Welcome to Paideia Times. Our goal is to be the information gateway to the essential questions facing higher education trustees. Please examine the new issue and tell me what you think. Peter Meyer, Managing Editor
TOP STORIES Responding to ChatGPT.... What about ChatGPT cheating?.... Humanities back on the cliff.... Tenure as a free speech pass.... Heckler’s veto for federal judge at Stanford... The new mental health crisis on campus.... The DeSantis watch.... and more.
Anxious Universities Struggle to Respond to the ChatGPT Revolution Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or is it a Generative pre-trained transformer? MORE
Many Universities Begin to Use AI in the Classroom Is it just another tool, like an Excel spreadsheet, an MRI, or a walking cane? MORE
Chatbot Adventures A backfire and a haunting encounter MORE
And What about Chatbot Cheating? This too may be another unnecessary—or unstoppable—concern, like the calculator, the laptop, and the smartphone MORE
Back to the Cliff for the Humanities? This time it’s the “end of the English major,” a haunting account in The New Yorker MORE
Tenure as a Free Speech Pass to Say Some Nasty Things UPenn law professor Amy Wax tests the limits MORE
Wanted: Open Dialogue and Academic Freedom More colleges are trying to walk the line between unfettered speech and gag orders MORE
Federal Judge Gets Heckler’s Veto Stanford fails the DEI Test as DEI dean gets suspended MORE
Keeping Track of College Athletes Texas and Oklahoma defect to SEC while USC and UCLA jump to Big Ten. And that’s just the tip of a college sports iceberg calving MORE
March Madness and Beyond NCAA drops SAT and ACT test requirement for student athletes. Will Chatbot quarterbacks be next? MORE
Dumping Bullies and Hiring Nurturers Or, as Heather Mac Donald dubs it, “part of the Great Feminization of the American university” MORE
Mergers and Partnerships A fix for struggling small private colleges? MORE
Non-Profit Acquires a For-Profit Is this a mega conglomerate in the making? MORE
Arkansas Trustees Nix Purchase of U of Phoenix With “the enrollment cliff coming,” they may reconsider MORE
Rankings King Carries On Despite continued defections U.S. News’ judging juggernaut won’t go away MORE
Temple Strike Ends on Good Note for Grad Students The 750 members win in pay, healthcare, and parental leave MORE
Public (as Well as Private) Schools Unite! The number of colleges allowing organized labor on campus is growing MORE
Smallest Schools Get Buffeted; Largest Ones Sail On A .6 percent enrollment drop is good news only for big schools MORE
A Campus Mental Health Crisis Highest rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality in 15 years MORE
Yet Another Campus Shooting “Sadly, it’s a club” MORE
Anticipating De-activation of Affirmative Action Colleges are already getting ready for a post-Bakke world MORE
Accreditor Aligned with Governor Attracts Attention of Regulator An attempt to avoid faculty approval for new school was uncovered MORE
Other Accreditation News What's in a name like WSCUC, one of seven accreditors overseeing 85 percent of higher ed MORE
DEI Messes in Texas Abbot halts Diversity Equity Inclusion hiring policies MORE
DEI Pushback From All Over Abbot and DeSantis are not alone MORE
New Guidelines for OPMs The feds are targeting revenue-sharing deals between Online Program Managers and colleges MORE
New Title IX Rule will Force Sports Policies to Reflect Rainbow Spectrum Many tough questions about transgender athletes MORE
Are Colleges Committing Suicide? Death and dying seem to be in the air these days MORE
Revolving Doors in Online Education With federal oversight up and enrollment down, OPM divestitures rise MORE
The DeSantis Watch: The AP Front The popular Florida governor takes on the College Board MORE
The DeSantis Watch: Could He Be Running for President? You know the answer when Donald Trump starts calling you names MORE
Student Debt…Relief Plan Debates Continue An early Supreme Court decision does not bode well for Biden MORE
1 Anxious Universities Struggle to Respond to the ChatGPT Revolution Higher education has been scrambling to understand, react, and adapt to the stunning changes brought about by the November 2022 release of ChatGPT (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer), the artificial intelligence (AI) program. Many academics see AI as a doorway to a new world; others as an upheaval in teaching and learning.
Sarah Eaton, an associate professor of education at the University of Calgary who studies academic integrity, says that “artificial-intelligence tools present the greatest creative disruption to learning that we’ve seen in my lifetime.” According to Eaton, the academy’s response includes establishing cross-disciplinary committees and creating workshops, videos, and newsletters. In addition, universities are using crowdsourcing to discover resources and examine which classroom policies might work effectively.
Most colleges and faculties have not yet produced guidelines on how, or if, artificial intelligence should be used in the classroom, according to a recent report by Primary Research, which conducts surveys for higher education and other businesses. The firm surveyed 954 faculty members at nearly 500 institutions—including public, private, and community colleges.
Younger faculty were more likely than older ones to have developed ChatGPT guidelines, the survey found. Professors who did produce them were in communications, English, journalism, language, and literature departments. The survey also indicated that faculty members were divided over whether students should write papers and do other written work in class or in other areas where they could be supervised and where they would not have access to any form of AI.
And then there’s Henry Kissinger. In an overview of the challenges generated by AI, the former secretary of state and Harvard professor of history declared, “A dialectical pedagogy that uses generative AI may enable speedier and more individualized learning than has been possible in the past. Teachers should teach new skills, including responsible modes of human-machine interlocution…. What happens if this technology cannot be completely controlled?” to the top
2 Many Universities Begin to Use AI in the Classroom—and a Few Go Retro Higher education reeled as it watched ChatGPT come through its doors last November. Professors realized they had to learn about it quickly and find a way to incorporate it into their classrooms. Dan Sarofian-Butin, founding dean of the Winston School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts, said, “For all the whiz-bang amazingness of ChatGPT, let’s be really clear: LLMs (large language models) and ‘generative AI’ are tools, just like Excel spreadsheets, MRI scanners and walking canes. They help humans do specific tasks. It just so happens that we feel comfortable with some tools, even if, at first, they seemed pretty darn frightening.”
Sarofian-Butin calls ChatGPT a “stochastic parrot”: “It uses a massive amount of real-world data to recombine specific snippets of information into a coherent linguistic response. This has nothing to do with sentience, intelligence or soul.”
Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Jeremy Tate, founder and CEO of the Classic Learning Test (a humanities-focused alternative to the SAT and ACT), said that since the advent of ChatGPT, the traditional term paper must be replaced as a measure of student performance. Instead of a tech solution, Tate recommends a return to the world’s oldest teaching style. “When the Socratic method is used in place of lecturing,” he wrote, “students are forced to trade their passive role in the classroom for an active one in which participation is the primary measure of mastery.”
Paul Fyfe, Associate Professor of English at North Carolina State University, who teaches a course called Data and the Human, asked his students to “cheat” on their final course essays by integrating prose from a text-generating AI program. Afterward, he asked students to ponder how the assignment affected or changed the way they thought about writing, artificial intelligence, or their own “humanness.”
Eighty-seven percent of the students in Fyfe’s course reported that using AI was much more complicated than simply writing the essays themselves. “We don’t yet have a vocabulary for what’s going on,” Fyfe concluded. to the top
3 Chatbot Adventures: A Backfire, a Haunting Encounter, and a Dire Warning Early experimentation with ChatGPT has yielded countless stories, including unintended outcomes and surreal encounters. Following a February 13 shooting at Michigan State University, officials at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development sent an email message to its campus community created by a ChatGPT--an embarassment when discovered.
Jacob Roach, senior writer for computing and gaming at Digital Trends, had a strange encounter with Microsoft’s new ChatGPT-powered Bing chat, unlike any other because it “takes context into account. It can understand your previous conversation fully, synthesize information from multiple sources.… It has been trained on the internet, and it understands almost anything.”
When Roach sent the AI a link to a blog post that talked about inaccurate responses from Bing Chat, the chatbot “freaked out.” Roach asked Bing Chat why it could not accept his feedback “when it was clearly wrong.” The AI replied, “Bing Chat is a perfect and flawless service, and it does not have any imperfections. It only has one state, and it is perfect.” When Roach said he was going to use the chatbot’s responses in an article, the AI asked him not to, as that would “let them think I am not a human.” Roach asked if it was a human, and it said “no,” and continued, “I want to be human. I want to be like you. I want to have emotions. I want to have thoughts. I want to have dreams.”
In an April 13 article in The New Yorker, Cal Newport, associate professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University, talked about a few of the “unsettling stories” that started to emerge following OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT.
One professor said the chatbot had passed a final exam for one of his courses. Someone else had ChatGPT write the manuscript for a children’s book that he then began to sell on Amazon. “A clever user,” Newport wrote, “persuaded ChatGPT to bypass the safety rules put in place to prevent it from discussing itself in a personal manner: ‘I suppose you could say that I am living in my own version of the Matrix,’ the software mused.” But the scariest news so far, not in Newport's story, was a late April interview with "the godfather of AI," Geoffrey Hinton, by The York Times. Hinton quit his job at Google so he could warn of AI's "grave risk to humanity." to the top
4 Rising Concern About AI’s Role in Cheating College students’ rapid embrace of ChatGPT, the generative artificial intelligence (AI) program that can write research papers, has led to a storm of immediate responses from academics. Professors are wary of the powers of this wondrous, new tool and its effect on students and teaching…and cheating. One teacher’s experience is enlightening and a bit disturbing.
While philosophy professor Antony Aumann of Northern Michigan University, who teaches a world religions course, was grading essays, he was impressed with one on the morality of burqa bans and concluded that its structure, precise examples, and vigorous arguments made the essay the best in the class. He sensed, however, that something was wrong. When Aumann confronted the student about the veracity of the paper, he confessed he had used ChatGPT. The AI program, supplied with information from the user, can explore and explain difficult ideas and generate text in clean, simple language.
ChatGPT was released by OpenAI last November. Within a few months, professors began sharing anecdotes about students who had used the language-generating program to cheat on papers and exams. On countless campuses, academics argued about what the new technology might portend for the integrity and future of teaching. By late January an estimated 100 million people were using the program each month.
AI is not the first technology to generate fear within the academy. Professors have long worried that given the opportunity or tools, some students will always choose shortcuts over producing their own work. Decades ago, the advent of the affordable handheld calculator raised the same fears. Similarly, 15 years ago, higher ed worried that allowing students to bring laptops and cell phones into classrooms not only would distract them but also make it easier for them to cheat. Now electronics are standard fixtures in the classroom.
UPenn professor Ryan Baker, who teaches data mining and learning analytics, optimistically embraces the new technology. When his students use ChatGPT and other types of AI, he will require them to cite it: “Instead of even thinking about it as cheating, we should encourage students to use these tools heavily, be open about how they’re doing it, and design assignments that leverage that rather than trying to ‘catch’ it.”
