Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Tuition Waiver for International Tax online curriculum starting August 26, 2019 - 2 weeks left to apply
Texas A&M University School of Law will launch August 26, 2019 an International Tax online curriculum for graduate degree candidates. Admissions is open for the inaugural cohort of degree candidates to pilot the launch of the Fall semester introductory courses of international taxation and tax treaties, and provide weekly feedback on content, support, and general experience in exchange for waiving the tuition and providing the books free.
What is the tuition waiver offer?
For new degree candidates who apply and enroll for this inaugural Fall semester of the international tax curriculum 2019 semester, Texas A&M University will waive the tuition for this Fall 2019 semester in exchange for the candidates providing weekly feedback and engagement to improve the Fall courses and learning experience. Moreover, the Fall semester textbook and companion study guide are provided free.
Normal Texas A&M University tuition and available financial aid applies after the Fall term and is available at https://law.tamu.edu/llm-mjur-programs/tuition Texas A&M University is a public university of the state of Texas and is ranked 1st among public universities for its superior education at an affordable cost (Fiske, 2018) and ranked 1st of Texas public universities for best value (Money, 2018).
How do I apply for the inaugural cohort?
Only for this inaugural cohort, completed applications may be submitted directly, via the below-expedited process, to the law school’s admission office until noon central daylight time (CDT – Dallas) on August 22, 2019. A completed Fall application must include four items:
(1) the completed and signed law school application (application fees and letters of recommendation are waived for Fall 2019 international tax);
(2) statement of interest for the international tax program that includes mention of prior tax or related experience.
(3) resume/CV reflecting at least three years of employment as a tax advisor or five years employment in a related field; and
(4) an official transcript from the highest academic degree awarded by an accredited University sent to Texas A&M University: Official electronic transcripts can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org FedEx, UPS, DHL express mail can be sent to Attn: Office of Graduate Admissions 1515 Commerce Street Fort Worth, TX 76102-6509
To apply for the inaugural cohort opportunity, contact Jeff Green, Graduate Programs Coordinator, T: +1 (817) 212-3866, E: email@example.com or contact David Dye, Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs, T (817) 212-3954, E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the proposed curriculum of 12 international tax courses?
International Taxation & Treaties I (3 credits) International Taxation & Treaties II (3 credits)
Transfer Pricing I (3 credits) Transfer Pricing II (3 credits)
Tax Risk Management (3 credits) FATCA & CRS (3 credits)
International Tax Planning (3 credits) Country Tax Systems (3 credits)
U.S. Int’l Tax (3 credits) EU Taxation (3 credits)
VAT/GST/Sales (3 credits) Customs & Excises (3 credits)
Ethics in Decision Making (1 credit required to graduate)
What distinguishes Texas A&M’s International Tax curriculum?
Since the original 1994 curriculum focus on tax risk management and methodology, the curriculum and the program operational structure continue to evolve based on in-depth industry research. “The central function of the tax office has evolved from strategy and planning into risk management”, says William Byrnes, professor of law and associate dean at Texas A&M University. “This evolution has been accelerated by trends — primarily globalization, transparency and regulatory reform — and by the OECD (through the project on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, or BEPS), the United States (through the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) and the European Union.”
In 2019, Hanover Research on behalf of Texas A&M undertook an extensive long-form survey, including interviews, of 146 tax executives about the needs and value-added of Texas A&M’s new international tax curriculum. The surveys 2019 tax professionals included: 29% U.S. and 71% foreign resident. Half the participants were tax professionals of AmLaw 100 firms (27%) or of Big 4 accounting (21%). The other half of participants were tax professionals of large multinational tax departments in the following industries: Finance / Banking / Insurance; Consulting; Business / Professional Services; Computers (Hardware, Desktop Software); Telecommunications; Aerospace / Aviation / Automotive; Healthcare / Medical; Manufacturing; Food Service; Internet; Mining; Pharmaceutical / Chemical; Real Estate; and Transportation / Distribution. Four percent of survey participants were executive-level government tax authority staff.
Besides the actual design of the course curriculum, two interesting outcomes from the industry interviews are:
- The faculty and graduate degree candidates must be multidisciplinary, including both tax lawyers and non-lawyer tax professionals (e.g. accountants, finance executives, and economists) engaged together in learning teams with practical case studies and projects that are “applicable in a real-world context”.
- The curriculum must include the perspectives of tax mitigation and of tax-risk management with exposure to state-of-the-industry data analytics.
