Thursday, June 22, 2017
Friday, June 16, 2017
The For Profit Empire Strikes Back: DOE Announces Regulatory Rollback of Gainful Employment Requirement and Student Protection from Loan Fraud by Institutions
Currently approved BDR claims to be discharged this month, claims to continue to be processed
Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the Department's intention to establish rulemaking committees on Borrower Defense to Repayment (BDR) and Gainful Employment (GE) regulations. The Department intends to develop fair, effective and improved regulations to protect individual borrowers from fraud, ensure accountability across institutions of higher education and protect taxpayers.
"My first priority is to protect students," said Secretary DeVos. "Fraud, especially fraud committed by a school, is simply unacceptable. Unfortunately, last year's rulemaking effort missed an opportunity to get it right. The result is a muddled process that's unfair to students and schools, and puts taxpayers on the hook for significant costs. It's time to take a step back and make sure these rules achieve their purpose: helping harmed students. It's time for a regulatory reset. It is the Department's aim, and this Administration's commitment, to protect students from predatory practices while also providing clear, fair and balanced rules for colleges and universities to follow."
Due to pending litigation challenging the BDR regulations, the Department is postponing the effective date pursuant to section 705 of the Administration Procedures Act. While negotiated rulemaking occurs, the Department will continue to process applications under the current borrower defense rules.
"Nearly 16,000 borrower defense claims are currently being processed by the Department, and, as I have said all along, promises made to students under the current rule will be promises kept," said Secretary DeVos. "We are working with servicers to get these loans discharged as expeditiously as possible. Some borrowers should expect to obtain discharges within the next several weeks."
Postsecondary institutions of all types have raised concerns about the BDR regulations since they were published on Nov. 1, 2016. Colleges and universities are especially concerned about the excessively broad definitions of substantial misrepresentation and breach of contract, the lack of meaningful due process protections for institutions and "financial triggers" under the new rules.
As part of the Department's regulatory review of its regulations, the agency will also convene a second negotiated rulemaking committee on Gainful Employment. As the Department worked on implementing this regulation, it became clear that, as written, it is overly burdensome and confusing for institutions of higher education.
The Department plans to publish its Notice of Intent to Conduct Negotiated Rulemaking on BDR and GE in the Federal Register on June 16, 2017. The Department will conduct public hearings on BDR and GE on July 10, 2017, in Washington, D.C. and July 12, 2017, in Dallas, Texas.
Monday, May 29, 2017
The John Marshall Law School seeks a one-semester, full-time podium visitor to teach Contracts I and another to-be determined course during Fall 2017. John Marshall is located in Chicago's Loop and is known for its lawyering skills, intellectual property, trial advocacy, and clinical programs. For additional information about the law school, visit www.jmls.edu. We seek someone who has prior full-time teaching experience at an ABA-accredited law school.
Interested candidates should forward a current CV, cover letter, three professional references, and, if available, a summary of past teaching evaluations to Dean Darby Dickerson, email@example.com
Monday, May 22, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017: The Business of Risk Management (Prof. William Byrnes presenting)
There is still time to join Texas A&M University School of Law for an exciting and informative program at noon on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, highlighting the fall 2017 opening of the law school’s San Antonio Center, a facility that will house an innovative new degree program designed from the ground up for business professionals. The May 23 event will be held at San Antonio’s Acenar restaurant (146 Houston Street), and event registration is open online at http://law.tamu.edu/SA-programs. Space is limited, and lunch will be provided for those who register by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22.
The May 23 event will also kick off the Texas A&M School of Law Business Lecture Series, a series of lunchtime gatherings where Aggie Law faculty bring their practical expertise to the San Antonio business community. Our first featured speaker will be Professor William H. Byrnes, discussing “The Business of Risk Management” and how professionals can manage risks and leverage opportunities in the current legal and political environment.
We hope to see you for lunch Tuesday!
Creighton University School of Law seeks applications from qualified persons for a visiting professor position in the areas of Trusts & Estates and, ideally, Tax for the 2017-2018 academic year. A J.D. degree is required and teaching experience is strongly preferred. Applications should be directed to Associate Dean David P. Weber via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will begin reviewing applications immediately. Please share this information with any qualified individuals whom you think may be interested.
