Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


On Recruiter Pay, For-Profit Colleges Win One, Lose One

The Education Department is backing down from its ban on bonuses for recruiters based on graduation rates, but standing by a prohibition on commissions tied to minority enrollments, a year after a federal judge ordered the agency to justify portions of its controversial “incentive compensation” rule.

In a notice set to be published in the Federal Register on Friday, the department writes that it has “reconsidered its interpretation” on graduation-based bonuses, and will no longer “proscribe comp…


Owner of Florida For-Profit Chain Is Convicted of Theft and Conspiracy

The owner of a Miami-based chain of for-profit colleges called FastTrain was convicted by a federal jury on Tuesday of 12 counts of theft of government money and one count of conspiracy, the office of the U.S. attorney for Southern Florida announced. An admissions representative of the company, which closed its seven campuses in 2012, was also convicted of conspiracy to steal government money.

The company and its owner, Alejandro Amor, were accused of fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars b…


Senior Official Will Leave Education Dept.

A senior official at the U.S. Department of Education will step down next month, the department announced on Tuesday.

Jamienne Studley, deputy under secretary and acting assistant secretary of the Office of Postsecondary Education, will leave on December 18 to “go back home to be with her family in the Bay Area,” said an email from Ted Mitchell, the department’s under secretary.

Ms. Studley has been influential in the department’s accountability efforts, which Mr. Mitchell emphasized in his mess…


Education Management Corp. Will Pay $95.5 Million to Settle Whistle-Blower Lawsuit

The Education Management Corporation will pay $95.5 million to settle a 2007 lawsuit asserting that it illegally received federal student aid by paying admissions recruiters on the basis of how many students they enrolled while lying about it to the Education Department. The U.S. Department of Justice, which joined the suit in 2011, announced the settlement at a news conference on Monday morning.

Calling it the largest false-claims settlement ever in the for-profit-education sector, Loretta E. L…


AAUP Calls for Repeal of Campus-Carry Legislation

The American Association of University Professors has called for the repeal of so-called campus-carry legislation, which permits people who hold concealed-handgun licenses to carry their weapons at colleges.

“College campuses are marketplaces of ideas, and a rigorous academic exchange of ideas may be chilled by the presence of weapons,” reads the AAUP’s statement, in part. “Students and faculty members will not be comfortable discussing controversial subjects if they think there might be a gun i…


What Is Going On at the University of Missouri?

Update (11/9/2015, 12:06 p.m.): Timothy Wolfe announced on Monday he would resign. Read more here.

A University of Missouri at Columbia graduate student, Jonathan Butler, entered the fifth day of his hunger strike on Friday, giving his Twitter followers the following update:

Mr. Butler says he will not eat until the…


After Lawsuit, For-Profit College Will Forgive $15 Million in Ex-Students’ Loans

The for-profit Westwood College has agreed to forgive the student-loan debt of graduates of its criminal-justice program, amounting to roughly $15 million. The college reached an agreement last month with the office of Illinois’s attorney general, Lisa Madigan, to cancel former students’ debt from institutional loans, among other things, according to a copy of the deal provided to The Chronicle.

The attorney general sued the college in 2012, asserting it had deceived students and enrolled them i…


Colo. Voters Approve Plan for Higher Education With New Marijuana Tax

Voters in a Colorado county with a thriving marijuana industry approved a ballot proposal on Tuesday that would use a tax on pot sales to fund a college-scholarship program for county residents, reports the Associated Press.

Under the proposal, which Pueblo County voters backed by a 20-point margin, a 5-percent excise tax on marijuana growers is expected to yield $3.5 million a year by 2020. The proceeds would allow any high-school senior in the county to attend one of its two public colleges. A…


Eastern Illinois U. Insists, Again, That It Will Not Close in the Spring

Eastern Illinois University on Wednesday released a statement reassuring students and faculty members that it is not closing its doors next semester. “It has come to my attention that you may again be hearing that our ability to stay open for the spring semester is in question,” read the statement, which was signed by the university’s president, David M. Glassman. “This is not true.”

Mr. Glassman said the rumor had resurfaced recently after an article in the Chicago Tribune stated that the presi…


UVa. and Political Leaders Tried to Sway Education Dept.’s Title IX Investigation

State and university leaders vigorously lobbied the U.S. Department of Education in an attempt to mitigate potentially harsh findings from the Office for Civil Rights’ Title IX investigation of the University of Virginia, according to The Washington Post. The newspaper obtained letters — from Virginia’s Democratic governor, Terry McAuliffe; both of the state’s Democratic U.S. senators, Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine; and the university’s president, Teresa A. Sullivan — to the department p…