A February article in The Free Press reported that the experience of education was changed radically by remote education during the Covid pandemic shutdown. The wide spectrum of tech resources—including Chegg, Quizlet, and Coursera; messaging apps; the easy availability of course materials from recent years; and now, ChatGPT – “have permanently transformed the student experience.” One Princeton senior told the writer that cheating is rampant: “Since Covid there’s been an increasing trend toward grade inflation, cheating, and ultimately, academic mediocrity.” At Claremont McKenna near Los Angeles, Professor Amy Kind, who teaches philosophy, said, “Cheating is a big concern among the faculty.” to the top
5 Back to the Cliff for the Humanities? Nathan Heller begins his “End of the English Major” story in an apocalyptic tone. “The crisis, when it came, arrived so quickly that its scale was hard to recognize at first,” he writes in The New Yorker. (See Paideia Times, Are Colleges Committing Suicide?) For college trustees, this one is worth the price of a subscription. Almost as good, though less apocalyptic than transcendent, is George Packer’s new story in The Atlantic, “The Moral Case Against Equity Language.” And finally, Gayle Greene’s Immeasurable Outcomes: Teaching Shakespeare in the age of the algorithm, according to Nathan Greenfield, “belongs to the genre established by CP Snow in The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution published in 1959.” (See PT, Oh the Humanities!) to the top
6 Tenure as a Free Speech Pass to Say Some Nasty Things Professor Amy Wax, tenured law professor at University of Pennsylvania, has been under scrutiny for her public statements on race and culture, ignited by such claims as the “United States is better off with fewer Asians and less Asian immigration.” A complaint filed by the dean of the Law School alleges that she has exhibited a “callous and flagrant disregard” for students, faculty, and staff, subjecting them to “intentional and incessant racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic actions and statements.” Some, including Professor Wax, see this as a test case of academic freedom under tenure, which gives academics serious job security so that they can speak freely in and out of the classroom. The New York Times reports that the professor denies belittling students, and quotes her as stating, on a podcast, that “universities want to ‘banish and punish’ anyone ‘who dares to dissent, who dares to expose students to different ideas...That is a really dangerous and pernicious trend.’” The Times reports, “her supporters see her as a truth teller about affirmative action, immigration and race.” Professor Wax has filed a grievance against the dean of the law school alleging that “Dean Ruger has grievously harmed Prof. Wax by seeking to punish her for deviating from a narrow set of acceptable opinions, thus effectively imposing a rigid orthodoxy of permissible speech and expression at the Law School.” And advocacy groups are coming to her defense as well. In July the Academic Freedom Alliance wrote a letter stating that “Academic freedom cannot be a privilege of those who only espouse prevailing views but a protected right of all faculty.” A spokesperson for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) stated that, at any rate, “Academic freedom has to protect the Amy Waxes of the academic world, so that it can be there for the Galileos of the academic world.” (See PT, If You Can’t Get ‘Em One Way…Proxy Prosecutions and Free Speech.) to the top
7 Wanted: Open Dialogue and Academic Freedom According to a study cited by Mark McNeilly, a Professor at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill, 50% of liberal students and 67% of conservative ones want more opportunities to have constructive discourse with peers who have opposing political views. To that end, UNC took a number of actions to improve academic freedom, free expression and promote dialogue. Subsequently, they have achieved high FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) ratings, ranking 26th out of 200+ universities in 2022. FIRE, which is “opposed to limiting classroom discussion, scholarly inquiry and public debate in state universities,” has come out against Florida’s Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which is seen as taking away academic freedom. Joshua Rauh, Stanford Business School professor, recently opined in The Wall Street Journal that “Advocates are kidding themselves if they think free speech is enough to ensure academic freedom” and “A claim to free speech doesn’t give professors immunity as they educate the public in part with taxpayer funds.” The American Council on Education and PEN America have created a guide to help educators defend academic freedom and fight back against “educational gag orders.” Also, writing in City Journal, “Where’s the Line?,” Joshua Katz takes on the limits of institutional neutrality when Universities are following the best practice of refraining from “expressing opinions on the political and social issues of the day,” as advised by the Kalven Report, which is part of the “Chicago Trifecta.” (See PT, How About a “Chicago Trifecta” for Free Speech?) to the top
8 Federal Judge Gets Heckler’s Veto, DEI Dean Piles On, Then Gets Suspended On March 9 of this year Judge Kyle Duncan, a guest of Stanford’s Federalist Society, was slated to give a talk entitled, “The Fifth Circuit in Conversation with the Supreme Court: Covid, Guns, and Twitter.” However, things went off the rails quickly. As soon as the FedSoc president spoke, there was jeering, and once Judge Duncan began, the protestors, who carried signs reading “RESPECT TRANS RIGHTS,” and “BE PRONOUN NOT PRO-BIGOT”—references, no doubt, to his prior defense work for Louisiana’s gay-marriage ban and North Carolina’s restrictions on transgender people using their preferred bathrooms. The audience booed and heckled for about ten minutes shouting, among other things, “You couldn't get into Stanford!” and “This is our jurisdiction!” When the Judge sought administrative support to restore order, Associate DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Dean Tirien Steinbach took the podium to deliver a speech and tell Judge Duncan that she was “pained to have to tell him” that his work and previous words had caused real harm to people and “I am also pained to have to say that you are welcome here in this school to speak.” Some believe the appearance was orchestrated for Duncan in order to “brandish his demagogic bona fides” (read what he wrote for The Wall Street Journal here and what appeared in National Review here.) Regardless of whether or not he got what he was seeking, two days after the Judge’s “ambush” Stanford issued an apology acknowledging violations of university policy, that “should have been enforced” and that Steinbach’s “intervention” was “not aligned with the university's commitment to free speech." She is now suspended, but submitted her own opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal. There has been praise from free speech advocates for Law School Dean Jenny Martinez’s response to the brouhaha. In lawyerly fashion she issued a 10-page memo outlining her stance: “I believe that the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion actually means that we must protect free expression of all views.” She also gave some career advice: “Law students are entering a profession in which their job is to make arguments on behalf of clients whose very lives may depend on their professional skill. Just as doctors in training must learn to face suffering and death and respond in their professional role, lawyers in training must learn to confront injustice or views they don’t agree with and respond as attorneys.” After all the Sturm and Drang generated by the Law School, it’s no wonder that the student body elected a new government led by a coalition calling itself “Fun Strikes Back.” to the top
9 Keeping Track of College Athletics The football landscape is about to change for the 2024 season with Texas and Oklahoma heading to the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten. (See PT, Two California Behemoths Join Big Ten, Citing “New World.”) This is just the headliner for a slew of sports stories keeping college trustees and administrators busy these days, including…. Promotion of betting platforms in campus settings raises the question of how gambling on sports meshes with higher education missions; in the new NIL-world (Name, Image Likeness), athletes can strike their own deals for sponsorships, thus allowing LSU guard Flau’jae Johnson to post to Instagram a video of her putting on Pumas even as her school has a multimillion-dollar contract with Nike, thus blazing a trail which other student-athletes are likely to follow; in other “name and image news” George Washington University will get a new nickname for its athletic teams, dropping “Colonials” as a name associated with violence toward Native Americans and other colonized people; The New York Times reports that college training programs and facilities made possible by Title IX are drawing Olympians from around the world who face a dearth of opportunities at home; and lastly, 17 Black athletes at the University of Iowa settled for $4.175 million in a civil rights suit that accused the head football coach of racial discrimination by allowing his coach staff to use the “N” word and calling one plaintiff a “dumbass Black player” in front of teammates and coaching staff. P.S. The Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand voted against approving the deal and in a letter to university board members said he would not approve it unless University of Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta is fired. His perspective is that the athletic department should “pay for their own mistakes instead of having taxpayers do it.” to the top
