NASPA POLICY PUBLICATIONS:
By Jill Dunlap, March 23, 2017
There have been numerous reports in recent months that the pendulum has been swinging back toward a focus on the due process rights of respondents in campus sexual violence cases. The implications of this perception among campus professionals are serious and far-reaching. A closer look at the evidence found in Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) resolutions, state legislation, and lawsuits by respondents against institutions indicates that this perception may be misguided.
IN THE NEWS:
By Patricia Cohen, March 17, 2017
After receiving pushback from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former for-profit lobbyist Taylor Hansen resigned from the ED on Friday, March 17. However, DeVos also recently hired chief compliance officer for a corporate owner of for-profit colleges, Robert S. Eitel, as a special assistant. While his hire has not yet been made public, ethics advocates express that given his background, Eitel’s hire may violate impartiality. For-profit universities have experienced soaring stock prices in response to promises of deregulation under the new administration, and corporate affiliates would benefit from rolled-back regulations under Secretary DeVos.
By Andrew Kreighbaum, March 21, 2017
Trump’s skinny budget attempted to continue the new administration’s proclaimed support for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). However, while the budget proposal maintained institutional support for HBCUs, it also included provisional cuts to grant-based and work-study programs, which many students attending these institutions depend on for enrollment completion.
By Michael R. Wickline, March 23, 2017
Last week, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed expanded concealed carry legislation into law. The legislation, which now includes public institutions of higher education, has been highly contested. The Governor explained that there has been confusion as to what the new policy entails, and stated that, "The public should not be confused that everyone with a concealed-weapons permit is going to be allowed to go into sensitive areas. That is not true. It's going to be [a] much more limited population, but they will be trained and obviously they will be trained in active-shooter circumstances, how to coordinate with law enforcement and when that is done, I am convinced the public will be more safe. We will have more safety in our institutions and our public spaces.” Senator Johnathan Dismang looks to amend the original bill, AR HB 1249, with the introduction of, AR SB 724, to order to exempt the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock and the State Hospital from the law.
By US News, March 23, 2017
Georgia lawmakers rejected a bill aimed at changing colleges’ disciplinary processes regarding sexual assault. Opponents of the bill warned that it would negatively impact victims, making it difficult for them to come forward. The bill was focused on respondent’ rights, and the bill’s sponsor Rep. Earl Ehrhart pushed that changes were necessary in order to protect those accused. Title IX advocates pressed that the bill was in violation of OCR guidelines, of which Ehrhart has historically opposed.
By ED Press Office, March 24, 2017
OCR investigations of Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH have found violations regarding two complaints filed in July 2011 and in April 2013. Cited violations include: failure to have policies and procedures in place to reach equitable resolution of the complaints, failure to treat students equally in responding to complaints, and failure to provide a notice of nondiscrimination compliant with Title IX.
By Fred Bauer, March 25, 2017
According to analysts sourced by the National Review, failure of the American Health Care Act is indicative of a divide in a Republican congress between populists and other factions of the GOP. Reconciliation-based legislation requires a bill to be passed solely on party lines, and focuses primarily on aspects of finance. More expansive reform efforts would allow Republicans to make additional reforms to the medical system overall. Analysts suggest that instead of moving towards a “repeal and replace” model, “reform and retain” may be more effective.
As of now, 16 states have filed or introduced LGBTQ sex-segregated facility legislation dubbed as “bathroom bills” in the 2017-2018 session. New bills were introduced in AR on 03/06/2017, and MT on 03/17/2017. In the past week, we’ve seen movement in TN and MT. TN SB 771 failed in the Senate Education Committee, while TN HB 888 is scheduled for a hearing on the Education Administration and Planning Subcommittee for 03/28/2017. MT HB 609 was in a hearing on 03/23/2017. Sources confirm that TX SB 6 is unlikely to pass through the House.
-Sponsor: Rep. Jared Polis [D-CO] (Introduced 03/23/2017)
-Committees: House – Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 03/15/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce