Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


What the Wonks Are Saying About the Final Gainful-Employment Rule

The U.S. Department of Education released the full text of its final gainful-employment rule on Thursday morning, and it’s a big one, weighing in at 945 pages. But sheer volume has never been enough to discourage the most devoted of higher-education observers: the diehard policy wonks, who took to Twitter with observations and analysis.

The biggest change, as The Chronicle’s Kelly Field noted, is the elimination of cohort default rates as a measure that career-education programs will be subject …


Alleging Decades of Bias, Supporters of HBCU Sue for Funds

Students and alumni of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania have restarted a decades-old lawsuit against the state and federal governments, asserting that the historically black institution has been inadequately funded, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The group, named “Heeding Cheyney’s Call,” argues that the university needs more money than the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s other 13 institutions because of decades of systematic discrimination. The group says Cheyney’s enrollm…


Student-Loan Servicers Are Often ‘Unfair’ to Borrowers, U.S. Finds

Report: “Supervisory Highlights”

Organization: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Summary: Earlier this month, in the third annual report of its student-loan ombudsman, the bureau reported that private loan servicers aren’t doing much to help borrowers understand their repayment options. Well, here’s more bad news: Some of those servicers are doing a bunch of “unfair” and legally dubious things, too.

Most notably, they’re doing what they can to make as much money as possible off of delinquent …


Another Lawsuit Is Filed Against the For-Profit Corinthian Colleges

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has sued Corinthian Colleges Inc., asserting that an Everest College location in Milwaukee used false job-placement statistics to mislead students into enrolling, among other things, the Journal Sentinel reports. The allegations are similar to those featured in many other state and federal lawsuits that have been filed against the company in the past year, including by California and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The lawsuit alleges that Corinthian…


3 Colleges Drop Questions About Applicants’ Criminal Histories

Three colleges in New York State have agreed to drop from their applications questions about prospective students’ criminal records, The New York Times reports. A review conducted by the state’s attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, found that St. John’s University, Five Towns College, and Dowling College make overly broad inquiries into applicants’ criminal histories.

The review arose out of a concern that racial disparities in how the police make arrests place an unfair burden on minority ap…


3 Senators Urge Education Dept. to Make Studying Abroad Safer

Three U.S. senators urged the education secretary, Arne Duncan, in a letter on Thursday to provide better safety information to college students who plan to study abroad.

The letter—signed by Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, Al Franken of Minnesota, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, all Democrats—recommends, among other things, that the Education Department better advertise the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Links to sign up for the program should be provided in the …


Education Dept. to Release Final Rules on Colleges’ Handling of Crime

The U.S. Education Department on Monday will publish the final rules governing how colleges must alter their handling of campus crime. The new rules, which revise regulations to carry out the law known as the Clery Act, will require colleges to, among other things:

  • Add gender identity and nationality as categories to consider when determining whether a hate crime has occurred.
  • Include in their annual security reports details of their policies covering cases of dating violence, domestic violence…

Army War College Revokes Senator’s Degree After Plagiarism Investigation

The U.S. Army War College has revoked Sen. John E. Walsh’s master’s degree after investigating allegations that he plagiarized his thesis, the Associated Press reports. Mr. Walsh, a Montana Democrat, said he disagrees with the investigation’s outcome but accepts the decision.

A July article in The New York Times revealed that Mr. Walsh had copied large portions of the thesis from other sources without attribution. The senator subsequently dropped his campaign for a full term in the U.S. Senate, …


State Attorneys General Encourage Heavier Regulation of For-Profits

Fourteen state attorneys general have released a letter supporting better federal oversight of for-profit colleges. The letter is addressed to two Democratic U.S. lawmakers—Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland—who wrote legislation that calls for, among other things, the establishment of an interagency oversight committee spanning the nine federal departments that regulate for-profits.

“The bill will provide the federal government with a mechanism by which t…


Cuomo Orders SUNY to Adopt ‘Yes Means Yes’ Policy on Campus Sex

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has instructed the State University of New York to overhaul its approach to preventing sexual assault, including by making “affirmative consent” the rule on all 64 of the system’s campuses, The New York Times reports.

Mr. Cuomo announced the change at a news conference in Manhattan and said it would be put into effect within the next 60 days.

The affirmative-consent standard, also referred to as “yes means yes,” will put New York on the same path as California in dealing wi…