The U.S. Justice Department and nine college associations have filed briefs backing the University of Illinois in its attempt to overturn a judge's ruling that documents requested by The Chicago Tribune are not covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The Tribune requested the documents -- which deal with applicants' grades, test scores and parents -- as part of an inquiry into the university system's pattern (since abandoned) of favoring politically connected applicants in admissions. The ruling that Illinois is appealing left open the possibility that various privacy provisions might block the release of some records, but college associations are backing the University of Illinois appeal, which states that the ruling leaves public colleges open to pressure to release extensive information about students, possibly in violation of FERPA. The brief on behalf of college associations was filed by the American Council on Education.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities sued the U.S. Education Department Wednesday, charging that the agency's recently enacted regulation aimed at ensuring that vocational programs prepare students for "gainful employment" is unconstitutional. The gainful employment rule, a final version of which was published last month, applies to nonprofit and for-profit colleges alike that have vocationally oriented programs, but for-profit institutions would be disproportionately affected, and a lawsuit by their chief lobbying group had been expected.
A new report, "Consequences of Neglect: Performance Trends in California Higher Education," documents the impact of years of budget cuts on colleges and universities in the state. The report, prepared by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy, of California State University at Sacramento, notes the extent to which California was once considered a higher education leader. The report finds that the state is currently struggling to be average in many higher education measures. The study examines six categories, rates current performance compared to other states and offers a seven-year trend.
|Category||Current Performance||7-Year Trend|
|Preparation||Worse than most states||Up|
|Participation||Better than most states||Down|
Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge is working with a local microbrewery, Tin Roof Brewing, to launch a beer, the Associated Press reported. The blonde ale should be available during the next football season. The name has not been revealed yet. It will relate to LSU but not be called LSU Beer.
The Council of Independent Colleges announced Tuesday that it received a $300,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to expand the council's leadership development programs. The council operates several programs -- some individually, some with partners including the American Academic Leadership Institute, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Aspen Institute, and Academic Search, Inc. -- to discuss issues of leadership and prepare prospective leaders to become chief officers and chief academic officers to become presidents.
In today’s Academic Minute, Ed Stander of SUNY Cobleskill explains why astronomers must consider
scale when applying the laws of physics to any object beyond Earth. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.
A new study by University of Rhode Island researchers found that more than half of college students have received sexually suggested images via text messages, while nearly 80 percent had received suggestive messages. Most messages were sent back and forth between people in a relationship, but 10 percent of the messages were forwarded to someone who did not consent to the additional sharing of the image.
A former assistant football coach at Louisiana State University violated National Collegiate Athletic Association recruiting rules by making excessive telephone calls to prospective players and tried to cover up his rule breaking, the Division I Committee on Infractions said Tuesday in punishing the institution. Despite the penalties, which included recruiting restrictions, the association praised LSU officials for uncovering and aggressively investigating the violations.
he Ivy League will announce today that it is imposing new limits on full-contact football practices. The New York Times reported that the limits, designed to minimize head injuries to players, go beyond the rules of any other athletic conference. Many studies have suggested that limits on full-contact practices may be a key step to minimizing concussions and associated brain trauma experienced by many football players. Studies have found that many football players receive more hits to the head in practice than in actual games. Under the new Ivy rules, only two full-contact practices per week during the season will be permitted, compared with a maximum of five under guidelines of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.