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

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TOP STORIES  Blame students—or campus leaders—for intellectual conformity?.... Campus leaders in the news.... Battle lines over paying college athletes.... Abortion access on campus.... And monkeypox....  A surge in ransomware....  Biden takes on student debt....  and more.

Georgetown Law 
Puts to Trial Its Commitments to Free Expression MORE

Princeton Firing Raises Serious Questions About  “Double Jeopardy” and Free Speech on Campus MORE

Two California Behemoths Join Big Ten, Citing “New World” MORE

Battle Lines Multiply Over Paying College Athletes MORE

More Colleges Require Diversity Statements For Tenure MORE

Historically Black Colleges on the Move 

Following Roe v. Wade Reversal
Colleges Scramble to Maintain Abortion Access for Students MORE 

Leadership Structures in the News MORE 

Campus Leaders in the News

Getting the Search Process Right MORE

Notable Comings and Goings MORE 

Why are These College Presidents in Hot Water? MORE 

Princeton Fires Controversial Tenured Professor MORE

Harvard President Announces Departure

Purdue University Leadership Change Daniels to Chiang MORE

Broke Colleges Resort to Mergers and Partnerships for Survival Some Don’t Survive MORE

A Surge in Ransomware Attacks Cost Colleges and Universities Millions MORE

Colleges Face a New Public Health Crisis Monkeypox Cases Mount MORE 

Since the Pandemic College Students’ Mental Health Continues to Worsen

Biden Administration Proposes Sweeping Changes to Title IX MORE

Legal Challenges May Hinder Expanded Title IX Protections for Transgender Students MORE

The New Title IX Rules And the Future of Due Process MORE

The 50th Anniversary of Title IX MORE

Title IX’s Particular Sports

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Control freak or savior of higher education? MORE

Blame Students—or Campus Leaders—for Intellectual Conformity? MORE

If You Can’t Get 'Em One Way
Proxy Prosecutions and Free Speech MORE

Millions of Borrowers Have No Degree to Show for Their Debt MORE

Changes Planned to Some Student Loans MORE

Debt Déjà Vu All Over Again

Student Debt, C’est Moi MORE

$5.8 Billion in Student Loans Wiped Out for Corinthian College Students MORE



1     Georgetown Law Puts to Trial Its Commitments to Free Expression   This spring Georgetown University Law Center became ground zero for debate about whether a university can be perceived as diverse and inclusive while having a robust free speech culture. Ilya Shapiro, on the eve of assuming leadership of the Georgetown Center for the Constitution, sent a tweet naming his preferred candidate to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy and added that his preferred candidate “alas doesn’t fit into the latest intersectionality hierarchy so we’ll get lesser black woman.” Responding to the campus—and national—controversy Shapiro’s tweet ignited, Georgetown Law suspended Shapiro pending two investigations. The investigations cleared Shapiro but he resigned, asserting that he was being set “up for discipline the next time I transgress progressive orthodoxy.” Left unresolved: Can a university be seen as diverse and inclusive and also tolerant of controversial speech? Usually such a dispute would play out behind faculty-lounge doors, but Georgetown Law professors duked it out in the Washington Post opinion pages, where Alicia Plerhoples opined that when free speech and inclusion are in conflict, inclusion and equity should prevail, and Paul Butler agreed, writing that anti-racist values should trump free speech. Their colleague David Cole dissented, asserting that a university cannot punish offensive speech without undermining its commitment to inquiry.  to the top

2     Princeton Firing Raises Serious Questions About  “Double Jeopardy” and Free Speech on Campus   What happened between 2019, when Princeton’s Joshua Katz completed his suspension, and late 2021 to justify the reinvestigation of a matter the professor had already admitted to and been disciplined for? The university claims that administrators were made aware of new allegations following a lengthy exposé published in February 2021 by the campus newspaper, The Daily Princetonian. “Not only is this a prima facie violation of due process and basic standards of fairness, it also sets an appalling precedent,” the Quillette editorial board wrote. “Repeatedly reinvestigating someone for the same offense will inevitably see disciplinary procedures abused as instruments of score-settling and persecution. In the courtroom, this would amount to “double jeopardy,” i.e., subjecting an accused person to a second prosecution for the same offense. The professor’s lawyer, Samantha Harris, said the decision didn’t come as a surprise. Earlier, after Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber had recommended Katz’s dismissal but before the board voted, the professor tried to negotiate his resignation, according to Harris, but the school insisted the president retain the right to say that he had recommended the dismissal. “We don’t feel that this was a fair process,” she said. “This is a sad day for free speech and open debate.”  to the top


