Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


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…


Christian College Wins U.S. Exemption in Dispute With Transgender Student

The U.S. Department of Education has granted George Fox University, a Christian college in Newberg, Ore., a religious exemption from the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX in a housing dispute with a transgender student, according to PQ Monthly, an Oregon newspaper.

The student, Jayce Marcus, wanted to live on the campus with his friends but asserted that the university had denied him on-campus housing. He filed a bias complaint with the department under Title IX. But the department gra…


Accreditor Will Review Christian College in Gay-Rights Controversy

Gordon College’s accrediting agency has put it under review as the Christian institution petitions the federal government to provide it with a religious exemption to a ban on anti-gay discrimination, The Boston Globe reports.

The Massachusetts college has been the target of protest by students, faculty and staff members, and even the town of Salem, Mass., after D. Michael Lindsay, Gordon’s president, issued a statement on Monday defending a letter in which he asked the federal government for an …


House Republicans Propose $8-Million Cut in Humanities Endowment

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives this week proposed a 5-percent reduction in the budget of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Republican-controlled subcommittee that allocates funds to the NEH put forward a bill to cut the agency’s budget by $8-million. House Republicans had proposed a similar reduction for the National Endowment for the Arts.

The NEH is to receive $146-million from the federal government in this fiscal year.

The proposal is unlikely to pass the Democ…


Salem, Mass., Discontinues Christian College’s Use of Town Hall

The city of Salem, Mass., says it will end a contract with Gordon College that allowed the Christian institution to use Salem’s Old Town Hall, The Boston Globe reports. The decision came in response to Gordon’s request that religious colleges be granted an exemption from a forthcoming federal ban on discrimination against gay and lesbian people.

Mayor Kimberley Driscoll said in a written statement that the college’s anti-gay policies violated an ordinance that prohibits the city from doing busin…


House Sends Job-Training Legislation to Obama’s Desk

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, a compromise bill that would reauthorize federal job-training programs. The measure was approved by a vote of 415 to 6, and it now heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.

The legislation would reauthorize the Workforce Investment Act, which was enacted in 1998. Efforts to renew the measure had been stalled since it was due for reauthorization, in 2003, but in May members of Congress rea…