Notes & Coffee: January 29 - February 4

Notes & Coffee is here to keep you informed of all the trending student affairs and higher ed news stories most critical to our field as they develop. In the age of information overload, we’re here to bring you vetted examinations of the stories that matter to our field. We invite you to brew a favorite morning beverage, kick back, relax, and catch yourself up for the week ahead with Notes & Coffee.  

Reshuffling the deck at the Department – “The Education Department on Wednesday announced a reshuffling of key employees involved in federal higher education policy making. The staffing moves are part of a retooling of leadership at the Office of Federal Student Aid, which oversees the government's $1.4 trillion student loan portfolio, but they also reflect the Trump administration's slow progress installing permanent leaders on postsecondary issues.”

Less community, more vocational – “The Trump administration's rhetoric for more work force and career training increased Thursday, with the president calling for community colleges to undergo a name change. President Trump’s call for more vocational training reflects statements he made during Tuesday’s State of the Union, during which he called for a larger national investment in work-force development. But community college leaders were quick to point out that their institutions already offer the vocational or work-force programs Trump has highlighted, and more.”

A year of travel bans – “In the year since the Trump administration imposed its first travel ban blocking entry to the U.S. for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Libya, the specific terms of the travel restrictions have shifted amid an ongoing battle over their legality. Public universities have been involved in legal challenges to the bans, and their arguments about the negative effects of the travel restrictions on their ability to recruit international students and scholars have been important in helping states that have brought the legal cases establish standing to sue.” 

The death of college free-speech zones – “Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a crowd at Georgetown University in September that administrators “coddled” students to the point that free expression had been stifled on campuses. The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives introduced a proposal in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that would also essentially eliminate the free-speech zones.” 

Students, alumni watch as Michigan State tries to restore its reputation – “The university grapples with the aftermath of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal that's left students, faculty, alumni and donors wondering what's next, and bracing for civil suits against the school.”

More Notes

No more “Good Samaritan”

Decline in student loan borrowing

A college’s list of alleged rapists

Skepticism on new Greek rules

University of Pennsylvania takes away Steve Wynn’s honors. And Bill Cosby’s, too