Colleagues, We are in the process of moving our former position of Director of Clinical Programs to Associate Dean of Experiential Learning and in the process we will be expanding the scope of the position to oversight of other aspects of experiential learning, including legal analysis and writing. If anyone has and is willing to share a position description for this type of position, it would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to reply off-list to: email@example.com
Friday, May 5, 2017
[The President of Purdue] Mr. Daniels, a former Republican governor of Indiana, described the acquisition as adding a "third dimension" to Purdue, along with its research-rich flagship in West Lafayette, Ind., and its regional campuses. For Kaplan and its parent company, Graham Holdings, the deal offers a potentially profitable exit strategy for an operation that has seen its bottom line battered for several years by falling enrollments. (Kaplan now has 32,000 students.) Read the Chronicle of Higher Education article here.
See the Portland Press Herald article that explains: Under the contract, Graham will transfer Kaplan University’s online programs, as well as its 15 campuses and learning centers – with 32,000 students – to the Purdue-related nonprofit. Kaplan will then operate them and guarantee that Purdue’s venture, for five years, receives at least $10 million a year from Kaplan’s revenues after expenses. After that payment, Kaplan is entitled to reimbursement for its own cost of providing services, plus a fee equal to 12.5 percent of the Purdue affiliate’s revenues.
Critics say that the acquisition and merger of Kaplan students into Purdue, while producing strong profits, will drag down Purdue's reputation because of the mismatch of Purdue's selective admissions and academic research faculty with the open degree enrollment the 32,000 Kaplan students and 2,462 Kaplan non-academic faculty joining the Purdue brand, plus the hundreds of thousands of Kaplan alumni who will now identify with Purdue. Read the Chronicle of Higher Education article here. See Inside Higher Ed "Faculty members also are concerned that bringing a for-profit institution under the Purdue umbrella could hurt the university’s brand and public image." Purdue lobbied and had signed into law that its Kaplan acquisition will not be subject to open public records laws. See USA Today.
But if the new distance education side of Purdue generates annually hundreds of millions of dollars of net surplus to Purdue's bottom line, and that translates into big faculty raises and scholarships for high SAT and ACT scores that impact the ranking, then the deal may be a huge win-win for faculty and student alike regardless of the impact to the brand reputation. Purdue's president will be hailed a hero to have the foresight to acquire the for-profit.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
William Byrnes Key Speaker on Education 4.0 for India's Industrial Revolution 4.0 at Opening of Liberal Arts Auronya College
On 22nd April 2017, a state of the Art, cutting edge future focused university based on necessities of Fourth Industrial Revolution by the World Economic Forum launched in India, the launch event telecasted live on multiple media channels to over 800 million TV viewers, and re-broadcasted live on YouTube and Facebook globally. Press and moderators included television personalities from the likes of CNN-IBN, CNBC, Sky News, HARDtalk-BBC and ITV News. The theme of the event is Education 4.0, The Future of Education in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Prof. William Byrnes of Texas A&M University was a featured speaker of the distinguished global list of speakers (Download Byrnes Auronya Presentation). Prof. Byrnes had received India's National Board of Accreditation's 2012 academic achievement award for pioneering distance learning.
The campus will be state of the art spread across 70 Acres. The University will be located in a forested beach town in the French area iof southern India, about 150 kms away from bustling city of Chennai. The Launch event was held in the Metro City of Chennai at the ITC Grand Chola Resort (7 Star Resort).
Auronya College was founded by substantial contributions from Abhaya Kumar Jain, one of India's most successful pharmaceutical pioneers. Auronya invited over 400 attendees from the World Economic Forum, top industry leaders from Forbes 100, politicos, diplomats, and academics from around the world. The launch event also showcased the use of cutting edge augmented VR technology from Google and HTC as well as new age 3D/AR Educational Technology from Europe.