3     Two California Behemoths Join Big Ten, Citing “New World”   The University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, two bedrock members of the Pacific-12 Conference, announced in June that they will leave their longtime home on the West Coast for the Big Ten Conference, in a “blockbuster defection that accelerates a dramatic, money-driven consolidation of college sports.” The shift was unanimously approved by the presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten, and expands its predominantly Midwestern footprint from 14 to 16 schools, stretching from California to New Jersey.  It’s a gut punch to the Pac-12, which loses two key members in the Los Angeles television market in 2024 after its current contracts with ESPN and Fox expire.  According to USC’s athletic director Mike Bohn, “The Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports.” The Pac-12 responded by saying it was “extremely surprised and disappointed” by the development and suggested that it would be open to adding members.” On August 18, the Big Ten announced a new seven-year media rights deal with CBS, Fox and NBC starting in July 2023—believed to be the largest in the history of college athletics with industry sources putting its approximate value at a record $1.2 billion annually.   to the top

4     Battle Lines  Multiply Over Paying College Athletes   In 2021, after many states passed laws allowing college athletes to get paid for sponsorship deals, the NCAA suspended its rules prohibiting athletes from profiting from their name, image and likeness (NIL). One of the ensuing battlegrounds focuses on “deep-pocketed collectives”—aka “boosters”—that serve as brokers for NIL deals.  Concerned about their influence, the NCAA issued a memo in May designed to prevent boosters from using the money that players could earn as an incentive to attend a particular school, or leave one school for another. In August the NCAA followed up with a letter to its membership noting its enforcement staff’s pursuit of “potential violations” of NIL rules and the need for schools to aid in such investigations. The fights aren’t just in writing. Iconic Alabama head coach Nick Saban sounded off on what he sees as a lawless new landscape, saying “We [Alabama] were second in recruiting last year.  A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team—made a deal for name, image, likeness. We didn’t buy one player, all right?” And the Supreme Court will soon get a chance to weigh in on the issue of paying student athletes. In a recent amicus brief, a group led by the Council on Higher Education cited its opposition to paying college athletes as employees. A ruling in that case—Johnson v NCAA—is expected later this year.  to the top 

5      More Colleges Require Diversity Statements For Tenure The University of Washington’s faculty rejected a proposal to have professors submit a diversity statement as part of the tenure process. The proposed amendment to the faculty code would have required tenure and promotion candidates to reflect on past and planned contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion—or DEI—in the self-assessment of their qualifications for tenure or promotion. Meanwhile, the California Community Colleges system approved a new policy adding DEI criteria to tenure and promotion reviews. This contrast highlights a fierce debate over whether professors should have to demonstrate support for their institutions’ diversity goals to move up the academic ladder. About one-fifth of institutions surveyed earlier this year have made DEI a factor in tenure and promotion. Among colleges that haven’t, half are considering doing so in the future. Supporters of the practice say it makes sense, as today’s professors need to be able to work with an increasingly diverse student body. Critics, however, see it as a “blatant political litmus test,” in which professors could be asked to endorse policies and viewpoints they disagree with. to the top

6   Historically Black Colleges on the Move An early June story in The New York Times summed up the state of Historically Black Colleges this way: “Many in a generation that grew up with a Black president and Black Lives Matter are embracing Black colleges and universities.” In short, “In the past few years, the nation’s H.B.C.U.s have experienced a boom.”  Which is not to say there haven’t been some busts. But since 2016 applications to the nation’s dozens of HBCUs has quadrupled and are expected to reach 40,000 this year, a stark contrast to most of the nation’s schools. Those trends came despite what Kurt Schmoke and Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott, presidents of HCBUs University of Baltimore and Chicago State University respectively, call “funding disparities and inequities long experienced by minority-serving institutions.  But they applaud “the rising awareness” of these gaps, which show up in many new initiatives and programs. JPMorgan Chase & Co. recently announced a $30 million commitment to support 19 HCBUs—this just months after promising $30 billion in scholarships and mentorship programs to increase the pipeline of HBCU students entering the wealth management industry. “At many HBCUs, the phones have been ringing off the hook,” says David Marshall, a professor and chair of the Department of Strategic Communication at Morgan State, one of the largest HBCUs. “Given that these institutions are producing some of the highest numbers in terms of Black and Brown students in some professions, it’s a natural development to come to where the students are.” Not everyone is pleased with the calls for more funding for HBCUs.  Says Graham Hillard in The Federalist, “A quick look at the numbers reveals that HBCUs as a class remain on firm financial ground today….Federal assistance to HBCUs during the Covid-19 pandemic was disproportionately generous,” with, argues Hillard, the average American university receiving  “$3,319 per full-time student, while HBCUs received a massive $18,000 for each full-time enrollee.”  to the top

