International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Effective Teacher Policies

A series of reports on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment’s (PISA) periodic testing program on student performance. The reports generally compare student (15 year olds) academic performance across countries, or discuss the methodology used to gather the data.  see report here

Teachers are the most important resource in today’s schools. In every country, teachers’ salaries and training represent the greatest share of expenditure in education. And this investment in teachers can have significant returns: research shows that being taught by the best teachers can make a real difference in the learning and life outcomes of otherwise similar students. Teachers, in other words, are not interchangeable workers in some sort of industrial assembly line; individual teachers can change lives – and better teachers are crucial to improving the education that schools provide. Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of schooling depends, in large measure, on ensuring that competent people want to work as teachers, that their teaching is of high quality and that high-quality teaching is provided to all students. This report, building on data from the Indicators of Education Systems (INES) programme, the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), explores three teacher-policy questions: How do the best-performing countries select, develop, evaluate and compensate teachers? How does teacher sorting across schools affect the equity of education systems? And how can countries attract and retain talented men and women to teaching?

July 10, 2018 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

American Bar Association Proposes One-Third Distance Education Credits For JDs

Under the proposal, Standard 306, which concerns distance learning allowed in J.D. programs, would change from an absolute number to a percentage of whatever credits a law school requires for graduation. If adopted, law schools could allow one-third of its required credits be taught online. The current rule limits the number of such credits to 15.  ... As proposed, the revised standard would effectively raise the number of credits for distance learning to at least 28 credit hours and, in many cases, 30 credit hours.  Read the ABA News here.

William Byrnes, an early nineties pioneer of distance education for law who founded the first online LL.M. acquiesced by the ABA and by SACS, shared, "I encourage faculty to think innovatively about online opportunities in the context of communication, learning, and community. There is certainly a value in residential learning via the development of diverse social communities.  Yet, merely putting persons together on campus is not in and of itself a learning community, and certainly does not guarantee diversity within the community.  It is how often the persons have incidence of meaningful interaction with each other and how they engage with each other during those interactions that impacts learning.  Studies have established that learning can be influenced by how a group interacts via support mechanisms.  Online, based on best pedagogical practices, has a significant, integrated role to play within legal education.  Merely being a passive residential student member of a group, such as a typical 30 - 60 student JD course,  does not affect learning.  Online technology can help solve some issues that all faculty recognize with pure residential education."

Byrnes continued: "Diverse social communities may potentially be created via online methods that do not require large capital expenditures on brick and mortar, and will achieve the same elements of social interaction.  By example of hybrid education with distance learning, the following residential activities may be employed:

  • Regular residential study group meetings for peers-only, or with a moderator.
  • Coordinated group social opportunities using on-campus facilities such as cafes, lounges, and even health clubs.
  • Designed periodic on-campus learning and social experiences.
  • Campus library designed for social interaction and collaboration.
  • Enhanced student organization experiences."

"This proposal represents the recognition by the ABA that online courses are able to produce good learning outcomes for a student's development. And it is a big win for law schools that have geographic challenges for access to a robust legal career market," concluded Byrnes. "Schools that are in, and able to access, large legal markets like D.C. and New York City have less need to pursue distance education for pedagogical, community, and diversity reasons. But these schools may leverage online with externship credits to encourage transfers of the highest performing students from lower ranked schools."

February 13, 2018 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Does Your Law School Course Offer "Regular and Substantive Interaction Between the Students and the Instructor" Or Is It Merely Correspondence? What Does the Department of Education Inspector General Say?

The Department of Education Inspector General released a report calling for the nonprofit Western Governors University to lose its access to federal financial aid and pay back over 2000px-US-DeptOfEducation-Seal.svg$700 million because its online courses were correspondence masquerading as distance education. Read the DOE report here - Download DOE regular interaction or lose accreditation report

What's the difference between distance education, which is eligible for Title IV financial aid accreditation, and correspondence courses which are not?  Regular and Substantive Interaction Between the Students and the Instructor. Read also previous blog post: Department of Education Releases Critical Report on ABA's Continued Recognition as Accreditor, ABA Withdraws Distance Education From Its Scope of Recognition

Excerpt from the current DOE report: 

In 2006, Congress provided that distance education courses (then referred to as telecommunications courses) would no longer be considered correspondence courses as long as the distance education courses offered by a school exceeded 50 percent of its total course offerings. Congress retained the restrictions on correspondence programs, prohibiting the use of Title IV funds for living expenses unless a program had a residential component. Schools also continued to be ineligible if courses offered by correspondence exceeded 50 percent of the total course offerings or student enrollment in correspondence programs exceeded 50 percent of total enrollment. Additionally, students enrolled in correspondence programs continued to be limited to a half-time Federal Pell Grant Program (Pell) award. In 2008, Congress further amended the HEA to require that distance education programs “support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor.”

