Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.

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Betsy DeVos Criticizes Professors in Remarks to Conservative Conference

Betsy DeVos, the U.S. education secretary, said that university faculty members “ominously” tell college students what to think, according to her prepared remarks for a speech on Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

In the remarks, Ms. DeVos said that college students were also responsible for fighting the “education establishment.”

“The faculty, from adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what to say, and more ominously, what to think. They say that if you voted …

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Senate Democrats Ask DeVos to Explain Falwell’s Higher-Ed Task Force

Senate Democrats are asking Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, to enlighten them about a federal task force to be led by Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University.

In a letter released on Thursday, six Democratic senators, led by Patty Murray of Washington and Elizabeth A. Warren of Massachusetts, said they were “extremely concerned” by the lack of public explanation regarding the purview of the task force and Mr. Falwell’s potential conflicts of interest.

The Trump administration ha…

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Trump Administration Rescinds Obama-Era Guidance on Transgender Students

[Updated (2/22/2017, 11 p.m.) with additional details.]

The Trump administration withdrew Obama-era guidance late Wednesday on the rights of transgender students, to allow the Education and Justice Departments to “further and more completely consider” the controversial issue.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter, the departments said they were dropping the earlier guidance, which cited Title IX as the basis for requiring public-school districts to allow transgender students to use restrooms that match t…

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AmeriCorps Joins NEH and NEA Among Programs Trump May Cut

A list of programs that could be cut in the Trump administration’s forthcoming budget includes not only the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, but AmeriCorps, The New York Times reports.

Although the aim of the cuts is to trim domestic spending, most of the targeted programs cost less than $500 million per year, a drop in the bucket for a government whose spending is likely to exceed $4 trillion. The previously reported cuts in the NEA and NEH generate…

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DeVos Says Her Higher-Ed Views Are ‘Very Aligned’ With Trump’s

Betsy DeVos, the recently confirmed secretary of education, said her views on higher-education policy are “very aligned” with those of President Trump, in an interview with Axios published on Friday.

It is not unusual for an education secretary’s views to align closely with those of the person who nominated her, as The Chronicle has noted, and this administration is no exception. In the interview, Ms. DeVos said both she and President Trump believe that four-year degrees are not doing a good job…

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Law Dean at Florida International U. Is Tapped for Labor Secretary

[Updated (2/17/2017, 10:27 a.m.) with a statement from the university.]

R. Alexander Acosta, dean of Florida International University’s College of Law, is President Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, the president announced on Thursday.

Mr. Acosta, a former U.S. attorney, will replace Mr. Trump’s former nominee, Andrew Puzder, who withdrew from the nomination after facing broad opposition from Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Acosta has served as the university’s law dean since 2009. Before…

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In First Higher-Ed Address as Education Secretary, DeVos Praises Community Colleges

Betsy DeVos was brief but prepared on Thursday in remarks to the Association of Community College Trustees’ National Legislative Summit, her first speech on higher-education issues since being confirmed as education secretary.

Ms. DeVos spoke for eight and a half minutes to the crowd gathered for a conference here in Washington, D.C., where she praised community colleges, noting their importance to President Trump’s plan for the first 100 days of his administration. “This plan notes the imp…

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Mexican Immigrant May Be First DACA Participant Arrested Under Trump

Federal authorities have arrested a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant who was brought to the United States illegally as a child and who might be the first participant in an Obama-era program for such immigrants to be detained since President Trump took office, reported the Reuters news agency.

In a tweet on Tuesday evening, the National Immigration Law Center called the news “unacceptable and horrifying.”

The immigrant, Daniel Ramirez Medina, has a 3-year-old child and no criminal record. He was det…

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17 Universities Join N.Y. Legal Challenge to Trump Immigration Ban

Seventeen universities filed a brief on Monday supporting a court challenge to President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

“While the executive order is currently limited to seven countries, its damaging effects have already been widely felt by American universities,” the amicus brief says. “When the executive order went into effect, the 90-day suspension of entry left some of amici’s students, faculty, and scholars stranded abroad, while others were unable to leave the United States to tr…

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Appeals Court Declines to Reinstate Trump’s Travel Ban

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Thursday declined to reinstate President Trump’s executive order calling for a travel ban that affected roughly 17,000 students on American campuses.

Mr. Trump’s order, issued last month, suspended for 90 days the entry into the United States of citizens of seven largely Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. It also suspended for 120 days the admission into the United States of all refug…