Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.


Education Dept. Cuts Off Federal Aid to New Students at For-Profit ITT

The U.S. Department of Education is barring ITT Educational Services Inc. from enrolling new students with federal financial aid, the department announced in a news release on Thursday. The department is also increasing the amount of cash ITT must send the department from just under $100 million to roughly $250 million, among other things.

The department’s move may be its most substantial action against an individual for-profit educator since its heightened scrutiny of Corinthian Colleges caused…


Judge Rejects Texas Professors’ Bid for Injunction to Block Guns From Classrooms

A federal judge on Monday denied a request by three faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin for a preliminary injunction to keep concealed guns out of their classrooms, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

The ruling, by Judge Lee Yeakel of the U.S. District Court in Austin, came just two days before the start of fall classes at the state’s flagship. The university has been roiled by the August 1 imposition of a state law allowing the licensed carry of concealed handguns in most p…


U.S. Acts Against Wells Fargo Bank for Illegal Student-Loan Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has found that Wells Fargo Bank illegally increased the costs of and unfairly punished certain student-loan borrowers, the federal agency said in a news release on Monday.

The bureau found Wells Fargo’s student-loan servicing did not include payment information for customers, charged them illegal fees, and did not update inaccurate credit-report information.

As complaints from borrowers of private student loans have risen, the federal government has incre…


U. of Arizona President Asks for Investigation of Medical Schools’ Leaders

Ann Weaver Hart, president of the University of Arizona, has called for an independent investigation into whether the leaders of its two medical schools misused public funds, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Her decision came after the president of the university’s Board of Regents aired allegations of impropriety at a meeting.

Six leaders of the College of Medicine-Phoenix left their jobs earlier this year. In addition, the senior vice president for health sciences has drawn attention for his ta…


Education Department Picks Nontraditional Partners for Student Aid

The U.S. Department of Education has joined with eight nontraditional training programs to provide more students with federal student aid, says a department news release.

Students enrolled in the eight programs of the Educational Quality Through Innovation Partnerships will now be eligible for financial aid.

The department announced the pilot program in October 2015 to make nontraditional courses and programs more available to low-income students and to develop a way to measure student outcomes…


Oklahoma Wesleyan Joins Lawsuit Challenging Education Dept.’s Title IX Guidance

Oklahoma Wesleyan University is joining a former University of Virginia student’s lawsuit challenging the Title IX guidance of the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, according to court documents filed Monday.

The university joins the plaintiff, identified in the lawsuit as John Doe, who was found responsible for sexual misconduct. The lawsuit asserts that the student was found responsible only because the department’s standard of proof is so low.

The suit raises objections to t…


Justice Dept. Sues New Mexico State U. Over Alleged Equal-Pay Violation

[Updated (8/11/2016, 6:30 p.m.) with a response from the university.]

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against New Mexico State University, alleging that the university paid a female former assistant track coach significantly less than her male colleagues, the department announced on Thursday.

The department’s complaint accuses the university of paying the female coach, Meaghan Harkins, thousands of dollars less per year than it paid two male assistant track coaches with similar…


Education Dept. Denies College Chain’s Request to Become Nonprofit

[Updated (8/11/2016, 2:45 p.m.) with a response from the Center for Excellence in Higher Education.]

The U.S. Education Department has denied a request from the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, a chain of for-profit colleges, to convert to nonprofit status, the department announced on Thursday.

The Center for Excellence in Higher Education, a Utah-based nonprofit company, owns four for-profit colleges that it acquired from the Carl Barney Living Trust. The company promised to pay th…


Calif. Lawmaker Drops Key Provision From Bill That Angered Religious Colleges

A state senator in California has dropped a key provision from a bill he had introduced that drew the ire of many religious colleges, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat, said that he decided to remove a provision that would have allowed gay and transgender students to sue their colleges more easily if they had been disciplined for conduct that violated church teachings, according to the newspaper. Senator Lara said he would pursue an amended version of the bill, which…


Brigham Young Is Under Title IX Investigation, University Says

Four months after Brigham Young University came under widespread scrutiny for its handling of sexual-assault cases, the federal government has started investigating the Mormon institution for possible violations of Title IX, the federal gender-equity law.

BYU has joined a list of more than 200 institutions under Title IX investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. University officials said late Monday that the department had informed them of the probe last week.