We concluded that Western Governors University did not comply with the institutional eligibility requirement that limits the percentage of regular students who may enroll in correspondence courses. Therefore, the Department should require the school to return the $712,670,616 in Title IV funds it received from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016, and any additional funds it received after June 30, 2016. Of the 61,180 regular students enrolled in the school’s courses during award year 2013–2014, at least 37,899 (62 percent) were enrolled in one or more courses that did not meet the Title IV definition of distance education. For each of the 102 courses required to complete the school’s 3 largest programs, we reviewed course design materials for evidence that each course was designed to offer regular and substantive interaction between students and instructors, the key requirement to be considered a course offered through distance education. We concluded that at least 69 of the 102 courses were not designed to offer regular and substantive interaction with an instructor and, therefore, did not meet the regulatory definition of distance education. Instead, these 69 courses met the Title IV definition of a correspondence course (34 C.F.R. § 600.2). None of these 69 courses could reasonably be considered as providing regular and substantive interaction between students and instructors. Course design materials for 32 of the 69 courses described no substantive interaction with an instructor. Course design materials for 27 courses described 1 substantive interaction with an instructor. Course design materials for 10 courses described 2 substantive interactions with an instructor. According to Section 102(a)(3)(B) of the HEA and 34 C.F.R. § 600.7(a)(1), a school is not eligible to participate in the Title IV programs if, for its latest complete award year, 50 percent or more of the school’s regular students were enrolled in correspondence courses. Because more than 50 percent of its regular students were enrolled in at least one correspondence course during award year 2013–2014, Western Governors University became ineligible to  participate in the Title IV programs as of June 30, 2014 (34 C.F.R. § 600.40(a)(3)).

November 14, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Law Schools 2.0 Conference in D.C. Notes

Yesterday at Georgetown's conference center in Washington DC the stakeholders of legal education gathered by invitation to discuss the Future of Law Schools "Envisioning a More Collaborative Educational Model" and specifically Law Schools as career vehicles for the profession of Big and Regional Law, Corporate, Public Service, and Community Law.  With great appreciation from all those involved, Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute sponsored the event and collected all these stakeholders together for this discussion.

The stakeholders involved in discussion panels included the heads of recruitment of AmLaw 100 firms (e.g. DLA, Hogan Lovells) and AmLaw 250 (e.g. Finnegan, Womble Bond, Wiley, Williams Connolly) from around the United States, General Counsel of large legal department budgets (ADM with $100 million by example), Legal Service Providers (e.g. Thomson Reuters / West, Legal Services Corporation), LegalTech corporate leaders, the Deans of law schools (e.g. Penn, Georgetown, Florida, Howard, Pepperdine (retired, not Paul), Northwestern, Oklahoma) and NALP. 

Invitations were also extended to non-Dean leaders of legal education that have track records of innovation and deployment of successful models and courses that firms, government, DNoxIrZW4AE3g0Oand corporations consider as bridging the skills expectation gap of what is necessary for law in today's economy, whether serving large corporations, startups, community law, or public service law for the 75 percent of annually unrepresented persons involved in civil filings including such areas as landlord-tenant, family law, and debtors.  These leaders hailed from law schools such as Indiana (Bill Henderson), Chicago Kent (Daniel Katz), Suffolk (Gabriel Teninbaum), Hastings (Alice Armitage), Texas A&M (William Byrnes).

Panels addressed in a discussion format series of prepared questions drawn from the legal profession stakeholders allowing each other perspectives, what works, what is not working, overlapping concerns, and acknowledging disconnects without current commonly accepted solutions.  The entire audience of approximately 80 to 100 invitees became involved in each panel through floor questions and providing further perspective from the ABA, Legal Publishers, firms, and law schools. 