In its Tax Insights magazine that is distributed globally to clients, the Big 4 firm EY stated: “Texas A&M University is among the pioneers of change in tax education”.
Texas A&M professor William Byrnes explains: “A risk management approach to tax means that the new model will by definition be multidisciplinary. Financial and managerial accounting– and law– will still be important, of course. But students will also need new “hard” skills involving big data and communications technologies and “soft” skills geared to working in multicultural settings both at home and abroad.” Says Byrnes, “You don’t want to have people who are living in the ‘Stone Age’ (pre-2015) trying to work in a 2016-onward world.”
What is the proposed course schedule during an academic year?
Fall 2019 Part A (6 week term) Fall 2019 Part B (6 week term)
International Taxation & Treaties I International Taxation & Treaties II
Spring 2020 Part A (6 week term) Spring 2020 Part B (6 week term)
Transfer Pricing I Transfer Pricing II
Summer 2020 concurrent 6 week term
Tax Risk Management & Data Analytics FATCA & CRS
Fall 2020 Part A Fall 2020 Part B
International Tax Planning Country Tax Systems
International Taxation & Treaties I International Taxation & Treaties II
Spring 2021 Part A Spring 2021 Part B
U.S. Int’l Tax EU Taxation
Transfer Pricing I Transfer Pricing II
Summer 2021 concurrent term
VAT/GST/Sales Customs & Excises
Tax Risk Management FATCA & CRS
When are the semesters?
Fall: August 26 until December 14, 2019
Spring: January 9 until April 30, 2020
Summer: May 18 until July 11, 2020
Who is leading and creating this International Tax curriculum?
The International Tax curriculum has been developed and is led by Professor William Byrnes (Texas A&M University Law). In 1994, Professor William Byrnes founded the first international tax program leveraging online education and in 1998 founded the first online international tax program to be acquiesced by the American Bar Association and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He is recognized globally as an online education pioneer focused on learner outcomes and best practices leveraging state of the art educational technology. William Byrnes is also an international tax authority as LexisNexis’ leading published author of nine international tax treatises and compendium, annually updated, and a 10 volume service published by Wolters Kluwer. His LinkedIn group International Tax Planning Professionals has over 25,000 members and is the largest international tax network on LinkedIn.
How much time per week does a course require?
Each course unfolds over six weeks, designed to require 15 to 20 hours of input each week. This weekly input includes reviewing materials, listening to podcasts, watching video content, participating in discussion forums, engaging in live class sessions, and working with classmates on team-based learning projects. Working with colleague groups on real-world case studies is critical to the educational experience. Potential applicants must have available three to five hours per week to spend developing and working with colleagues on group case studies using communications technologies like Zoom video.
What is the title of this graduate degree?
For lawyers, it is a Master of Laws (LL.M.) and for accountants, tax professionals and economists, it is a Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.). The degree is awarded by Texas A&M University via the School of Law. Completion of a curriculum, which is like a ‘major’ for university studies, is also recognized with a frameable certificate issued by the School of Law.
What are the minimum requirements of the application for each degree?
- All applicants must have previous domestic tax or accounting professional experience reflected on the CV of work experience.
- The Master of Laws (LL.M.) is awarded to successful graduates who hold a law degree from a law school or faculty of law that is accredited by the American Bar Association or if a foreign law degree then accredited by a governmental accreditation body and that allows the graduate eligibility for that country’s practice of law.
- The Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) is awarded to all other successful graduates. Applicants for the Master of Jurisprudence must hold a prior degree from an accredited academic institution in business, accounting, finance, economics, or related business field.
What are the program requirements to graduate?
The Master of Laws candidates must complete at least 24 credits to be eligible to graduate. The Master of Jurisprudence candidates must complete at least 30 credits to be eligible to graduate.
All candidates must complete the Ethics in Decision Making course to be eligible to graduate, which presents networking opportunities with candidates of the Risk management and Wealth Management curricula. Master of Jurisprudence candidates must also complete an Introduction to U.S. Law course which will include networking among all law graduate curricula.
Candidates must complete at least six courses specific to a curriculum in order to be eligible for a degree. Without permission, candidates are allowed to enroll in up to two courses from another curriculum.
How many months to graduate?
