Notes & Coffee: January 15 - 21

Black colleges swept up in for-profit crackdown find relief from DeVos – When Education Secretary Betsy DeVos began rolling back regulations to curb the predatory practices of for-profit colleges, critics seethed that the Trump administration was throwing yet another lifeline to a rapacious industry — in this case, one that sees vulnerable undergraduates as nothing more than moneymaking targets.

Promises of swift, radical change – Cynicism about higher education, and athletics, runs rampant, only inflamed by the continuing federal investigation into men’s college basketball -- a sport that National Collegiate Athletic Association president Mark Emmert proclaimed must be reformed by the start of next season. In a frank address to the thousands of NCAA delegates gathered at the association's annual convention, Emmert did not skate over one of the most significant revelations in the world of collegiate athletics last year. The Federal Bureau of Investigation unearthed an alleged scheme by coaches at some of the most prominent men's basketball programs in the country to direct recruits to certain institutions in exchange for cash. Four coaches and six others, including high-ranking Adidas executives, face federal fraud charges, among others, with hints from law enforcement officials that the corruption is more pervasive. 

Possible rules for athletes with history of sexual violence – As the country continues to be roiled by continued revelations of sexual assaults perpetrated (mostly) by powerful men, the National Collegiate Athletic Association will take initial steps toward considering a blanket rule on athletes with a history of such acts. While individual colleges and an NCAA conference have created policies barring athletes who have been tied to sexual violence, so far the association has resisted adopting a broader decree.

Title IX failures – In the spring of 2015, a female athlete withdrew from the State University of New York's Buffalo State College, later saying the college failed to take her allegations of sexual assault by a male athlete seriously. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights last year confirmed the woman’s claim that she had suffered gender-based discrimination when Buffalo State created a hostile environment by not properly responding to her complaint. 

Queer student counseling – Students struggling with their gender identity or sexual orientation have the longest-term counseling treatment while in college, according to a new report by the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. Students considering self-harm or suicide also participate in more counseling sessions -- and the number of students who reported they purposefully injured themselves or attempted suicide continues to rise. But far from a crisis, this represents more students seeking treatment, experts say. The annual study draws data from nearly 150 colleges and universities and a little more than 161,000 students who sought mental health treatment at those institutions -- it is not a survey, but rather an analysis of more than 1.2 million clinical appointments during the 2016-17 academic year.

More Notes

Ex-Obama official as college presidents

Lever Press sets gears in motion

Gender bias, by the numbers

A new home for AI: the library

Unprepared and confused