Schools like Chicago Kent, Suffolk and Georgetown already are addressing law firm and legal industry career needs regarding LegalTech capable lawyers, teaching courses and even LegalTech concentrations in coding, blockchain, technology development.  Leadership, design thinking, behavioral ethics, collaborative work projects, featured very high on the list of traits (and coursework) that firms and companies wanted students to have. 

The collaborative firm, industry, and (law) school integrated supply chain models were brought up by General Counsels because already being used within industry itself and in other disciplines such as medical schools and business schools.  Integrating law school faculty and curriculum into the early legal career is a new potential value proposition.  One commentary is that schools are trying to collect tuition for merely allowing students to undertake externships.  Students, firms, and companies are not perceiving faculty value in this externship model. 

Much discussion on the legal ecosystem (firms, clts, law schls) collaborating to fix these issues, and where breakdowns are occurring with vested interests.  Some drivers included legal services and the associated dollars continuing to move overseas and continuing to be automated with fewer places remaining each year for high salaried US lawyers able to afford high tuition education that pays for high faculty salaries. General community lawyers will be replaced in civil society with the equivalent of nurse practitioners who can afford to serve the middle-class and low-income economy because lawyers are already not serving the 75 percent of unrepresented civil litigants.  Other drivers of behavior such as tenure and US News ranking were also discussed in relation to these issues.  

Topics brought up during the discussions also included: integration of distance education, Socratic and other pedagogical methods, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary education models, among many others.

Some bullet points raised and addressed during the discussions included - excerpted from the Twitter handle #FOLS17 comments:

  • Top students are turning away from LSAT. Accepting GRE driven by market forces- getting talented students to consider law school
  • Reform will come through re-integration of law school with the industry/profession.
  • I heard a GC say her favorite outside counsel not only DON'T do that but give her answers in board-ready power point
  • NALP: 3 years out, respondents weren't satisfied with the role law schools played in preparing them for their jobs.
  • Legal Services Corp: In 75% of civil litigation today one or more litigants is unrepresented. 
  • The world has gotten more specialized so why do we set the 1L year & then have 2 years with no academic guidance
  • We treat access barriers as a bug in the system rather than a result of this system
  • Will umbrella universities (of law schls) & student/consumers pay for 3rd yr of law school if just an externship?
  • Lawyers/law students need to need to understand how to work with data & statistics to successfully work with clients
  • ADM describes the process for selecting outside counsel - "one question we don't ask is where your people went to law school."
  • Biggest barriers [to accepting technology] are law professors.
  • Conundrum: young lawyers need to know they won't come in capable of doing everything/clients won't pay for lawyers who aren't.
  • The big problem in legal education is in bridging this divide
  • Core of law schl will be torts & con law, etc but now students must learn prof develop, leadership & other ways 2 solve probs.
  • Technology is not just changing the way we do work but providing analytics that help drive decisions/substance of legal work
  • Law schls have siloed themselves from other schls—but why, if we all train students to problem solve?
  • There's a dearth of practical training for law students... and firms are expecting more practice ready associates
  • Law schls could engage w/busin, design, engineer. & social work schls to help focus on the clt-user who is NOT a lawyer
  • Firms want to partner with students to create new content/tech but can be hard to attract law students to data work
  • Now law schools have to make the case for students to go to law school
  • Law schools must shift & teach students how to partner with clients to help them solve problems.
  • We need students w/great tech skills in practice Mgmt not writing appellate briefs
  • If we're going to pay for associate labor at all we want to know [them] & they need to be able to sit around a table & contribute."
  • Law schools could focus more on outcomes companies want but aren't getting & recalibrate curriculum to better deliver
  • Suggested 4-yr career path/map to develop skills lawyers will need to serve client


November 3, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Future of Law Schools Envisioning a More Collaborative Educational Model (event in D.C. Thurs, Nov. 2 )

This November, the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute proudly presents a timely and provocative examination of short- and long-term strategies toward effecting legal education reform on a national scale. Helmed by a distinguished faculty of prominent academics and practitioners, this forum provides concrete solutions in the spirit of collaborative growth.