Normally, candidates will enroll in two courses during Fall and Spring semester, focusing on one course each term (Fall and Spring have two terms of six weeks each). Candidates may enroll in one or two courses for the Summer semester, which is only one six-week term. Thus, most candidates will reach eligibility to graduate within two years. Candidates have the flexibility as to how many or few courses to enroll each term, subject to university graduate program rules. Candidates may complete the program in one year to as long as four years. Each course in a curriculum is offered once per year.
Are these degrees eligible for the Aggie Ring and membership in the Texas A&M Former Student Network (Texas A&M alumni)?
Yes, all international tax graduates will become a member of the Texas A&M family. Texas A&M is renown for the loyalty and engagement among its former students within the Texas Aggie clubs established throughout the world. Texas A&M has graduated over 500,000 “Aggies” who are eligible to wear the Texas A&M ring to identify each other throughout the world. See https://www.aggienetwork.com/
Will there be on-campus opportunities?
Yes. Graduation, with on-campus activities hosted at the law school, is May 1, 2020. October 24-25, 2019 is a networking conference of the risk, wealth, and international tax graduate students piggybacking on Texas A&M’s Financial Planning conference: Thursday night networking banquet and Friday conference activities. See https://financialplanning.tamu.edu/events/conference/ Saturday, October 26, 2019 is a Texas A&M football game at the on-campus Kyle stadium that two years ago underwent a $485 million renovation. The graduate program office has inquired about a block of tickets in the same section for students interested in purchasing a ticket and staying over for the game. Texas A&M football games are sold out with a capacity of over 100,000 seats and thus, Friday night hotel reservations in College Station should be made ASAP. Other opportunities will be announced during the program year.
What is Texas A&M University?
Texas A&M, the second-largest U.S. public university, is one of the only 60 accredited U.S. members of the American Association of Universities (R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity), and one of the only 17 U.S. universities that hold a triple U.S. federal designation (Land, Sea, and Space). As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery: research conducted in fiscal year 2017 at Texas A&M represented an annual expenditure of more than $900 million. The Texas A&M University system’s operating budget exceeds $4.6 billion and Texas A&M’s combined endowments are 7th largest among universities in the world.
Texas A&M is ranked 1st among national public universities for a superior education at an affordable cost (Fiske, 2018); ranked 1st of Texas public universities for best value (Money, 2018); and ranked 1st in nation for most graduates serving as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (Fortune, 2019). During the program, a candidate learns Texas A&M’s traditions and six core values that are grounded in its history as one of the six U.S. senior military colleges: Loyalty, Integrity, Excellence, Leadership, Respect, and Selfless Service.
Which government and professional organizations accredit Texas A&M University?
For the complete list, see https://www.tamu.edu/statements/accreditation.html
What are the other curricula’s courses that are available to international tax candidates?
Risk Curriculum Wealth Curriculum
Enterprise Risk & Data Analytics Taxation of Business Associations
Information Security Management Systems Securities Regulations
Counter-Terrorism Risk Management Financial & Portfolio Management
Cybersecurity Income Tax Financial Planning
Anti-Money Laundering & Bank Principles of Wealth Management
Principles of Risk Management Estate Planning, Insurance, and Annuities
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Advanced Wealth Management
Fiduciary & Risk Management Non-Profit & Fiduciary Administration
White-Collar Crime Retirement & Benefits
Legal Risk Management Insurance Law (& Alternative Risk Transfer)
Monday, July 29, 2019
Call for AALS Speaker/Participants: Online & Hybrid Learning Pedagogy Best Practices and Development of Standards
The most unique session format at the AALS Annual Meeting, discussion group programs provide an opportunity for a small group of invited participants to engage in a focused discussion on a specific topic. If you are interested in participating, please submit an abstract by August 23rd, 2019.
This AALS Discussion Group will review the existing Model Standards for online law school programs and develop updated standards and best practices. This Discussion Group requests the submission of Discussion White Papers based on evolving and improving aspects of the Model Standards for online programs that are available under the “Online & Hybrid Learning Pedagogy Model Standards Development” information. We will examine, discuss and update the 2015 Model Standards, and discuss how these standards might be deployed, and who might be responsible for applying the standards as in an advisory manner or as an accreditor. As time allows, we will also discuss updating the 2015 Recommended Practices and examine how schools may propel their programs toward these loftier goals.
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Online & Hybrid Learning Pedagogy Best Practices and Development of Standards: AALS Call for Submissions for Washington D.C. 2020 Annual Congress.