Monday, May 1, 2017
As part of the FTC’s settlement with DeVry University for deceptive advertising, the school agreed to pay $49.4 million to the FTC for partial refunds to some students. The FTC plans to mail checks before the end of the summer to people who:
- enrolled in a bachelor’s or associate’s degree program at DeVry University between January 1, 2008 and October 1, 2015;
- paid at least $5,000 with cash, loans or military benefits;
- did not get debt or loan forgiveness as part of this settlement; and
- completed at least one class credit.
The amount of each refund will depend on how much a person paid to DeVry. The refunds will not be the full amount of money people paid.
The FTC will use DeVry’s records to identify students eligible for refunds. If you were a DeVry student between January 1, 2008 and September 30, 2015, you don’t need to do anything to apply for a refund. If you think you might be eligible, and your address has changed since you attended DeVry, you can call the FTC refund administrator at 844-578-2645 to update your address.
For information about the DeVry redress program, visit FTC.gov/DeVry and sign up for email updates. To learn more about repaying federal student aid, check out the Department of Education’s loan repayment page.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Higher education is transforming internally and externally. The demographics of learners continue to shift drastically to be more inclusive of people of color, first generation, part-time, returning and older students. Learners are more diverse than ever before. There is also an expansion of types of programs offered to students. Coding boot camps, microdegrees and MOOCs are providing exciting alternatives to learn and gain certain skills. Moreover, a shift in the character of accountability is occurring. Accreditation has been the traditional form of external evaluation of quality for the Academy, governed by the Academy and funded by the Academy. These changes call for an expansion of key stakeholders in the accreditation process – particularly employers and students.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Voluntary, nongovernmental regulation has long been a hallmark of the American approach to quality assurance in higher education. Unfortunately, while the concept remains valid, the U.S. accreditation system’s actual operations have become overly burdensome. It’s time for an overhaul. In recent years, several detrimental changes to this model have occurred. Read the full CHEA op-ed here.
Friday, April 21, 2017
All of us are accountable. Religions hold us accountable to God. Santa Claus makes a list of who has been naughty and who has been nice. Freud tells us about the super ego. Everyone has a watchdog.
Enter accreditation. These organizations are the overseers of the public yet at the same time they are often “family” — faculty and staff from one school looking into the affairs of another school, and vice-versa. It is this closeness that has drawn the attention of the public and the government. As tuition rises and the ease of employment diminishes, the public wonders what return is gained from the enormous expenditures and high debt. And entrepreneur Peter Thiel is paying young people $100,000 not to matriculate. Read the full CHEA op-ed here.
Monday, April 10, 2017
The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is a national, nongovernmental membership organization of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities, the only organization with the sole purpose of providing national coordination of accreditation of higher education institutions and programs.
With the advent of a new Administration and Congress, regulatory relief has become a prominent topic of discussion. The purpose of this CHEA Position Paper is to offer proposals for the reduction of federal regulation as this applies to accreditation, whether in law, regulation or sub-regulatory guidance, acknowledging that the major challenge is at the regulatory/subregulatory levels. This reduction is not intended nor should result in reduced accountability for accreditation, but can provide a more effective and efficient regulatory framework for this important work.
CHEA sees this regulatory relief as central to achieving three major goals to move accreditation forward. These goals are doing more to: • Protect students: Strengthen accreditation rigor and provide expanded, readily understandable and accessible information about institutions and programs. • Advance innovation: Encourage fresh approaches to quality review of traditional providers and expand quality review to new providers and new credentialing. • Sustain the strengths of accreditation: Maintain and enhance the academic leadership of institutions and programs, peer review and the commitment to academic freedom. The federal government maintains an extensive scrutiny of accreditation, a process known as “recognition,” because accredited status is a requirement for institutions and programs to obtain and maintain eligibility for federal funds. At present, approximately $170 billion in student grants and loans, research and program funds go to institutions and programs annually.
Accreditation activity is governed by 10 pages of law, 27 pages of regulation and 88 pages of sub-regulation. Sub-regulation is augmented by “Dear Colleague” letters and “Guidance Letters” issued by USDE. There are more than 200 separate requirements that accrediting organizations must address in order to be considered federally recognized or to have emerged successfully from the USDE recognition review that they must undergo at least every five years.
