Category Archives: Government

Politics and policy in higher education.

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Bill Would Bar U. of Wisconsin Employees From Working at Planned Parenthood

A new bill in the Wisconsin Legislature proposes barring a partnership that allows University of Wisconsin employees to work at Planned Parenthood, the Associated Press reports.

The measure targets the university’s decade-old arrangement with Planned Parenthood, through which faculty members work part time at a clinic in Madison, Wis. The bill would also prevent university employees from performing abortions or training students at facilities where abortions are performed, besides hospitals.

The…

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Pro-Trump Protesters Shout Down Democrat’s Speech at Whittier College

Protesters at Whittier College interrupted a question-and-answer session on October 5 with California’s Democratic attorney general, Xavier Becerra, according to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE. The protesters, joined by the conservative columnist Arthur Schaper, shouted, “Respect our president,” “Americans first,” and “You must respect our president.”

The hecklers were protesting California’s lawsuit against the Trump administration for rescinding the Deferred Action …

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House Democrats Propose Making Obama-Era Title IX Guidance Into Law

A group of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives wants details of the Obama-era guidance on campus sexual assault to be written into law, Politico reports.

Their legislation, the Title IX Protection Act, would codify parts of the recently rescinded guidance on the gender-equity law known as Title IX. In September the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights rescinded a 2011 letter on how colleges should handle campus sexual assault and a 2014 question-and-answer document a…

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U. of Wisconsin System Proposes Merging 2-Year and 4-Year Colleges

The University of Wisconsin system wants to merge its 13 two-year colleges with its four-year institutions, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Under the proposal, each two-year institution would merge with one of seven four-year campuses. It’s not immediately clear what the proposed mergers would mean for jobs and programs at the two-year colleges. Ray W. Cross, the system’s president, said the plan would take effect in July 2018, pending approval in November by the Board of Regents.

The …

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Wisconsin Regents Approve a 3-Strikes Policy to Deal With Students Who Disrupt Speakers

The University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents on Friday approved a policy that will compel campuses to suspend and, eventually, expel students who repeatedly disrupt controversial speakers and speech, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

According to the board’s agenda, any student who has been found responsible twice for disrupting another person’s free speech will be suspended for a minimum of one semester. A student who has disrupted someone else’s speech three times will be expelled.

Th…

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Justice Dept. Investigates Admissions Practices at Harvard, BuzzFeed News Reports

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating admission practices at Harvard University, BuzzFeed News reports.

In August news broke that the Justice Department was investigating a discrimination complaint over race-conscious admission practices at a university. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request about the case by a government-watchdog group, the department wrote on September 29 that it was exempt from providing the records because doing so could “interfere with enforcement pr…

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Senate Democrats Urge DeVos to Reinstate Obama Guidance on Sexual-Assault Policy

Democratic lawmakers are “extremely disappointed” in Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s decision to rescind Obama-era guidance on campus sexual-assault policy, says a letter to her from 32 Senate Democrats.

“Your action on Friday shows a clear lack of concern for the many requests of survivors of sexual assault and members of Congress who have asked you to leave the previous guidance in place,” the senators wrote. Led by Patty Murray, of Washington, they said the new guidance was “already creatin…

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National Default Rate for Student Loans Rises, Breaking Streak of Declines

For the first time since 2013, the overall three-year cohort default rate on federal student loans has risen, if ever so slightly, the U.S. Department of Education announced on Wednesday.

The percentage of borrowers defaulting on their student loans within the first three years of entering repayment ticked up fractionally, from 11.3 percent to 11.5 percent, for those who began repayment in 2013-14. However, that number is still lower than it was for students who entered repayment in the 2012 fi…

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DeVos Says Obama-Era Consumer Rule Was Akin to ‘Free Money’

Updated (9/25/2017, 1:40 p.m.) with response from the Education Department.

The education secretary, Betsy DeVos, took aim at the Obama-era borrower defense-to-repayment rule during a speech on Friday at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, according to The Detroit News.

While students should be protected from “predatory practices,” Ms. DeVos said, the system should also treat “schools and taxpayers” fairly. “Under the previous rules, all one had to do was raise his or her hands to b…

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Education Dept. Replaces Obama-Era Title IX Directives With New Interim Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education has rescinded two pieces of Obama-era guidance that told colleges how they should handle issues related to campus sexual assault, and has replaced them with new interim guidance, the department announced on Friday.

In a speech this month, the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, announced that the department would begin a process for replacing the Obama-era guidance. The department’s action on Friday withdrew two key documents: a 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter, which …