EVENT LOCATION: Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center | Washington, DC

Is the current legal education system sufficiently preparing the next generation of lawyers? Are legal employers truly satisfied with the overall quality and preparedness of recent graduates? What more can be done to help a) boost job prospects for newly minted lawyers and b) convince promising scholars that a legal education is worth the time and investment?

Register today to hear from a number of esteemed institutions including:

University of Pennsylvania Law School
UC Hastings College of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Texas A&M University School of Law
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Suffolk University School of Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Howard University School of Law
University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law
Pepperdine Law School
And more!


For details or to register, call 1-800-308-1700. Seating is extremely limited.


Why You Should Attend

  • This conference offers a practical & collaborative solution toward better preparing tomorrow's lawyers for a long and rewarding career.
  • We are uniquely positioned to convene legal employers, educators, & current or recent law school students for earnest discussion around enduring change.
  • Our discussion addresses the unique issues and challenges facing both national and regional law schools.
As a long-standing legal ecosystem participant, Thomson Reuters delivers exclusive analytical insights and commentary buttressed by over a century's worth of industry experience on a global scale.

Who Should Attend

  • Law School Deans & Administrators
  • Law Firm Hiring & Chief Talent Officers
  • Law Firm & Corporate Human Resources Officers
  • Law Firm Recruiting Directors & Managers
  • Law Firm Partners & Associates
  • General Counsel & Chief Legal Officers
  • Legal Department Chief Operating Officers
  • Law School Students & Recent Graduates

October 18, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

FTC Seeks Presentations from Students to Coincide with PrivacyCon 2018

To encourage the next generation of privacy and data security researchers to explore economic questions in privacy and data security, the Federal Trade Commission today issued a call for presentations from students to coincide with the agency’s third PrivacyCon conference on February 28, 2018.

The PrivacyCon Student Poster Session will coincide with PrivacyCon 2018, which will focus on the economics of privacy.

The Student Poster Session call for submissions seeks research and input on issues and topics that will be covered by PrivacyCon 2018. This includes research examining how to assess the greatest threats to privacy, ways for companies to weigh the costs and benefits of security by design techniques, and potential market solutions and failures related to privacy and security.

The Student Poster session is also aimed at encouraging interaction and discussion between experienced researchers and students. The session will provide students an opportunity to present and discuss their research and its relation to privacy and data security policy and law.

The deadline for the Student Poster submissions is December 15, 2017. More information about how to submit presentations and about PrivacyCon 2018 can be found on the event page.

October 8, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Seeking Dean, Texas A&M University School of Law

Texas A&M University invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the Texas A&M University School of Law. The desired appointment date is July 1, 2018.

Texas A&M University is a tier‐one research institution and American Association of Universities member. As the sixth largest university in the United States, Texas A&M University is a public land-grant, sea‐grant, and space‐grant university dedicated to global impact through scholarship, teaching,
and service. The members of its 440,000 strong worldwide Aggie network are dedicated to the University and committed to its core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service.

Located in Fort Worth, the Texas A&M University School of Law is one of 16 colleges and schools that foster innovative and cross‐disciplinary TAMU-Law-lockup-stack-SQUARE (1)collaboration across more than 140 university institutes and centers and two branch campuses, located in Galveston, Texas and Doha, Qatar. Since joining the A&M family in 2013, the law school has sustained a remarkable upward trajectory by increasing its entering class credentials and financial aid budgets; shrinking the class size; hiring new faculty members, including nationally recognized scholars; and enhancing the student experience. Consistent with its mission, Texas A&M University School of Law integrates cutting-edge and multidisciplinary scholarship with first‐rate teaching to provide students with the professional skills and knowledge necessary for tomorrow’s lawyers. Texas A&M University School of Law faculty members and students play a vital role by providing their legal expertise to collaborations with other Texas A&M professionals to develop new understandings through research and creativity.

The next Dean of Texas A&M University School of Law should provide dynamic, innovative, and entrepreneurial leadership and vision to shape the school’s continued transformation into a model for future legal education. Candidates should have a Juris Doctorate and a scholarly record appropriate for appointment at the rank of tenured professor. Other candidates who hold distinguished records of professional and intellectual leadership or outstanding service to the community will also be considered. The successful candidate should be:

  • committed to the school’s scholarly mission;
  • a strong law school advocate who seeks cross‐unit collaborations with other university schools and colleges;
  • a successful fundraiser who can obtain support for various programs and projects, including the Law School Building Project recently approved by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, as well as endowed faculty chairs, professorships, and student scholarships;
  • an effective administrator with team‐building skills and a collaborative management style appropriate to a complex organization; and
  • dedicated to community engagement and public service and experienced at external relations, including outreach to law firms, corporations, and foundations as well as government agencies, non‐profit organizations, and policy‐makers.