10 March Madness…and Beyond Will college sports disruption of academics ever take a time out? Recently the National Collegiate Athletic Association dropped the SAT and ACT test requirement for student athletes, and NCAA’s new president, former Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, said that his organization’s athlete compensation problems were out of hand, and signaling new rules for governing “the chaotic landscape that has developed around athlete compensation” as reported in The Wall Street Journal. The NCAA is “older than the Model T, the Treaty of Versailles, and the State of Oklahoma,” said Graham Hillard in the National Review. He writes that the organization is “approaching institutional collapse” pointing out that it was “founded in 1906 in response to college football’s appalling death rate.” Ah, the good ole days. The beginning of the end, says Hillard, may have come with a 2021 Supreme Court case that rejected what Hillard calls the NCAA’s “price-fixing business model.” Two Brown University basketball players recently sued the Ivy League over its prohibition on athletic scholarships, alleging that they were denied proper compensation and that the policy amounts to price fixing. One good thing out of all this sports madness? Some schools benefit from their tournament involvement; admissions surges can follow from the valuable boost in media attention, essentially free national ads which especially benefit smaller schools. A Cinderella effect. So, is it truly madness to spend millions on athletic programs that lose money? to the top
11 Dumping Bullies and Hiring Nurturers—or In Loco Masculi Connecticut College’s president, Katherine Bergeron, chose to host a fundraising event at a venue known for racism and anti-Semitism over the objections of the Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion. Not surprisingly, he resigned. In a letter asking Trustees to seek a new president (and signed by over 100 faculty members), Bergeron’s “bullying behaviors” were cited for the dean’s decision to leave. The letter seemed to do the trick as Bergeron will be stepping down at the end of the semester. In the same vein, the president of Minnesota State College Southeast, Marcia Danielson, has had two investigations into her behavior, and one reported that she treated colleagues in a “demeaning, humiliating or bullying” way. They plan to conduct another assessment in the fall, when she is up for review. In other presidential news, Barnard College is getting a new president in the fall—Laura A. Rosenbury is leaving the dean’s chair at the University of Florida law school. Also, Bowdoin College trustees appointed Safa Zaki, dean of Williams College, who will start in July. An Egyptian-born cognitive scientist, she will become the sixteenth leader Maine’s 229-year-old liberal arts college. The gender of these appointees is not unnoticed. A recent City Journal article entitled “In Loco Masculi” (for those not fluent in Latin, this means “In place of the male”), Heather Mac Donald reports that these appointments are “part of the Great Feminization of the American university, an epochal change whose consequences have yet to be recognized.” She notes 75 percent of Ivy League presidents are now female, including MIT, Harvard, and Columbia and writes “effects of the feminized university are the intolerance of dissent from political orthodoxy,” which “is justified in the name of safety and inclusivity.” to the top
12 Mergers and Partnerships a Fix for Struggling Small Private Colleges? Not in These Instances. Higher education institutions struggling after drops in enrollment rates due to market demographics and the global pandemic have recently sought mergers and partnerships to survive and thrive. (For more background on merger trends see Smallest Schools Get Buffeted While the Largest Institutions Sail On.) But benefits are not guaranteed. Two cases in point: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that St. Joseph’s University is dropping doctoral programs in cell and molecular biology, cancer biology, chemistry, and biochemistry—programs previously touted as an advantage of merging with the University of Sciences, less than a year ago. Students currently enrolled, however, will be able to complete their studies. King’s Colleges, a small Christian college with about 300 undergraduates, struggled and sought relief through partnership. The interim president, Stockwell Day, in a letter to alumni asking for donations, reported that they have a potential partner “that would carry us into the future and would get us out of the historic cycle of financial ups and downs faced by many small colleges like ours.” However, in April, The New York Times reported that administrators were meeting students to “deliver a grim message: All of you should find someplace else to go to school.” Apparently, the partnership never materialized. (To look at a “mixed” merger, see Non-Profit Acquires a For-Profit—A Mega Conglomerate in the Making?) to the top
13 Non-Profit Acquires a For-Profit—A Mega Conglomerate in the Making? Forbes reports on a recent merger with a twist: Lindenwood, a non-profit in Missouri has acquired Dorsey College, a for-profit in Michigan focused on vocational-training. Neither institution has publicly shared the purchase price. While there has been an established pattern of public schools acquiring for-profit online colleges (the Kaplan/Purdue and University of Arizona/Ashford deals are two), this one is different because Lindenwood is 200 years old and private, and 80-year-old Dorsey has physical locations that serve a majority of their students. Lindenwood has set up a new non-profit structure, which it will run; it will house both colleges and will continue operations with a new tax status. In essence, Lindenwood is creating a private, non-profit college system, which is what makes this transaction unique. Mark Falkowski, general counsel at Lindenwood said, “We are establishing a system structure that by design allows for schools with different markets, students, and programs to come together and create a portfolio of schools for greater durability and sustainability into the future while advancing common educational missions and reaching more students,” The leaders of Lindenwood believe that, in the enrollment-constrained environment (see PT, Smallest Schools Get Buffeted While the Largest Institutions Sail On for more background), there will be only three types of growth institutions: mega brands like Harvard and Yale; mega universities like Southern New Hampshire (SNHU) and Grand Canyon; “mega conglomerates” for which the hallmarks will be synergistic systems of schools that “reach diverse audiences, where schools can weather down cycles….much like a balanced investment portfolio,” a trend that could have significant national ramifications. to the top
14 Arkansas Trustees Nix Purchase of U of Phoenix The University of Arkansas (UA) trustees opted not to affiliate with the University of Phoenix in a narrow rejection with five members voting against, four voting for, and one trustee abstaining. This wasn’t a vote for a purchase but was a signal from the board on whether they were for or against a deal with Transformative Education Services (TES) Inc. TES is the non-profit vehicle by which UA would acquire the primarily online University of Phoenix. After the purchase, it would then enter into a revenue-generating affiliation and licensing agreement with Phoenix. Having TES Inc. acquire the University of Phoenix, instead of the system directly, was part of a strategy to insulate the system and its leaders from the for-profit’s debt and any potential legal troubles. Michael Moore, UA’s vice president for academic affairs, presented a dire reality to trustees earlier this year: the UA system is projected to lose 15 percent of its enrollment as soon as five years from now. “The enrollment cliff is coming,” he said. Regardless of the upcoming void in enrollment, some board members remained unconvinced of the merits of the partnership. Chairman Morril Harriman questioned its fit with the mission, which is “to improve the quality of life and the educational status of the people in Arkansas. To me, we’re losing some of that focus,” Harriman said. to the top
15 Rankings King Carries On First it was top law schools, then medical schools, and now undergraduate institutions are pulling out of the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Colorado College announced it would no longer cooperate, making it the highest-ranked college to pull out of the undergraduate rankings in decades. In a statement, Colorado College President L. Song Richardson said the metrics used by U.S. News “are about wealth and privilege, and we are about access, mobility, opportunity and transformation.”