There is considerable evidence that enormous time and effort is involved in successfully navigating this regulatory regimen. The recognition review requires, for all practical purposes, that an accreditor must attend to actual or expected demands of the federal government on an annual basis. Although accrediting organizations are nongovernmental bodies that are financed by higher education institutions and programs themselves, they are required to operate as if they were federal contractors. The impact on these organizations, while assuring that they operate in a given way, is also deleterious.
The federal presence is disproportionate and distorts the accreditation enterprise. It seriously crowds available space for initiative and innovation. Especially in relation to the goals presented here, accreditors are forced to operate in a culture that, however unintentionally, discourages creativity and experimentation. Unless USDE agrees, accreditors are reluctant to act. They are not going to move forward with creative efforts and are inhibited with regard to risk-taking, anticipating that this could result in the loss of recognition.
Proposal One: Relief with Regard to Federal Regulation 1. Rethink the requirements for the extent of experience in order to become a recognized accreditor. 2. Streamline what is considered “substantive change” for an institution or program in order that fewer changes are subject to this process, including the establishment of branch campuses. 3. Remove the definition of credit hour. 4. Eliminate the requirement for confidentiality such that accreditors cannot inform institutions of investigations.
Proposal Two: Relief with Regard to Sub-Regulation: Dear Colleague Letters/Guidance Communications 1. Eliminate requirement for common definitions and terms. 2. Remove USDE final oversight in posting accreditor actions and decision letters. 3. Eliminate USDE oversight of differentiated review.
Proposal Three: Relief with Regard to Federal Law 1. Retain the Rule of Construction. Oppose legislation that would further expand excessive regulation such as the WarrenDurbin-Schatz Bill introduced in the 114th Congress. 2. Rethink the role of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, including the creation of an alternative committee structure and operation. 3. Revise Negotiated Rulemaking to assure that it is a balanced, transparent and consultative process. 4. Require consultation with academics and accreditors for Dear Colleague Letters and Guidance Letters and clarify their role in federal oversight of accreditation.
Friday, March 24, 2017
Singapore Management University, School of Law Research Fellow
The School of Law at the Singapore Management University (SMU) has an opening for up to two Research Fellow/Research Associate positions for its Applied Research Centre for Intellectual Assets and the Law in Asia (ARCIALA). The appointments will be on a one-year term contract basis, with the possibility of renewal for a further year subject to good performance and the needs of ARCIALA. Research support will be provided as well as a competitive salary commensurate with relevant qualifications, experience, track record and research potential. The Research Fellow will be required to:
- Be resident at SMU School of Law.
- Conduct research, write research reports and publish in both mainstream media and reputable journals.
- Assist in the administration work of ARCIALA and SOL, such as the organization of seminars and conferences or other events, and the update of ARCIALA's website.
- Assist in the academic work of ARCIALA in general.
APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Interested applicants should submit a detailed curriculum vitae, a description of research interest and direction, selected publications, a list of two referees with full contact information, and any other supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please quote reference number PDF/RF-LSN-ARCIALA2017.
The closing date for the receipt of applications and references is April 30, 2017. The interviews for the position will take place during the month of May 2017 and the tentative start work date for the Research Fellow will be July 2017. All correspondence should be addressed to Professor Kung-Chung LIU, Director, ARCIALA: email@example.com
University of Idaho Hiring Law Professor for New Campus
The University of Idaho College of Law is doing an off-cycle search for an entry level tenure-track academic year faculty in our Boise location. The teaching package will include Torts, Advanced Torts, Professional Responsibility and a fourth course in an area of mutual interest to the successful candidate and the College of Law. The job posting can be found at:
Preference will be given to applications received prior to April 7, 2017.