The Texas A&M University School of Law is located in the heart of downtown Fort Worth, a city known for a unique confluence of Texas history and renowned arts. Fort Worth enjoys a diverse business community, including energy, defense, international trade, and logistics as well as financial services. Just outside of downtown, Fort Worth has many neighborhoods with recognized schools a short distance from the law school. Fort Worth is known nationally as the home to the Bass Performance Hall, the Kimbell Art Museum, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, among others. The Trinity River flows through the city. It features over 40 miles of trails, providing access to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Fort Worth Zoo, and the historic Stockyards. The Fort Worth/Dallas metropolitan area has a total population of more than seven million. It offers a vibrant legal community that supports extensive federal and state court systems, including the Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Reserve Bank, the National Labor Relations Board, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fort Worth/Dallas has one of the world’s largest airports. As one of the most desirable places to live and work in the United States, the metroplex has attracted many multinational corporations.

Applications should include a curriculum vitae, a cover letter including a statement of interest, and a list
of three references. Only nominations and applications received by November 17, 2017, are assured consideration. Nominations and applications received after November 17, 2017, may or may not be considered.

Applications and nominations should be submitted electronically in confidence to Applicant information will be kept confidential to the maximum extent allowable by law. Additional information and timeline can be found at

Texas A&M University provides equal opportunity to all employees, students, applicants for employment or admission, and the public, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

October 3, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Aggie Law in San Antonio Luncheon - Business Speaker Series - August 22 - Register Now!

Howdy, San Antonio!
You are invited to join Texas A&M University School of Law this coming Tuesday for the next event in our Texas A&M School of Law Business Lecture Series, a free series of lunchtime gatherings where Aggie Law faculty bring their practical expertise to the San Antonio business and legal communities. Lunch and seating are limited, but both will be provided free for those who register by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 21 or before all spaces are filled, whichever comes first.
Our featured speaker on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 will be Professor Randy D. Gordon, who brings some three decades of experience in representing business clients when he speaks on The Business of Managing Legal Relationships. Accomplishing business goals often turns on the effective management of relationships with lawyers across multiple dimensions: economic, temporal, and pragmatic. Come learn about both the challenges of legal relationships in a business setting and also how business professionals can set and manage the related expectations to achieve better outcomes where law and business intersect.
This exciting, informative, and free program will also highlight the September 2017 opening of the law school’s San Antonio Center, a facility that will house our Masters of Jurisprudence concentration in business, a graduate degree program designed from the ground up for working business professionals.
The August 22 event will be held from noon-1:30 p.m. at San Antonio’s Dominion Country Club (One Dominion Drive, San Antonio, TX 78257 ), and event registration is open online at
Continuing Legal Education credit (0.5 hours) will be offered for Texas attorneys.
The application deadline for the September 2017 entering class in the San Antonio Masters of Jurisprudence program is August 25. Visit for more information or to apply.
Special scholarships are available for this first entering class.
We hope to see you for lunch on Tuesday, August 22!

August 19, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Texas A&M Law Dean Dr. Andrew Morriss Joins Main Campus As its New 'Innovation' Dean

Texas Lawyer reports and interviewed Dean Dr. Andrew Morriss: 

Andrew Morriss oversaw the transformation and dramatic rise in the rankings of the former Texas Wesleyan School of Law into the Texas A&M School of Law.

Now, the university has a new challenge for Morriss: heading up a brand new School of Innovation at its main campus in College Station, a gig he will assume Aug. 1.

Read the interview here.

Read in Texas Lawyer how Texas A&M Law jumped into 2nd Tier in 3 years under the leadership of Dean Dr. Andrew Morriss.