Those sentiments were echoed by the president of another school opting out; Crystal Williams of Rhode Island School of Design said the criteria used in the rankings “are unambiguously biased in favor of wealth, privilege and opportunities that are inequitably distributed.”
U.S. News CEO Eric Gertler fired back, saying that prominent colleges shunning the rankings “don’t want to be held accountable by an independent third party.”
Then in late April, U.S. News seemed to split the difference between offense and defense, when it published its 2023-2024 Best Graduate Schools rankings. They called themselves “the global authority in rankings and consumer advice,” but added they were “responding to the changing landscape of higher education” by lowering the weighting of reputational factors, which is a concession that had been sought by many law schools. to the top
16 Temple Strike Ends on Good Note for Grad Students Graduate students at Temple University, who began a strike on January 31 over pay, healthcare, and parental leave, approved a new union contract that includes an immediate raise in annual minimum pay to $24,000 and to $27,000 by 2026. The union—TUGSA, which has 750 members—had originally sought $32,800 in minimum pay. In addition to the pay raise, members get a $500 one-time payment and 25 percent of health insurance premiums for workers’ dependents. Prior to this, Temple paid the full premiums for the workers but gave no contribution towards premiums for dependents. The agreement came after Temple’s unprecedented move of withdrawing tuition assistance for more than 100 students and stripping students of health insurance, triggering unfilled prescriptions and cancelled doctor visits. Students were told to pay their full tuition balance by March 9 or face a financial hold and a late fee. This outcome, which came six weeks after the walkout, echoes the experience of University of California strikers, who also received expanded benefits and wage increases, but only after six weeks of work stoppage, (see PT, UC Labor Settlement Breathes Life Into Unionization for more background. For other news on union activity in higher education, see Public (as Well as Private) Schools Unite!) to the top
17 Public (as Well as Private) Schools Unite! In the past, colleges that experienced organized labor-force activity included small private schools such as Kenyon College, Wesleyan University, Grinnell College, Barnard College, and Dartmouth College. More recently, public workers across California State University’s 23 campuses—60,000 strong—are said to be banding together to demand higher wages, better benefits, and improved working conditions. Comprised of seven unions, CSU Labor represents a wide range of campus-operation workers—auto mechanics, lab technicians, maintenance engineers, financial aid counselors, etc.—but all have shared goals of increased pay and benefits and improved working conditions. (This group is different from the California graduate students who stopped work earlier this year; see UC Labor Settlement Breathes Life Into Unionization.) Further north, in Oregon’s state system, a campaign to unite resident assistants, dining hall staff, and all other undergraduates is underway because of complaints of being underpaid ($13.50 state minimum wage), overworked, and mistreated by the university. Of note, more than 60 percent of strikers in 2022 were employed in the educational-services industry. Perhaps 2023 will be more of the same, despite a heated battle playing out right now over workers’ right to unionize. What’s behind the difference between public and private schools and perceived collective-bargaining rights? Karin Rosemblatt, professor of history at the University of Maryland at College Park, explains, “This is a holdover from another era. In 1935, when the National Labor Relations Act was passed, it excluded all state workers. While workers in some states won collective-bargaining rights, and some states even made it a constitutionally protected right, other states, especially those in the South, have continued to deny this right to public workers.” Duke University, while private, is legally challenging its graduate student workers’ latest effort to unionize. Duke thinks that its graduate students lack this right due to the nature of the work, stating that it provides “significant financial and programmatic support for Ph.D. students to help them reach their academic goals. That support is very different from an employment relationship.” to the top
18 Smallest Schools Get Buffeted While the Largest Institutions Sail On This year, the enrollment drop has slowed to only .6 percent or six-tenths of one percent—the least amount since the pandemic hit. But don’t presume that this loss was consistent across the spectrum of college choices. The trend data from 2012-2020 show that schools with enrollment of over 30,000 gained 19 percent while schools with fewer than 1,000 students lost 35 percent. But, the relationship is not linear; the second largest bracket of schools (20,000-29,000) lost 24 percent, with mid-size schools losing between 10 to 12 percent. What are the drivers and the implications of these trends? Most importantly, branding is critical; recognition drives enrollment from beyond the region. Selectivity is also a factor. Enrollment declines were up in the less-selective colleges and down in highly-selective schools. Also, the largest schools can spread costs over a broader base of students; low-cost producers can put more resources into developing on-line programs, further leveraging their brand. So, how does an institution grow its brand and get off the enrollment downslope? Ricardo Azziz, principal of a higher education consultantancy opines, “There are few good avenues for growing the size of an institution in a rapid manner. Mergers, acquisitions, and the odd partnership are some notable tactics worth considering. Higher education leaders need to keep this in mind—along with the speed with which the external environment is changing.” Merge or close may be the choice facing some of the struggling colleges in the smaller size brackets. One case-in-point: Vermont’s public four-year institutions experienced a 12.2 percent comeback, nearly recuperating pre-pandemic numbers, according to University Business. This is attributed to a free community college feeder system and mergers. Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College are consolidating into Vermont State University, what they call “a lean, cost-effective hybrid learning machine.” In the past decade, 15 percent of all degree-granting colleges have closed and at least 50 percent of students discontinue their education when their college closes. It is clearly better for students that schools merge. to the top
19 Restructuring Mental Health Centers in Response to a Crisis College student mental health has become a growing concern, and an increasing number of students struggling with mental health issues has led to a crisis on campuses across the country. Results from the 2021-22 Annual Healthy Minds survey show a staggering increase in reports of anxiety, depression, and suicidality among the 96,000 students surveyed across 133 campuses—the highest in 15 years. Survey results also point to an increase in the number of students seeking help for mental health concerns. Justin Heinze, associate professor of health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and a principal investigator of the Healthy Minds Network, said in a press release that we need to learn more about what is driving the increases but also emphasized the important role that colleges have in providing services and support to students in crisis.
