

A committee of the Texas House of Representatives that has been considering whether to recommend impeaching a member of the University of Texas system’s Board of Regents has determined that the regent, Wallace L. Hall Jr., may have committed impeachable offenses, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

Mr. Hall has deluged the university system with open-records requests as part of a bid to oust William C. Powers Jr. as president of the university’s flagship campus, in Austin. Mr. Powers testifi…


Ivy Tech Community College Is Among Winners of Grants for Career Training

Ivy Tech Community College, in Indiana, is among the 24 winners that will split $107-million in grant money as part of an effort to help high-school students work toward college degrees and earn industry credentials in high-demand fields such as technology and health care, the White House announced on Monday.

President Obama introduced plans for the grant program, known as Youth CareerConnect, last fall. The two dozen winners also include school districts and nonprofit groups. Mr. Obama spoke ab…


S.C. Lawmakers Advance Compromise to Controversial Merger Proposal

A panel of the South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday advanced a measure that is being billed as a compromise to controversial efforts to merge the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina, according to The State and The Post and Courier.

Rep. Leonidas E. Stavrinakis, a Democrat of Charleston who was a co-author of the original merger bill, helped sponsor the amended proposal, which would designate an existing part of the college as a research university i…


Mass. Accuses Corinthian Colleges of Misleading Students to Increase Profits

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Thursday sued Corinthian Colleges Inc., accusing the for-profit higher-education company of misrepresenting job-placement rates and using deceptive marketing practices to increase its enrollments and profits, The Boston Globe reported.

“We allege that this for-profit school aggressively recruited and misled students by falsely promising high-quality, successful training programs, and instead left them with exorbitant student-loan debt and without proper tra…


Democrats’ Bill Seeks Coordinated Oversight of For-Profit Colleges

Three Congressional Democrats have teamed up on legislation being introduced on Thursday that seeks to improve coordination among the federal agencies that oversee for-profit colleges.

The legislation, known as the Proprietary Education Oversight Coordination Improvement Act, is being introduced in the Senate by by Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowan who is chairman of the chamber’s education committee, and Sen. Richard J. Durbin, of Illinois. The bill is being introduced in the House by Rep. Elijah E. C…


Alabama Senate Rejects 2 of Governor’s Nominees for Alabama State U. Board

A committee of the Alabama State Senate on Wednesday rejected two of Gov. Robert Bentley’s nominees for Alabama State University’s Board of Trustees but confirmed two others, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

Members of the Senate Confirmations Committee called the vote a compromise between the governor and the university’s board. Mr. Bentley and the board clashed last October, when the university pushed ahead with a presidential search despite the governor’s urging that the search be put on…