July 16, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

William Byrnes: Presentation about Innovation and Pedagogy

Presentation about Innovation and Pedagogy (on YouTube)

India on April 22, 2017 broadcast on LiveStream 



July 12, 2017 in Academia, Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bipartisan Senate and House Members Introduce "The College Transparency Act"

On May 15, 2017, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Elizabeth Warren (D- Massachusetts), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island) from the Senate Health, CHEA logoEducation, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee introduced The College Transparency Act (S. 1121). Congressmen Paul Mitchell (R-Michigan) and Jared Polis (D-Colorado) introduced a companion bill (H.R. 2434) in the House of Representatives on May 16.

The legislation, which has the stated goal of streamlining institutional reporting requirements, would repeal the prohibition of a student unit records system and directs that USDE collect and report outcomes information and improve data currently available for stakeholders including students, parents, researchers and policymakers. USDE would be prohibited from selling the information or creating a federal college ratings or rankings system.

Such data elements shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(i) Student-level data elements necessary to calculate the information within the student-related surveys in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), as such surveys are in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the College Transparency Act.

(ii) Student-level data elements necessary to allow for reporting student enrollment, persistence, retention, transfer, and completion measures for all credential levels (including certificate and associate, baccalaureate, and advanced degree levels), within and across postsecondary institutions (including across all categories of institution level and control). The data elements shall allow for reporting

  • student enrollment, 
  • persistence, 
  • retention, 
  • transfer, and
  • completion measures for all credential levels (including certificate and associate, baccalaureate, and advanced degree levels), within and across postsecondary institutions (including across all categories of institution level and control).

The data elements shall allow for reporting about all such data disaggregated by the following categories:

(I) Enrollment status as a first-time student.

(II) Attendance intensity, whether full-time or part-time.

(III) Credential-seeking status, by credential level.

The Commissioner shall, at a minimum, seek to ensure that the secure data system linkages described in subparagraph (A) permit consistent reporting of the following categories of data for all students, including students receiving Federal grants and loans and students receiving veteran's education benefits, as defined in section 480(c).

(i) Enrollment, retention, transfer, and completion outcomes for all students.

(ii) Financial indicators for students receiving Federal grants and loans, including grant and loan aid by source, cumulative student debt, loan repayment status, and repayment plan.

(iii) Post-collegiate outcomes for all students, including earnings, employment, and further education, by program of study and credential level and as measured—

(I) immediately after leaving postsecondary education; and

(II) at later time intervals appropriate to the credential sought and earned.

(IV) Race or ethnicity.

“(V) Age intervals.

“(VI) Gender.

“(VII) Program of study (as applicable).

“(VIII) Military or veteran status (as determined based on receipt of veteran's education benefits, as defined in section 480(c)).

“(IX) Status as a postsecondary athlete.

“(X) Federal Pell Grant recipient status.

“(C) OTHER DATA ELEMENTS.—The Commissioner may, after consultation with postsecondary institutions (including institutions of higher education) and other stakeholders (including individuals with expertise in data privacy and security, and in consumer protection), make a determination to promulgate regulations to include additional data elements in the postsecondary student data system, which may include first generation status, economic status, remedial coursework, or gateway course completion.

July 6, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trump's Higher Education Appointees and Agenda

CHEA reports that the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) and the White House announced appointments and are pursuing administrative actions that provide some sense of the Administration’s higher education agenda.  USDE announced several appointments that will affect higher education:

  • Kathleen Smith, former aide to Senate HELP Committee Chair Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) and a current USDE employee, is the new senior advisor to the assistant secretary for the Office of Postsecondary Education and will be the acting assistant secretary.
  • Adam Kissel, from the Charles Koch Foundation, will be the deputy assistant
    secretary for higher education programs.ed logo
  • Steven Menashi will be the deputy general counsel for postsecondary service
    and have the delegated authority for the duties of the general counsel.
  • Candice Jackson has been named deputy assistant secretary for civil rights
    and will serve as acting assistant secretary for civil rights.
  • Peter Oppenheim, education policy director and counsel for Republicans on the Senate HELP Committee, was nominated as assistant secretary for legislation and Congressional affairs, a position requiring Senate confirmation.