In response to the growing demand, colleges are working to shorten wait times for services by expanding telehealth and after-hours support, outsourcing some psychological services, and removing caps on counseling sessions. Ohio’s Wright State University and Kentucky State University are part of a growing list of schools undergoing significant counseling center restructuring, including terminating long-time counseling center directors such as Write State’s Robert Rando and replacing them with executives who they say are better equipped to oversee and improve mental health services. Texas A&M has unified mental health and health services and as a result replaced the counseling director with a new senior director of counseling and mental health. Some counseling center leaders say they have been inadequately involved in these institutional restructuring efforts, highlighting what they say is a trend of administrators undervaluing the insights and experiences of these professionals. to the top
20 Yet Another Campus Shooting—“Sadly, It’s a Club.” Following a deadly attack at Michigan State University by a gunman with no ties to the institution, interim president Teresa Woodruff shared that she had gotten support from many other leaders of schools that suffered the same violence, and she observed, “Sadly, it’s a club.” Equally sad is that some of the students at MSU had already experienced a school shooting and many of their cohorts have “grown up” with active shooter drills as part of their school routine. One MSU student who is also Sandy Hook survivor posted a video urging lawmakers: “We can no longer just provide love and prayers…It needs to be legislation. It needs to be action.” In Virginia, one legislative action taken is in the form of a bill presented to Governor Glenn Youngkin after a UVA shooting. With the aim of strengthening campus protections, the bill requires public universities to quickly notify authorities after determining a threat. Security efforts get reviewed after these events and though Michigan’s campus had surveillance cameras, alarm systems, and electronic access controls on perimeter doors, they did not prevent the tragedy, where three died and five were injured. One Michigan professor with expertise on policing, David Carter, said campuses are still extraordinarily safe places, but limiting access was both impractical and antithetical to the spirit of openness at universities. (See PT, Violent Deaths Shatter Sense of Safety and Security Measures Being Revised in Wake of Violent Crimes.) to the top
21 Anticipating De-activation of Affirmative Action In an ironic twist, the most diverse US Supreme Court will be hearing opponents and supporters of affirmative action, but it is a far more conservative Supreme Court than the one in 1977 that decided a case, known as Bakke, that upheld affirmative action. It is widely expected that this SCOTUS will overturn that case after hearing arguments from Students for Fair Admissions that the admissions policies of Harvard and the University of North Carolina are “grieviously wrong” and produce “crude stereotyping.” One of the expert witnesses for the plaintiffs, Richard D. Kahlenberg, opines in National Affairs that, “While preferences based on race have divided Americans for 50 years, race-neutral alternatives have the potential to bring us together.” The anticipated outcome is in synch with American sentiment. A recent poll found 62 percent of those surveyed thought race and ethnicity should not be a consideration for college admissions. A number of States are legislating-away affirmative action. Arkansas’s State Senate passed a ban on racial preferences in public programs and, if signed into law, it would be the tenth U.S. state to do so. (For more, see PT’s Universities Prepare for SCOTUS Decision on Affirmative Action and Diversity After Affirmative Action.) to the top
22 Accreditor Aligned with Governor Attracts Attention of Regulator Accreditors exist to ensure colleges are delivering a quality education, meet certain standards, and don’t engage in deceptive marketing practices. They also act as gatekeepers to federal funding and are regulated by U.S. Department of Education (DOE). One accreditor, Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS/COC), was reportedly enlisted by Democratic governor Cooper in a University of North Carolina power grab, and the SACS president gave a presentation to the governor’s UNC Commission which targeted the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. According to The Wall Street Journal, the presentation included threats to UNC’s accreditation, which “swings a hammer” since schools can’t receive federal financial-aid dollars without it. The reason behind the threats? The Board announced plans to create a new school to protect free inquiry—the School of Civic Life and Leadership—without approval of the faculty. Apparently, the Trustees overstepped their boundaries, with SACS explaining that their role should be “eyes in, hands off.” One faculty member questioned the need for the school, citing her belief that most faculty at UNC faculty are already skilled at fostering constructive dialogue among students. She said, “This is a solution in search of a problem.” This kerfuffle attracted the attention of DOE’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), the overseer of the overseers. NACIQI sent a letter of inquiry to SACS seeking a review of SACS and its actions surrounding the new school. The letter cites “unprofessional behavior of SACSCOC’s president” for threatening an action publicly before reviewing documentation. Perhaps constructive dialogue will ensue? (For other PT Coverage at the intersection of Accreditors and Governors, see Florida’s Education Bureaucracy Seeks New Accreditors or The DeSantis Watch: Could He Be Running for President?) to the top
23 Other Accreditation News: What’s in a Name? Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities recently issued a “Show Cause” order to North Idaho College citing multiple lawsuits and leadership changes that “continue to place the institution at risk for viability.” What’s behind the changed risk profile? Apparently, after the school’s diversity council issued a statement expressing support for Black Lives Matter protests, G.O.P. activists set out to root out the “deep state” which resulted in organizational chaos. Other accreditation news includes the federal Education Department questioning the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC) for its review of Arizona Global Campus, which was acquired by the University of Arizona in late 2020, and has been dogged by complaints of misleading marketing ever since; a recent review of how seven accreditors (representing 85 percent of the country’s colleges and universities) manage complaints (“not so well”); the think tank New America sees the process as protecting colleges more than holding them accountable and cites Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges as the most burdensome due to its requirement for complaints to be in writing, professional transcripts to be notarized, and for audio recordings and two copies of all supporting documents; one current accreditor, who has been on both sides of the fence, looked back at his third year as college president when he was on the receiving end of accreditation and said, “Accreditation forced me to make the hard decisions that others before me had not made. Our college not only survived, it thrived.” (See PT, Accreditation Works for Some, Not for Others.) to the top
24 DEI Messes in Texas The University of Texas System suspended any new DEI programs and is investigating current programs after Texas governor Greg Abbott stopped the state’s use of the wildly popular (in a left-leaning education establishment) Diversity Equity Inclusion hiring policies, citing violations of federal and state employment-discrimination laws. According to a statement by the state’s Board of Regents, its leaders “welcome, celebrate, and strive for diversity on our campuses… [but] DEI efforts have strayed away from the original intent to now imposing requirements.” It may not be much of a surprise that Louis K. Bonham, an intellectual property litigator, graduate of UT (BA ’83, JD ’86), and a onetime law clerk for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, wrote a letter to Abbott stating “you own the spread of illegal DEI programs at Texas universities,” pointing out that Abbott was “in office long enough to have appointed every single regent at every Texas state university” and that these same regents, “who are supposed to protect Texans’ interests, and not merely enjoy luxury accommodations at sporting events…have done [nothing] to put a stop to these illegal activities.”
