Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


Groups Call on Civil-Rights Official to Reject ‘90 Percent’ Statement on Campus-Rape Cases

More than 50 groups have signed a letter demanding that Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, reject a statement she made this month in a New York Times interview. Ms. Jackson told the newspaper that “90 percent” of campus sexual-assault accusations resulted from an accuser’s regret over a sexual encounter. Ms. Jackson has since apologized, calling the remarks “flippant.”

In the letter the National Women’s Law Center, joined by other…


Texas A&M Removes Provost Over Conflicts of Interest

After an internal investigation found conflicts of interest between the provost and her spouse, Texas A&M University at College Station removed the provost and named an interim, The Eagle, a local newspaper, reported on Wednesday.

The office of the provost, Karan L. Watson, who last August announced her intent to step down after seven years in office, was responsible for paying Nancy Watson, her spouse, more than $114,000 during her time in the position. Nancy Watson, who owns a consulting ser…


Key Democrat Calls for DeVos to Remove Top Civil-Rights Official

Updated (7/17/2017, 6:53 p.m.) with statement from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The top Democrat on the Senate education committee, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, is calling for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to remove Candice E. Jackson as the top civil-rights official in the Education Department after her “callous” comments on campus sexual assault.

“In the three months she has been acting head of the Office for Civil Rights, Candice Jackson’s words and actions have made it clear wh…


Civil-Rights Official Apologizes for Saying 90% of Campus Rape Cases Stem From Regret

Updated (7/12/2017, 7:06 p.m.) with Ms. Jackson’s statement apologizing for her comments.

Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, apologized late Wednesday for telling The New York Times, in an article published earlier in the day, that “90 percent” of accusations of sexual assault on colleges campuses stemmed from an accuser’s regret over a sexual encounter.

In a statement released by the department, Ms. Jackson said: “As a survivor o…


Trump Administration Considers Measure to Make Staying in U.S. Harder for Foreign Students

Senior officials at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security are reportedly considering a controversial plan to require more than one million international students to reapply annually to stay in the United States.

The proposal, first reported in The Washington Post, would require regulatory changes and so is far from a done deal. But coming on top of the Trump administration’s travel ban, it could prove to be a substantial blow to American colleges, which are already struggling to convince pros…


Federal Judge Dismisses Suit Against Texas Campus-Carry Law

A lawsuit filed last year by three faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin that sought to reverse the state’s controversial campus-carry law has been dismissed by a federal judge, The Texas Tribune reports.

Lee Yeakel, the judge presiding over the case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, wrote that the professors — Jennifer Lynn Glass, a professor of sociology; Lisa L. Moore, a professor of English; and Mia Carter, an associate professor of English — di…


18 States Sue Education Dept. Over Rollback of Borrower-Defense Rule

Updated (7/6/2017, 4:38 p.m.) with response from the Education Department.

A coalition of states is suing the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, and her department over its decision to roll back an Obama-era regulation aimed at reining in abuses by colleges that defraud students.

The lawsuit was announced by the office of Massachusetts’ attorney general, Maura Healey, which is leading the coalition of 18 states and the District of Columbia in the dispute. The complaint, filed in federal court, ar…


Maryland Limits Scholarship Displacement by Public Colleges

A new Maryland law limits the ways that public colleges can decrease financial aid, a practice referred to as scholarship displacement, The Baltimore Sun reports.

The law, which took effect on July 1, places limits on when a college can reduce its own financial aid. Institutions can do so when a student’s aid exceeds the cost of college if colleges get permission from a scholarship provider.

A student who gets a private scholarship after receiving financial aid from a college must report the sch…


Education Dept. Delays Compliance Deadline for Gainful-Employment Rules

Updated (7/1/2017, 9:34 a.m.) with additional reaction.

The U.S. Department of Education will give colleges and universities an extra year, until July 1, 2018, to comply with the controversial gainful-employment regulations by reporting certain data to the department, it announced late Friday afternoon in a news release.

The regulations aim to judge career-training programs based on the debt of graduates relative to their earnings. Programs with failing gainful-employment numbers can risk losing…


Bernie Sanders Says He Did Not Help Burlington College Secure a Loan

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont, said that his office did not help his wife, who was president of Burlington College, secure a loan for the since-closed liberal-arts institution, the Burlington Free Press reports.

Mr. Sanders’s wife, Jane Sanders, brokered a land deal for the college in 2010, when she was its president. The college purchased the former headquarters of the state’s Roman Catholic diocese for $10 million with plans to expand and recruit more students.

Ms. Sand…