Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


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…


Former Professor Is Convicted of Embezzling $650,000 From Student Fund

A federal jury in Tallahassee, Fla., on Thursday convicted a former professor at Florida State University of embezzlement for taking some $650,000 from a fund at the university created to give business students direct investing experience.

According to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Tallahassee that was quoted by WCTV, a local television station, James S. Doran, a former assistant professor of finance, transferred the money to a personal account from the Student Investment Fun…


Football Player Who Almost Died in Practice Cannot Rejoin Team, Court Rules

A former Towson University football player who nearly died of heat stroke during a practice cannot rejoin the team, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday. The Baltimore Sun reports that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a district court’s ruling earlier this year that the public university could not bar Gavin Class from again suiting up for the team.

Mr. Class collapsed at an August 2013 practice, and nearly died of heat stroke. He had more than…


Ex-Student Pleads Guilty in Case Stemming From Drug Overdoses at Wesleyan

A former student at Wesleyan University pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to a drug charge in connection with a spate of drug overdoses that struck the Connecticut campus in February. According to the Hartford Courant, the student, Zachary Kramer, 21, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess and distribute the synthetic party drug MDMA and synthetic marijuana.

Mr. Kramer, of Bethesda, Md., will be sentenced in February and could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1-mil…


U. of Illinois Will Pay Salaita $600,000 to Settle Lawsuits

[Updated (11/12/2015, 12:49 p.m.) with news of the board's approval and a statement from Mr. Salaita.]

A settlement between the University of Illinois and Steven G. Salaita will pay the professor, whose tenured-job offer at the Urbana-Champaign campus was revoked last year, $600,000 to drop two lawsuits. The University of Illinois Board of Trustees on Thursday approved the settlement, which also stipulates that the university pay Mr. Salaita’s lawyers $275,000.

The deal follows more than a year …


U. of Illinois Reaches Tentative Settlement With Steven Salaita

The University of Illinois has reached a tentative settlement with Steven G. Salaita, the professor whose job offer at the Urbana-Champaign campus was revoked last year after anti-Israel tweets drew observers’ scorn. The News-Gazette reports that the university system’s trustees will vote on the terms of the settlement on Thursday.

Details of the agreement would not be made public, a university spokesman told the newspaper, because the deal was not final. A lawyer for Mr. Salaita did not respond…


Supreme Court Will Hear Religious Colleges’ Objections to Contraceptive Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the arguments of religious colleges and other faith-based nonprofit organizations against the contraceptive mandate of President Obama’s signature health-care law, the Associated Press reported.

The Obama administration’s requirement that employers provide access to contraceptives has been deeply controversial among faith-based organizations. They argue that the rule violates their religious beliefs. The administration has tried several times to ac…


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…


Jury Awards $4.85 Million to White Instructor Who Alleged Bias in Her Dismissal

A jury in a state court in Missouri has awarded nearly $5 million to a former instructor at Harris-Stowe State University after finding that the historically black institution discriminated against her because she is white, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The jury awarded the instructor $3.5 million in punitive damages and $1.35 million for lost wages and emotional distress. But the verdict, returned on Friday, is not final. It can be upheld or changed by a judge.

Officials at Harris-Stowe …