Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.

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Appeals Court Refuses to Reinstate Trump’s Travel Ban

President Trump’s travel ban took another hit on Thursday as a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., refused to reinstate the revised ban, which had sought to limit travel from a group of predominantly Muslim countries.

In its 10-to-3 decision, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said Mr. Trump’s executive order establishing the travel ban, now in its second form, discriminated on the basis of religion. This version of the ban was first rejected in March, when a District Cour…

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Education Dept. Will Reconsider Grant Applications Rejected for Formatting Problems

Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, said on Wednesday that her department would reconsider 77 Upward Bound grant applications that the agency had previously rejected because of minor formatting problems.

Ms. DeVos, testifying before a committee at the U.S. House of Representatives, said that the decision to reject the applications had been made “under the purview of the previous administration.” Under the existing rules, she said, the department had no legal remedy to reconsider the applica…

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Top Federal Student-Aid Official Resigns Over Congressional Testimony

Updated (5/24/2017, 8:01 p.m.) with a statement from the department.

A top official at the U.S. Education Department resigned on Tuesday following a dispute over his scheduled testimony this week before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, according to a department official.

James W. Runcie, the chief operating officer of the department’s Office of Federal Student Aid, submitted his resignation on Tuesday night. Matthew Sessa, a deputy in the office, will assume Mr. Runci…

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What Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget Would Mean for Higher Ed

Updated (5/23/2017, 2:19 p.m.) with details on the budget proposals for scientific and medical research.

The Trump administration on Tuesday released its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. All told, the budget would cut federal education programs by more than $10 billion. The Department of Education’s total operating budget would be slashed by $9 billion, and spending on secondary-education programs would be redirected to school-choice initiatives — the chief policy goal of Betsy DeVo…

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Trump Administration Is Expected to Propose 18% Cut in NIH Budget

The National Institutes of Health would see its budget slashed by 18 percent, from $31.8 billion to $26 billion, under a spending plan for the 2018 fiscal year that the Trump administration is expected to release on Tuesday. Details of the budget were under wraps, but The Washington Post noticed on Monday that the spending plan for the Department of Health and Human Services, of which the NIH is a part, had been posted online early. (The document was later taken down.)

The NIH, the largest sourc…

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Bro Adams Announces Resignation as NEH Chairman

William D. (Bro) Adams will resign as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities on Tuesday.

The resignation, announced in a news release on Monday, coincides with the planned release of President Trump’s budget proposal, which is expected to include extensive cuts in government programs. Mr. Adams took over as the 10th chairman of the NEH in July 2014. Since President Trump took office, a number of budget moves have included calls to strip funding from the National Endowment for the …

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Attempt to Get Trump’s Tax Returns May Have Alerted IRS to Data Tool’s Vulnerability

Do the security concerns that caused the Internal Revenue Service to shut down an online tool that’s key to applying for student aid stem from a private investigator’s attempt to use the tool to get President Trump’s tax records?

That question is raised in an article by the newsmagazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, which reports that it has obtained court records that identify a Louisiana-based private investigator who is accused of using the data-retrieval tool for that purpose in Septe…

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U. of Maine Approves a Restructuring of Its Presque Isle Campus

Trustees of the University of Maine system took another step on Sunday toward streamlining operations and reducing costs by approving a reorganization of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, the Portland Press Herald reports.

The campus, like many regional public institutions across the country, has seen enrollment shrink and has struggled to close budget gaps in recent years. With about 1,300 students, Presque Isle is the second-smallest campus in the Maine system. Under the reorganization,…

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Education Dept. Says It Will Pick Single Loan Servicer

The U.S. Department of Education will award one contract to Navient, GreatNet, or the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency to service student loans and to build a platform to do so, James Manning, the acting under secretary of education, told reporters on Friday. The move is part of the next phase of the department’s revamping of how it chooses an outside company to service the billions of dollars in federal student loans it issues.

In April, Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, with…

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Trump’s Budget Could Eliminate Public-Service Loan Forgiveness. Here’s What to Know.

Budget documents obtained by The Washington Post paint a bleak picture for many federal education programs: The newspaper reported on Wednesday that President Trump’s administration plans to cut them by a total of $10.6 billion. The proposed education budget would cut spending on programs in secondary education in order to funnel some of that money into school-choice programs, which have long been a major focus for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

In terms of money for higher education, the prop…