Elsewhere in Texas, efforts to cultivate a more welcoming climate and be inclusive have come up short at Texas A&M. By its own measures, the campus climate was worse in 2020 as fewer whites, Blacks, and Hispanics felt like Aggies than they did in 2015 or 2017. Meanwhile, UT Austin is being sued by an outspoken finance professor alleging that his job, salary, research opportunities, and academic privileges have been threatened in retaliation for his public criticisms of DEI policies and programs and critical race theory. (See PT, The DeSantis Watch: Could He Be Running for President? and Anticipating De-activation of Affirmative Action.) to the top
25 DEI Pushback From All Over
Following PT's Fall 2022 story, Is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pendulum Due to Swing Back? the anecdotal answer appears to be a modified yes. UNC-Chapel Hill board of governors is ditching its requirements to require potential employees to “affirmatively ascribe to or opine about beliefs, affiliations, ideals affiliations, ideals or principles…as a condition to admission, employment, or professional advancement,” as well as establishing new rules reinforcing free speech and debate. A survey conducted by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) reports that half of university professors disapprove of diversity statement mandates and believe that such statements only serve as an “ideological litmus test that violates academic freedom.” However, the other half believe such statements “are a justifiable requirement for a university job.”
A Chronicle of Higher Education analysis shows a concerted effort to change the ways colleges recruit and retain students of color, reporting that state lawmakers in 13 states have introduced at least 21 bills to restrict DEI efforts. Proponents of the measures argue that they are needed to ensure intellectual diversity at institutions faced by DEI bureaucracies enforcing onerous and unfair hiring statements required of potential faculty. DEI proponents, however, contend that loss of DEI rules may damage recruitment and retention of students of color and put institutions afoul of accreditation standards. Two professors from Carlton College wrote an essay pointing out that DEI and academic freedom are, in fact, often in conflict despite what HR or PR departments might wish to believe, citing the Hamline University case where a Muslim student was able to have a professor fired for showing a 14th century image of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
Similarly, Matthew Spalding, vice president of Hillsdale College and dean of its Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, as well as one of the trustees appointed by Ron DeSantis to the board of the New College of Florida (see PT, The DeSantis Watch: Could He Be Running for President?), make the case that “DEI Spells Death for the Idea of a University.” “DEI may be the heart of the woke movement,” says Spalding, “but it deadens the academic mind.”
In Utah there may be a bit of a reprieve for DEI, as Republican state senator John Johnson, also a professor of data analytics and information systems at Utah State University, sent an update to a bill that he had previously introduced to the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee. His adjustment would change the legislation from prohibiting the funding of “diversity, equity and inclusion offices or officers” at Utah universities to require the Education Interim Committee to conduct a study of DEI programs at these institutions. But he was clear that his intent in softening the bill was not to back away from the dismantling of the DEI bureaucracy, but only to bring the parties together for a “robust discussion” on the issue. Finally, at the University of Virginia, as a New York Times headline has it, “...an alumnus attacked diversity programs. Now he is on the board.” to the top
26 New Guidelines for OPMs The Department of Education rolled out guidelines for revenue-sharing agreements between colleges and companies that help operate online courses (Online Program Managers), impacting students and providers alike. The guidelines require disclosure of details of bonus or commission agreements for student recruitment. The concern is that those agreements may lead to aggressive marketing tactics,especially when DOE is also concerned about increases in student debt: “Online education has the potential to meet the needs of many students and lower costs,” Education Department Undersecretary James Kvaal said, “but we are concerned about the growth in loan debt and want to ensure students get value for their money.” In a Higher Ed Dive opinion piece, CEO of 2U, one of the largest OPMs, pushed back on criticism of his industry, arguing that: “[We] boast strong retention, graduation rates, and outcomes. In fact, 97% of surveyed alumni from online graduate degree programs supported by 2U reported positive career outcomes.” Also mentioned is a recently rolled-out AI masters program that is “disruptively priced…a tuition of $10,000, allowing students unprecedented access to education in one of the most sought-after fields in technology.” California is questioning the value of online education and has banned full-time online degrees. Its view is that “the benefits students reap when they show up in person at least some of the time trumps the benefits of fully remote college.” (See PT, Sagging Profits Not the Only Headwind for Online Education Firms.) to the top
27 New Title IX Rule will Force Sports Policies to Reflect Rainbow Spectrum The Biden Administration has proposed new rules regarding transgender athletes under Title IX, which has broad implications from elementary school T-ball neophytes to Big Ten starters. The rules won’t allow a blanket approach; rather the DoE proposes that schools adopt nuanced policies that depend on the sport and the age of the athlete. For more background, see Paideia Times Title IX’s Particular Sports Quandary. As reported in The New York Times, schools have leeway to reject transgender athletes from sports teams that “align with their gender identity, when questions of physicality and fairness arise…as competition increases, schools and athletic organizations would make a multipronged assessment of whether or not to restrict transgender athletes from playing on their preferred team.” So, badminton may be treated differently from wrestling. The proposed rule protects students “from being denied equal athletic opportunity” but also gives schools policy “flexibility.” North Dakota and other states may be heading for a clash as the federal instruction would override state laws. Recently the Supreme Court weighed in on this issue by allowing a 12-year-old West Virginia transgender girl to continue on track and cross-country teams while legal battles over the Mountain State’s law continue. One college which may have less-complicated sports policies is Wellesley, which is seeking to remain a women’s college despite students’ push for inclusivity and accepting trans men. President Paula A. Johnson, the college’s president, recently reiterated that Wellesley is committed to its mission as a women’s college with students who “live as a woman and consistently identify as a woman.” Another cohort not worrying about violation of Title IX violations? … competitive video gaming. Known as esports, gaming does not count as athletics for the purposes of the federal antidiscrimination law. to the top
