Federal policy

Quick Takes: EPA Fine

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  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday that that it has proposed a $171,050 fine against Plymouth State University, for violating federal and state hazardous waste laws.
  • Fuel for the Fire on Student Loans

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    A lender-financed report concludes that government accountants underestimate costs of direct loan program.

    Speedier Visas

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    A Government Accountability Office report released Friday finds that the average time foreign scholars and students must wait for a key federal visa review has shrunk to about two weeks from more than two months last year, according to the Associated Press.

    A Nation's Colleges at Risk

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    American higher education, long the envy of the world, faces such serious problems -- especially with graduation rates -- that its position is vulnerable, says a report being released today.

    The report calls for the creation of new accountability systems in higher education to track problems and progress, and to help lawmakers focus necessary attention on weaknesses. At the same time, the report says that many current accountability systems do little good and end up wasting time and money.

    Congress Sends a Signal

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    In the prevailing climate of recent Congresses, dominated by the push for belt tightening and the shift of power to the states, college officials and other beneficiaries of federal funds tend to shudder when lawmakers use the words "streamline" or "consolidate" to refer to key programs. Too often, the officials fear, the words "eliminate" or "reduce" will follow at some later date.

    Job Training Bill Advances

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    Measure would create new program for community colleges, though other institutions are eyeing the funds.

    Credit Check

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    Rep. John Boehner told a group of college presidents Tuesday that members of Congress are tired of hearing from constituents who can't figure out why their children can't transfer credit from one institution to another.

    "We hear about it nonstop," Boehner (R-Ohio) said. He said that both of his daughters were "caught up" in the issue, thinking that they were taking courses that would transfer -- only to find out that wasn't the case.

    The Spellings Agenda

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    Margaret Spellings gave her first address to a college audience Monday, telling college presidents that they should work to provide better information about their institutions, and that they should back President Bush's budget plans.

    Congress to Colleges: Bush Budget is DOA

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    Put a bunch of college officials in a room the week after the release of the federal budget proposal, and it's not hard to tell what it contained. Lots of money, lots of smiles (O.K., that doesn't happen a lot).

    With a budget like last week's -- full of hundreds of millions of dollars in proposed cuts to programs that colleges hold dear -- the mood is one of uncertainty and frustration. And that was evident Monday at the National Legislative Summit put on annually by the Association of Community College Trustees and American Association of Community Colleges.

    Middle Ground on Military Recruiting?

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    The Marines are back at Middlebury College -- recruiting this week for the first time in at least a decade. But before they could recruit, they had to agree to explain the military's policies that discriminate against gay people, and to answer questions about those policies at an open campus forum.

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