Speaking Freely?

DC Shuttle …

Hearing on Free Speech on Campus. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on free speech on college campuses. The only legislation proposed to address the issue is a House resolution (H Res 307) to ban campuses from designating specific areas where students can protest or pass out flyers. In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the Justice Department would begin weighing in on cases involving campus free speech. Last week, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest backing a lawsuit against Pierce College over its “free speech zone,” which the suit says in fact limits free speech on campus.

Congress Discusses Campus Sexual Assault. Candice Jackson, acting assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, appeared before the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. Last month, the Education Department rolled back the Obama administration policy and instead replaced it with temporary guidance that gives schools more flexibility when determining if a sexual assault did occur. Jackson said her office currently has 353 open sexual assault cases on college campuses and 149 open cases at the K-12 level.

Ed Dept Withdraws “Outdated” Regulations. The Education Department announced that it had cancelled nearly 600 pieces of regulatory guidance it says are out-of-date. The department formed a task force to review regulations and guidance after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in February requiring agencies to “lower regulatory burdens on the American people.” The department said: “Each item has been either superseded by current law or is no longer in effect.”

Report on Aligning K-12 and Higher Ed. The organization Higher Ed for Higher Standards released a report on improving the alignment between K-12 and higher education through the Every Student Succeeds Act.

NIH Hearing. The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Committee held an oversight hearing on the Role of Facilities and Administrative Costs in Supporting National Institutes of Health (NIH)-Funded Research.

Cybersecurity Education Hearing. The House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing to address cybersecurity education and creating a workforce to address national cybersecurity needs.

We publish the DC Shuttle each week featuring higher ed news from Washington collected by the New England Council, of which NEBHE is a member. This edition is drawn from the Higher Education Update in the Council’s Weekly Washington Report of Oct. 30, 2017. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.


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