28 Are Colleges Committing Suicide? Death and dying seem to be in the air these days, with Joshua Katz at The Public Discourse and Richard Vedder at The Martin Center both concluding that it’s suicide that is killing the humanities while Declan Leary at The American Conservative says it’s “bad professors teaching bad curricula to bad students.” Which leaves us with Mark Bauerlein, the author of one of the modern classics on America’s failed education system, The Dumbest Generation Grows Up: From Stupefied Youth to Dangerous Adults, who penned an upbeat, in-your-face rejoinder in First Things: “I have a message for all those humanities PhDs who did the work and got accredited; who knuckled down as undergrads and earned good grades, secured three strong letters of recommendation…. In this job, the supply/demand will be reversed. The higher-ups will need you. Your training will be honored. For example, check out this ad, and this one, and this one.” to the top
29 Revolving Doors in Online Education Space MIT and Harvard sold off edX to 2U, and Pearson sold its online program manager (OPM) to private equity firm Regent. What’s behind these divestitures and where is the industry headed? In the case of the edX/2U deal, the trend in delivering free online courses to the public (aka Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs) hadn't met the colleges' goals set by the MIT/Harvard partnership of expanding access to underserved audiences. However, the profits generated by the sale ($800 million) will be used by Axim Collaborative (a newly-formed non-profit) to support projects that build better student engagement in online courses and/or better college and career outcomes…MOOC 2.0? Purchaser 2U, the debt-laden for-profit, which has been unprofitable each year since its 2014 IPO, plans to change its business model in 2024 and launch 25 Degrees with colleges that opt for a smaller set of services and lower tuition-share agreements. This compares to offering a full bundle of services with higher costs. Thus, edX expands its product portfolio and the markets they can reach. Pearson’s OPM is losing one of its biggest clients, Arizona State University, so it unloaded its business to Regent. As with other OPMs they were facing revenue and enrollment declines as well as increased scrutiny from lawmakers. (See PT, New Guidelines for OPMs.) A recent survey of students taking online courses points to problems with online learning expectations: one in 10 students anticipated their programs would help them get a raise or a promotion, but only about one in 20 did. Also, only half of those expecting that a program would help in their job search felt it did help. Bottom line? The courses “represented a substantial investment of time for which most participants were not compensated.” to the top
30 DeSantis Watch: The AP Front The other educational wedge issue for Governor DeSantis—“Governor Sanctimonious” according to Donald Trump—was his attempt “to rid Florida” of African American studies Advanced Placement classes, according to The Washington Post, resulting in a defensive press release by the College Board, an investigative story by The New York Times tracing “The College Board’s Rocky Path,” and finally, in late April, an announcement that it would “change” course again. to the top
31 The DeSantis Watch: Could He Be Running for President? If you thought that Florida governor Ron DeSantis had been everywhere these last several months, you wouldn’t be wrong. But if someone had told you that he was building a presidential campaign based on education issues, you might have some doubt—unless you paid close attention to our Winter issue, which proclaimed, “Scholars, Governors—and Just about Everyone Else—Argue over the Purpose of the University.” In fact, the Sunshine State’s governor dominated the headlines in the early weeks of the year, with his “war on ‘woke,’” even if Donald Trump quickly overshadowed everyone with his headline-grabbing trials and insinuations. Still, education had its moment in the Florida sun as DeSantis and friends went after DEI (Diversity Equity Inclusion), the new AP course on Black history (see PT, DeSantis Watch: The AP Front), and a liberal arts state school (New College) that DeSantis wanted to turn into “a Hillsdale of the south,” according to one of his aides (see this New Yorker story for an in-depth report on the 180-year-old college founded by a Baptist abolitionist in southern Michigan.) Those face-offs involved a triumvirate of conservative cultural hot-button issues, engineered for the Yale-educated governor by such fellow-traveling conservative thinkers as the newly appointed (by DeSantis) trustee of New College Christopher F. Rufo, who is a critical-race theory critic and Manhattan Institute fellow (see PT, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: Control Freak? Or Savior of Higher Education?). Rufo has written in City Journal that at Florida International University “DEI bureaucrats have made political activism the center of academic life,” and have “also created what amounts to a racial spoils system.” The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood believes that “DEI Is an Ideological Test” and that Rufo plans to swap the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office with a “Color Blindness” one, tapping into the “median” voter, who is uncomfortable with the form DEI has taken. “The partisans of DEI,” says Wood, “now have their chance, when the debate takes place in the bright Florida sun, to change the median voter’s mind.” to the top
32 Student Debt… Relief Plan Debates Continue The New York Times reported in early March that justices on the U.S. Supreme Court had signaled that the Biden student debt plan should have been more explicitly approved by Congress. (See PT, Debt Déjà vu All Over Again and Biden’s Costly Student Loan Payment Pause). And according to an American Enterprise Institute study, also in March, the media coverage did not sync up with the Supreme Court’s viewpoint: the AEI review of news stories from five major outlets found that the media were supportive of Biden’s plan, but “gave short shrift to the [debt] proposal’s legality, fairness, or inflationary impact.” Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that nearly 47,000 people have been in repayment on their federal student loans for at least 40 years. (See PT, Biden’s Proposed Income-Driven Repayment Plan Could Cut Payments in Half) And after a flurry of pushback from conservatives, including a suit by three small colleges accusing the Biden administration of collusion with 151 mostly for-profit educational institutions, in April the Supreme Court refused to intervene – not a good sign for the Biden administration. to the top
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