See full submission document here: https://am.aals.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2019/07/AM20OnlineStandardsDiscussionCall.pdf
This AALS Discussion Group will review the existing Model Standards for online law school programs and develop updated standards and best practices. This Discussion Group requests the submission of Discussion White Papers based on evolving and improving aspects of the Model Standards for online programs that are available under the “Online & Hybrid Learning Pedagogy Model Standards Development” information.
We will examine, discuss and update the 2015 Model Standards, and discuss how these standards might be deployed, and who might be responsible for applying the standards as in an advisory manner or as an accreditor. As time allows, we will also discuss updating the 2015 Recommended Practices and examine how schools may propel their programs toward these loftier goals.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Arrests of Yale, U of Texas, Yale, Stanford, USC, UCLA, and Georgetown Staff for Bribery for College Admissions
Dozens of individuals involved in a nationwide conspiracy that facilitated cheating on college entrance exams and the admission of students to elite universities as purported athletic recruits were arrested by federal agents in multiple states this morning and charged in federal court in Boston. Athletic coaches from Yale, Stanford, USC, Wake Forest and Georgetown, among others, are implicated, as well as parents and exam administrators.
William “Rick” Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., was charged with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Singer owned and operated the Edge College & Career Network LLC (“The Key”) – a for-profit college counseling and preparation business – and served as the CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation (KWF) – a non-profit corporation that he established as a purported charity.
Between approximately 2011 and February 2019, Singer allegedly conspired with dozens of parents, athletic coaches, a university athletics administrator, and others, to use bribery and other forms of fraud to secure the admission of students to colleges and universities including Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, and Wake Forest University, among others. Also charged for their involvement in the scheme are 33 parents and 13 coaches and associates of Singer’s businesses, including two SAT and ACT test administrators.
Also charged is John Vandemoer, the head sailing coach at Stanford University, Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, the former head soccer coach at Yale University, and Mark Riddell, a counselor at a private school in Bradenton, Fla.
The conspiracy involved 1) bribing SAT and ACT exam administrators to allow a test taker, typically Riddell, to secretly take college entrance exams in place of students or to correct the students’ answers after they had taken the exam; 2) bribing university athletic coaches and administrators—including coaches at Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, the University of Southern California, and the University of Texas—to facilitate the admission of students to elite universities under the guise of being recruited as athletes; and (3) using the façade of Singer’s charitable organization to conceal the nature and source of the bribes.
- College Entrance Exam Cheating Scheme
According to the charging documents, Singer facilitated cheating on the SAT and ACT exams for his clients by instructing them to seek extended time for their children on college entrance exams, which included having the children purport to have learning disabilities in order to obtain the required medical documentation. Once the extended time was granted, Singer allegedly instructed the clients to change the location of the exams to one of two test centers: a public high school in Houston, Texas, or a private college preparatory school in West Hollywood, Calif. At those test centers, Singer had established relationships with test administrators Niki Williams and Igor Dvorskiy, respectively, who accepted bribes of as much as $10,000 per test in order to facilitate the cheating scheme. Specifically, Williams and Dvorskiy allowed a third individual, typically Riddell, to take the exams in place of the students, to give the students the correct answers during the exams, or to correct the students’ answers after they completed the exams. Singer typically paid Ridell $10,000 for each student’s test. Singer’s clients paid him between $15,000 and $75,000 per test, with the payments structured as purported donations to the KWF charity. In many instances, the students taking the exams were unaware that their parents had arranged for the cheating.
- College Recruitment Scheme
It is further alleged that throughout the conspiracy, parents paid Singer approximately $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators to designate their children as purported athletic recruits, thereby facilitating the children’s’ admission to those universities. Singer allegedly described the scheme to his customers as a “side door,” in which the parents paid Singer under the guise of charitable donations to KWF. In turn, Singer funneled those payments to programs controlled by the athletic coaches, who then designated the children as recruited athletes – regardless of their athletic experience and abilities. Singer also made bribe payments to most of the coaches personally.
For example, during a call with one parent, Singer stated: “Okay, so, who we are…what we do is we help the wealthiest families in the U.S. get their kids into school…My families want a guarantee. So, if you said to me ‘here’s our grades, here’s our scores, here’s our ability, and we want to go to X school’ and you give me one or two schools, and then I’ll go after those schools and try to get a guarantee done.”
