Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


46 Groups Raise Concerns About Sale of Corinthian Campuses

Forty-six organizations signed a letter on Wednesday expressing reservations about the proposed sale of 56 Corinthian Colleges campuses to the nonprofit ECMC Group.

Associations including the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Institute for College Access and Success, and the Service Employees International Union all signed the letter, which demands that the new system of colleges—the largest nonprofit, career-college system in the country—meet five conditions.

The lett…


Audit Finds Education Dept. Lacks Plan to Fight Student-Loan Defaults

The Education Department “does not have a comprehensive plan or strategy to prevent student-loan defaults,” an audit conducted by the department’s Office of Inspector General has concluded.

A report on the audit’s findings, released on Friday, argues that the department’s lack of a coherent strategy renders it ill equipped to find effective measures against default, identify risks that cause loan delinquency, and work effectively with companies that service student loans on the department’s beha…


Youngstown State Will Make Websites Accessible to Disabled After Federal Probe

Youngstown State University has agreed to update its websites to accommodate people with disabilities after the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights found that the college had violated two federal nondiscrimination laws.

The department announced on Friday that the Ohio institution had agreed to, among other things, write and publish a notice of nondiscrimination on relevant materials, provide appropriate training to staff members who work on its websites, and report back on its pr…


U. of Calif. to Pay $500,000 in Case Alleging Double Dipping by Researchers

The University of California will pay $499,700 to settle allegations that scientists on its Davis campus received research money from two federal agencies for the same project by submitting “false and misleading statements” in grant applications, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

A spokesman for UC-Davis said the project was in the material-science field and involved a five-year, $1.1-million grant from the Department of Energy and a one-year, $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundati…


Southern Methodist U. Violated Law on Sexual Assault, Education Dept. Says

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced on Thursday that Southern Methodist University had been found in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 because of its inadequate response to sexual harassment and sexual assault.

The office investigated three complaints: two that alleged sexual harassment, and a third asserting that the Texas university had not appropriately responded to a student’s sexual assault, nor had it protected him from retaliation by the…


N.Y. Official Is Named to a Top Post at Education Dept.

John B. King Jr., the education commissioner of New York State, will join the U.S. Department of Education in the high-ranking position of senior adviser to the education secretary, Arne Duncan, the department announced on Wednesday.

Mr. King, a former social-studies teacher who is known as a firm supporter of the Common Core State Standards, was named New York’s education commissioner in 2011. He is expected to join the department in 2015 and will take over the responsibilities of the departm…


Lawmakers Urge Education Dept. to Forgive Debt of Corinthian Students

A group of Democratic U.S. senators wants the Education Department to discharge the federal loans of students who have legal claims against Corinthian Colleges, a defunct for-profit education provider. The students include those covered under lawsuits brought by the attorneys general of Massachusetts and California.

In a letter sent on Tuesday, the 13 senators argue that “students should not literally be stuck paying the price” when colleges “fail to hold up their end of the bargain.”

They also …


Senators Express Frustration Over Colleges’ Handling of Sexual Assaults

U.S. senators expressed frustration with several aspects of how sexual assaults are handled on college campuses nationwide during a hearing on Tuesday of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime.

The hearing occurred as the dust continued to settle over an alleged sexual assault at the University of Virginia that was reported in Rolling Stone magazine but has since been shrouded in doubt after the magazine said “discrepancies” had emerged in the victim’s account.

“I refuse to let this one story …


Inmates in Local Jails May Receive Pell Grants, Education Dept. Says

The U.S. Education Department on Monday issued new guidance declaring that inmates in local or county jails, correctional facilities, penitentiaries, and juvenile facilities are eligible for Pell Grants, but not Title IV loans. A “Dear Colleague” letter released by the department on Monday states that such institutions are not considered federal or state penal institutions, whose inmates are barred from receiving Title IV loans and Pell Grants.

“Students in juvenile-justice facilities need a wor…


Judge Blocks U. of Kansas From Releasing Lecturer’s Correspondence

A state judge has blocked the University of Kansas from releasing the correspondence of a lecturer who previously worked for the conservative Koch brothers until the court can sort out whether the documents are covered by the state’s open-records laws.

Judge Robert Fairchild of the state district court for Douglas County, Kan., on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order barring the university from releasing the correspondence of Arthur Hall, director of the university’s Center for Applie…