With regard to administrative actions related to higher education:

  • U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has formed a committee of career employees and political appointees that will make recommendations for reorganizing USDE and reduce its workforce. The committee is scheduled to produce a draft restructuring plan for review and comment this summer, with a comprehensive plan to reorganize USDE expected in September 2017.
  • A regulatory reform task force also has been established to oversee implementation of USDE’s regulatory reform initiatives. A progress report on the task force’s work was issued by USDE on June 22, 2017.   Download Regulatory-reform-task-force-progress-report
  • USDE published a request for comments on June 22, 2017, seeking suggestions on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement or modification. USDE is undertaking a regulatory review to identify regulations that eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation; are outdated, unnecessary or ineffective; impose costs that exceed benefits; create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives or policies; rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified. Comments must be received no later than August 21, 2017, and can be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal.
  • The borrower defense to repayment rule will be delayed and renegotiated.
  • The gainful-employment rule will be delayed and renegotiated.
    A Notice of Intent to Conduct Negotiated Rulemaking on these two rules was published in the Federal Register on June 16, 2017. Public hearings on the rules will be held on July 10, 2017, in Washington, DC, and July 12, 2017, in Dallas, Texas.
  • Increased funding for apprenticeship and worker training programs will be proposed. Apprenticeships that are federally registered must have an educational component, usually involving employers working with institutions or other education providers and with a minimum amount of credit-hour-equivalent learning being completed. Such apprentices earn an industry-recognized certificate that can lead to college credits at some institutions.
  • USDE's Office for Civil Rights has said that it will discontinue its practice of automatically looking for systemic issues at colleges and universities as part of Title IV investigations and rather will make any determinations to conduct such examinations on a case-by-case basis.
  • In several speeches, USDE Secretary DeVos has questioned reauthorizing the Higher Education Act and suggested instead rewriting the law, saying real change is needed.


For full DOE coverage read CHEA's monthly Federal Update: Number 59, June 26, 2017

June 29, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Quality Assurance and Combatting Academic Corruption Webinar #2: Focus on Plagiarism

Mark your calendar! 
Monday, July 10, 2017
9:00 am - 10:30 am ET / 13:00 - 14:30 GMT
The CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG) is hosting a Webinar Series on the role of quality assurance and combatting academic corruption, based on the Advisory Statement for Effective International Practice, developed by the International Institute for Education Planning of UNESCO and CIQG in 2016. Please register for this important conversation. 
The second Webinar in this series will focus on quality assurance and plagiarism, how quality assurance might position itself to address this corrupt practice.
Registration is free. Attendance will be limited to the first 200 registrants. 

June 22, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

Negotiated rulemaking committees to convene on Borrower Defense to Repayment and Gainful Employment to improve regulations 2000px-US-DeptOfEducation-Seal.svg

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.

Chronicle of Higher Education analysis is here

June 16, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Visiting Law Professor Fall 2017 for John Marshall in Chicago

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  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, Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 


May 29, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Last Chance for Free Registration For Tuesday's Lunch "The Business of Risk Management"

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 TAMU San Antonioschool’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 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!

May 22, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

several law school positions ASAP

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 We will begin reviewing applications immediately. Please share this information with any qualified individuals whom you think may be interested. 

We are accepting applications for the position of Director of Legal Writing (link here: )  Given the timing, we'd like to fill the position as soon as possible, so please feel free to pass this along to anyone who might be interested (and encourage them to apply quickly :)
The University of Houston Law Center is hiring three Lawyering Skills and Strategies (LSS) Lecturers for the 2017-18 academic year.  In the fall, the Law Center will also conduct a national search for three permanent LSS Clinical Professors.  Those who are selected for the one-year lecturer positions will be welcomed to apply. Here’s a link to the posting.  Please direct all questions about the positions to me.  Marcilynn A. Burke Associate Dean, Associate Professor of Law, 4604 Calhoun ·    Houston, TX  77204-6060, (713) 743-2227 (voice) (e-mail)

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:




May 22, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Purdue University Acquires Kaplan University in Major Online Expansion

[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 – 2000px-US-DeptOfEducation-Seal.svgwith 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.

May 5, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 Auronya collee logolaunch 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.

 Youtube (see live broadcast at 27:30 but video/sound is off by 7 to 10 seconds) and cuts off and continues here on YouTube


May 2, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 1, 2017

DeVry refund update to students who suffered deceptive advertising

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 DeptOfEducation-Sealto 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 and sign up for email updates. To learn more about repaying federal student aid, check out the Department of Education’s loan repayment page.

May 1, 2017 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)