As part of the scheme, Singer directed employees of The Key and the KWF to create falsified athletic “profiles” for students, which were then submitted to the universities in support of the students’ applications. The profiles included fake honors that the students purportedly received and elite teams that they purportedly played on. In some instances, parents supplied Singer with staged photos of their children engaged in athletic activity – such as using a rowing machine or purportedly playing water polo.
- Tax Fraud Conspiracy
Beginning around 2013, Singer allegedly agreed with certain clients to disguise bribe payments as charitable contributions to the KWF, thereby enabling clients to deduct the bribes from their federal income taxes. Specifically, Singer allegedly instructed clients to make payments to the KWF in return for facilitating their children’s admission to a chosen university. Singer used a portion of that money to bribe university athletic coaches to designate the children as student athletes. Thereafter, Masera or another KWF employee mailed letters from the KWF to the clients expressing thanks for their purported charitable contributions. The letter stated: “Your generosity will allow us to move forward with our plans to provide educational and self-enrichment programs to disadvantaged youth,” and falsely indicated that “no good or services were exchanged” for the donations. Many clients then filed personal tax returns that falsely reported the payment to the KWF as charitable donations.
The charge of racketeering conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater and restitution. The charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering. The charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of obstruction of justice provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, and of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of 250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric S. Rosen, Justin D. O’Connell, Leslie Wright, and Kristen A. Kearney of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
- William Rick Singer, 58, of Newport Beach, Calif., owner of the Edge College & Career Network and CEO of the Key Worldwide Foundation, was charged in an Information with racketeering conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and obstruction of justice. He is scheduled to plead guilty in Boston before U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel on March 12, 2019, at 2:30 p.m.;
- Mark Riddell, 36, of Palmetto, Fla., was charged in an Information with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud as well as conspiracy to commit money laundering;
- Rudolph “Rudy” Meredith, 51, of Madison, Conn., the former head women’s soccer coach at Yale University, was charged in an Information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and honest services wire fraud as well as honest services wire fraud;
- John Vandemoer, 41, of Stanford, Calif., the former sailing coach at Stanford University, was charged in an Information with racketeering conspiracy and is expected to plead guilty in Boston before U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel on March 12, 2019, at 3:00 p.m.;
- David Sidoo, 59, of Vancouver, Canada, was charged in an indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Sidoo was arrested on Friday, March 8th in San Jose, Calif., and appeared in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California yesterday. A date for his initial appearance in federal court in Boston has not yet been scheduled.
The following defendants were charged in an indictment with racketeering conspiracy:
- Igor Dvorskiy, 52, of Sherman Oaks, Calif., director of a private elementary and high school in Los Angeles and a test administrator for the College Board and ACT;
- Gordon Ernst, 52, of Chevy Chase, Md., former head coach of men and women’s tennis at Georgetown University;
- William Ferguson, 48, of Winston-Salem, N.C., former women’s volleyball coach at Wake Forest University;
- Martin Fox, 62, of Houston, Texas, president of a private tennis academy in Houston;
- Donna Heinel, 57, of Long Beach, Calif., the senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California;
- Laura Janke, 36, of North Hollywood, Calif., former assistant coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California;
- Ali Khoroshahin, 49, of Fountain Valley, Calif., former head coach of women’s soccer at the University of Southern California;
- Steven Masera, 69, of Folsom, Calif., accountant and financial officer for the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation;
- Jorge Salcedo, 46, of Los Angeles, Calif., former head coach of men’s soccer at the University of California at Los Angeles;
- Mikaela Sanford, 32, of Folsom, Calif., employee of the Edge College & Career Network and the Key Worldwide Foundation;
- Jovan Vavic, 57, of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., former water polo coach at the University of Southern California; and
- Niki Williams, 44, of Houston, Texas, assistant teacher at a Houston high school and test administrator for the College Board and ACT.
