Student-Debt-Relief Firm Will Shut Its Doors After New York Investigation

[Updated (7/1/2015, 9:09 p.m.) with news of a lawsuit against another company supposedly helping borrowers with debts.]

A business offering student-loan “debt relief” will close its doors as part of an agreement with New York’s governor, Andrew M. Cuomo. The Times Union, a newspaper in Albany, reports that an investigation by Mr. Cuomo’s office found that Interactiv Education LLC advertised it could lower student-loan payments when, in fact, it just filled out a loan-consolidation form that is a…


AAUP Protests Louisiana State’s Firing of Professor Over Profanity

The American Association of University Professors has threatened to take unspecified action against Louisiana State University over its dismissal of a tenured faculty member accused of using obscene language and making sexually explicit jokes in class.

In a letter on Tuesday to F. King Alexander, the university system’s president, the AAUP demanded that it reconsider its decision last month to fire Teresa K. Buchanan, a tenured associate professor of curriculum and instruction, based on accusati…


After Controversy, UMass Rolls Out New Measures for Iranian Students

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst has unveiled new measures concerning its treatment of Iranian students, four months after a short-lived controversy in which the institution banned some such students from certain graduate programs, The Boston Globe reports.

The university announced the ban in February, saying it was necessary to comply with U.S. sanctions against Iran. But it reversed the ban just days later, after it drew heated criticism.

The university will continue to admit Iranian graduate students, but it will require faculty members and the students to undergo new training. It will also require international students to write, and obtain faculty approval of, a summary of their research before traveling abroad. Last December an Iranian student went home for the holidays and was denied re-entry to the United States after being questioned by federal officials. The student is still in Iran.

Iranian students Tuesday had mixed reactions to the new measures. One student praised the fact that Iranian students were included in the process of drafting the measures and said the school listened to their suggestions. “We are pleased to see students do … training instead of being rejected only based on their nationality,” said Ali Rakhshan, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering and past president of the Iranian Graduate Student Association at UMass, which spoke out against the initial policy banning Iranian graduate students.

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How One Professor’s Tweets Got Her Fired — or So It Seemed at First

At 3:43 p.m. on Tuesday, the University of Memphis made an announcement:

Cue rumors that Ms. Robinson, an assistant professor of sociology, had been fired for statements she made on Twitter about whiteness and the Confederate flag. Conservative websites were abuzz on Tuesday with articles quoting from the sociologist’s Twitter account. For instance, The Washington Times reported that Ms…


NYU’s Controversial Expansion Plan Gets Final Court Approval

New York State’s highest court has rejected a challenge to New York University’s planned expansion in Greenwich Village, clearing the way for the controversial project to go forward.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that just because “a portion of the public may have believed that these parcels are permanent parkland does not warrant a contrary result.” Critics of the project, which will add roughly two million square feet to the college campus, have called it a misuse of public land. The New York City Council approved the project in 2012.

A college spokesman, John Beckman, told the newspaper, “We look forward to moving ahead with the project, which is vital to meeting NYU’s pressing academic-space needs.”

Correction (6/30/2015, 6:04 p.m.): This post originally mischaracterized an aspect of NYU’s plan. The expansion involves land in Greenwich Village that the university has owned for years, not newly acquired land. The post has been updated to reflect this correction.

New York University to grow in Greenwich Village by 2 million square feet New York’s highest court on Tuesday ruled in favor of New York University’s expansion plan, a decision that paves the way for the school to grow in Greenwich Village by some 2 million square feet.

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Students in Washington State Will See Their Tuition Drop

Students at public colleges in Washington State will get a rare tuition decrease over the next two years — and a relatively sizable one. The Seattle Times reports that the two-year budget passed by the state’s Legislature on Monday will cut tuition at the University of Washington and Washington State University by 15 percent over two years; at Western, Central, and Eastern Washington Universities by 20 percent; and at community and technical colleges by 5 percent. Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, is expected to sign the budget on Tuesday.

OLYMPIA – The state budget agreement reached by lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee over the weekend would cut college tuition at state schools and add new revenue, mostly by closing a handful of tax exemptions and preferential tax rates.

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Supreme Court to Consider Case That Could Upend Unions at Public Colleges

[Updated (6/30/2015, 4:43 p.m.) with more context.]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to take a case that could upend how unions are financed at public colleges. The New York Times reports that the court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which was brought by public-school teachers in California who argue that being forced to pay union fees violates their First Amendment rights.

Public employees in states without right-to-work laws can be required to pa…


How One College Responded to Hillary Clinton’s High Speaking Fee: It Invited Her Daughter Instead

The University of Missouri at Kansas City was counting on the apple not falling far from the tree. And not costing $275,000.

The Washington Post reports that the college’s first choice to headline a gala celebrating a new women’s hall of fame was Hillary Clinton, the presidential candidate and former U.S. secretary of state. But when word of her fee — $275,000 — reached the college, it decided to go with a less-expensive option: Mrs. Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

Chelsea Clinton charged t…


Jury Rejects Claim of Liberal Bias in Hiring at U. of Iowa Law School

A federal jury ruled on Monday that a former dean of the University of Iowa law school did not illegally discriminate against a conservative lawyer on the basis of her political beliefs when she declined to hire the woman for a teaching job, the Associated Press reports.

The long-running case stems from hiring decisions made in 2007, when the lawyer, Teresa Manning, then known as Teresa R. Wagner, was working as associate director of the law school’s writing center. Ms. Manning was one of three …


Graduate Applications From Abroad Climb, but Slowly

Report: “2015 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey: Preliminary Applications”

Author: Jeff Allum, director of research and policy analysis

Organization: Council of Graduate Schools

Summary: Applications to American graduate schools are up once again, but the latest statistics may leave universities uneasy. The 2-percent increase in preliminary applicants is considerably lower than last year’s 10-percent jump — in fact, in the decade the council has been collecting the data in only one …