Barbara Cosens, Professor and Associate Dean of Faculty, University of Idaho College of Law
Thursday, March 23, 2017
“The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), an assessment and accreditation body for higher education institutions in India, has signed a memorandum of affiliation with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) International Quality Group (CIQG) of the US.” Read the full story at Hindustan Times
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
"University students could be fined or handed criminal records for plagiarized essays", reads the headline of a Telegraph story here. Apparently, over 20,000 students a year have purchased such services, and PhD dissertations only go for 6,75o pounds sterling (less than $10,000). Read the Telegraph story Ireland is also propsoing criminal sanctions - read teh story here at the Irish Times.
Renown economist, Dr. Dan Ariely, tested the quality of these services and published some examples here.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Inside Higher Ed reports that Senators Marco Rubio and Michael Bennet this week reintroduced a bill that would create an alternative accreditation pathway. The proposed legislation would give previously unaccredited institutions access to federal financial aid under a five-year pilot program. Providers, including new ones, would be eligible for aid through contracts with the U.S. Department of Education, but only if they can demonstrate quality through positive student outcomes, the two senators said in a written statement. Read the full Inside Higher Ed article
Sunday, February 26, 2017
border quality assurance.The development of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) through the Bologna Process has contributed to an increase in cross-border exchange and cooperation in higher education and facilitates the enhancement of trust and confidence among higher education systems. In this context, there is increasing attention to cross-border quality assurance, whereby a quality assurance agency evaluates a higher education institution (or one of its programmes) that is based outside the agency’s normal area of operation.
EUA has worked in cooperation with ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), ESU (European Students’ Union), EURASHE (European Association of Institutions in Higher Education) and EQAR (European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education) to develop the “Key considerations for cross-border quality assurance in the EHEA”, which contains a set of questions to be taken into account to support the success of cross-border quality assurance activities.
This publication builds on previous work carried out by EUA and the partner organisations in the field of quality assurance, including as authors of the “Standards and guidelines for quality assurance in the EHEA” (ESG).
Friday, February 24, 2017
Pedagogical Knowledge and the Changing Nature of the Teaching Profession
Highly qualified and competent teachers are fundamental for equitable and effective education systems. Teachers today are facing higher and more complex expectations to help students reach their full potential and become valuable members of 21st century society. The nature and variety of these demands imply that teachers, more than ever before, must be professionals who make decisions based on a robust and updated knowledge base.
This publication presents research and ideas from multiple perspectives on pedagogical knowledge - the knowledge of teaching and learning - and the changing nature of the teaching profession. It provides a modern account of teachers’ professional competence, and how this relates to student learning. The report looks at knowledge dynamics in the teaching profession and investigates how teachers’ knowledge can be measured. It provides precious insights into 21st century demands on teacher knowledge.
This volume also offers a conceptual base for a future empirical study on teachers’ knowledge. It will be a useful resource for those interested in understanding the different factors underlying high quality teaching through examining and outlining the complexity of the teaching profession. In particular, this publication will be of interest to teacher educators, educational leaders, policy makers and the research community.
Monday, January 30, 2017
Treasury Extends Relief to (Law) Students for "Defense to Repayment” or “Closed School” discharge process
Revenue Procedure 2017-24 provides relief from discharge of indebtedness income for taxpayers whose Federal student loans, taken out to attend a school owned by the American Career Institutes, Inc., are discharged by the Department of Education under the "Closed School" or "Defense to Repayment" discharge process. The revenue procedure also provides that the IRS will not assert that the entity discharging these loans has an information reporting requirement. This revenue procedure modifies Rev. Proc. 2015-57, 2015-51 I.R.B. 863, to provide similar reporting relief for creditors under that revenue procedure.
Revenue Procedure 2017-24 will be IRB 2017-07, dated 2/13/17.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Forbes reports that "Kroll issued its report on February 6, 2015. Based on an inspection of admissions records over six years, the researchers concluded that there had in fact been favoritism by president Powers towards well-connected Texans who wanted their children to get into UT as undergraduates or into its law and business schools."
"Watchdog’s Jon Cassidy calculated that 746 students (not 73 as Kroll had said) with grades and scores that would otherwise merit prompt rejection were admitted to keep legislators and wealthy university supporters happy."
Read the investigative story here. (Wonder if these under-qualified matriculants were reported to US News for ranking purposes?)