The following defendant was charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud:
- Michael Center, 54, of Austin Texas, head coach of men’s tennis at the University of Texas at Austin
The following defendants were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud:
- Gregory Abbott, 68, of New York, N.Y., the founder and chairman of a food and beverage packaging company;
- Marcia Abbott, 59, of New York, N.Y.;
- Gamal Abdelaziz, 62, of Las Vegas, Nev., the former senior executive of a resort and casino operator in Macau, China;
- Diane Blake, 55, of San Francisco, Calif., an executive at a retail merchandising firm;
- Todd Blake, 53, of San Francisco, Calif., an entrepreneur and investor;
- Jane Buckingham, 50, of Beverly Hills, Calif., the CEO of a boutique marketing company;
- Gordon Caplan, 52, of Greenwich, Conn., co-chairman of an international law firm based in New York City;
- I-Hin “Joey” Chen, 64, of Newport Beach, Calif., operates a provider of warehousing and related services for the shipping industry;
- Amy Colburn, 59, of Palo Alto, Calif.;
- Gregory Colburn, 61, of Palo Alto, Calif.;
- Robert Flaxman, 62, of Laguna Beach, Calif., founder and CEO of real estate development firm;
- Mossimo Giannulli, 55, of Los Angeles, Calif., fashion designer;
- Elizabeth Henriquez, 56, of Atherton, Calif.;
- Manuel Henriquez, 55, of Atherton, Calif., founder, chairman and CEO of a publicly traded specialty finance company;
- Douglas Hodge, 61, of Laguna Beach, Calif., former CEO of investment management company;
- Felicity Huffman, 56, of Los Angeles, Calif., an actress;
- Agustin Huneeus Jr., 53, of San Francisco, Calif., owner of wine vineyards;
- Bruce Isackson, 61, of Hillsborough, Calif., president of a real estate development firm;
- Davina Isackson, 55, of Hillsborough, Calif.;
- Michelle Janavs, 48, of Newport Coast, Calif., former executive of a large food manufacturer;
- Elisabeth Kimmel, 54, of Las Vegas, Nev., owner and president of a media company;
- Marjorie Klapper, 50, of Menlo Park, Calif., co-owner of jewelry business;
- Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, Calif., an actress;
- Toby MacFarlane, 56, of Del Mar, Calif., former senior executive at a title insurance company;
- William McGlashan Jr., 55, of Mill Valley, Calif., senior executive at a global equity firm;
- Marci Palatella, 63, of Healdsburg, Calif., CEO of a liquor distribution company;
- Peter Jan Sartorio, 53, of Menlo Park, Calif., packaged food entrepreneur;
- Stephen Semprevivo, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., executive at privately held provider of outsourced sales teams;
- Devin Sloane, 53, of Los Angeles, Calif., founder and CEO of provider of drinking and wastewater systems;
- John Wilson, 59, of Hyannis Port, Mass., founder and CEO of private equity and real estate development firm;
- Homayoun Zadeh, 57, of Calabasas, Calif., an associate professor of dentistry; and
- Robert Zangrillo, 52, of Miami, Fla., founder and CEO of private investment firm.
Sunday, February 24, 2019
The OECD’s Global Relation Programme offers tax officials from developing countries the necessary training to tackle today’s most pressing challenges in international taxation. These events are offered free of charge in three formats: face-to-face, blended learning and, soon, in e-learning.
The Global Relations Programme is launching the first OECD e-learning project: 13 e-learning courses covering 7 different topics related to international taxation will be open in 2019.
E-learning courses will be offered free of charge to government tax officials from all countries through the Knowledge Sharing Platform (KSP). These interactive courses will give participants a solid knowledge base on key topics of international taxation, providing a certificate to those who complete them successfully.
LIST OF E-LEARNING COURSES
BEPS Minimum Standards
BEPS Actions 2, 3, 4 and 12: Hybrids, Interests and CFCs
Basic concepts of Transfer Pricing
Introduction to Transfer Pricing
Tentative list of e-learning topics available by the end of 2019
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
"A handful of boutiques — a number of which were founded in recent years — are positioning themselves as desirable places to be for associates by offering up year-end bonuses topping out, in some cases, above $200,000, a tool experts say allows them to compete with larger and more established law firms for up-and-coming legal stars and, ultimately, clients."
Read the article and analysis here at Law360: Why Some Boutiques Doled Out Behemoth Year-End Bonuses
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
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?
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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."
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 $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)).
Friday, November 3, 2017
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, and 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
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
For details or to register, call 1-800-308-1700. Seating is extremely limited.
Why You Should Attend
Who Should Attend
Sunday, October 8, 2017
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.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
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 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 email@example.com. Applicant information will be kept confidential to the maximum extent allowable by law. Additional information and timeline can be found at http://lawsearch.tamu.edu.
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.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
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.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
India on April 22, 2017 broadcast on LiveStream
Thursday, July 6, 2017
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, Education, 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,
- 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.
“(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.
Thursday, June 29, 2017
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.
- 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
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.