7  Following Roe v. Wade Reversal, Colleges Scramble to Maintain Abortion Access for Students On June 24 the U.S. Supreme Court ended federally protected abortion rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade, leaving abortion’s legality up to individual states. For colleges and universities, this marked the beginning of an era of legal uncertainty. “The clock is ticking on every campus and every university in America to figure out what can and cannot be done to support students, faculty and staff,” said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education. A new bill in Massachusetts requires public colleges and universities to provide access to medication abortion. This follows a similar law in California. Starting in 2023, University of California and California State University campuses must offer students medication abortions, which involve two pills taken within 48 hours during the first 10 weeks of a pregnancy. Other colleges across the country are offering a variety of counseling, health and support services to help students and faculty deal with the Supreme Court decision. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women ages 20 to 24 make up about 28 percent of those who obtain legal abortions. But one study found that 18- to 24-year-olds account for over 40 percent of abortions in the U.S., while 58 percent of women of reproductive age live in states considered hostile to abortion rights.  to the top



8   Leadership Structures In the News  Columbia University President Lee Bollinger is supporting a Task Force recommendation to restructure  leadership which would weaken the dean of the undergraduate Columbia College and give more authority to the university’s executive vice president and dean of arts and sciences. Ostensibly the move would increase collaboration and resolve “ambiguities” in the relationship between the college and arts-and-sciences faculty, who serve multiple schools across the university. However, others believe the plan is less about working together and more about centralizing power.  In the same vein, the University of New Haven and Thomas Jefferson University have announced structural and leadership changes that embrace a dual leadership model and add another officer at the top of the organization.  At the University of New Haven, which has added campuses in Tuscany and Connecticut, the chancellor/CEO position will be charged with overseeing the financials—advancement, partnerships and the board, while the president will be the face of the university, lead everyday campus operations globally and manage the organization’s brand.  Thomas Jefferson will add a new chief executive, and the president and head of the health college will report to them. Thomas Jefferson recently merged with Philadelphia University and now has 8,400 students and 10 colleges.  The new president commented: “Higher education is at an inflection point—its future will look very different from its past—and Jefferson is positioned to help define that future. We aspire to be a model for professions-focused education in the 21st century.”  to the top

9    Campus Leaders in the News   Recently a number of leaders expressed views on a variety of topics of importance to their respective organizations and leadership.  Christopher Eisgruber of Princeton addressed what he sees as the oversimplification of the free speech debate.  He believes students do not undervalue freedom of speech, as many decry, but are “trying to work out civil terms of discourse in order to have robust arguments.”  He “wrote the book” on LGBTQ leadership: Raymond Crossman, president of Adler University has edited a new book, LGBTQ Leadership in Higher Education, in which he and 14 fellow leaders share the stresses they have endured providing lessons the wider academy would benefit from hearing.  Under President Elizabeth Bradley, Vassar College has been trying to globalize its brand of liberal arts undergraduate education honed over 100 years through a series of partnerships with universities in India, Rwanda, Scotland and beyond. “Our goal at Vassar is to have something that we are calling a ‘global collaborative on the liberal arts,’” she has stated. The new president of the University of Wisconsin System wants to continue a freeze on tuition for in-state undergraduates; Jay Rothman said extending the freeze will help with his three core objectives—keep college affordable, maintain enrollment levels and attract students from underrepresented groups.  Freeman Hrabowski, legendary president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, made the institution a leader in STEM education, particularly for Black students. He retires this year after 30 years, but will stay engaged with his namesake Hrabowski Scholars Program through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a $1.5 billion initiative to advance diversity in the sciences.  Regarding the future of higher education, he advised, “We must be honest about the problems, but we must focus on what we can do to make tomorrow better and believe in ourselves and in the power of higher education to transform lives.” Holy Cross President Vincent Rougeau—the first lay and Black president in the college's history—is focusing initiatives on programming that creates a welcoming culture rather than simply bringing in X number of students from various communities of color.   to the top

10    Getting the Search Process Right  With lots of comings and goings in college leadership, (see  Campus Leaders in the News, Notable Comings and Goings, and Why are These College Presidents in Hot Water?) the search process is coming under scrutiny. Searches without any public forums for meeting candidates are rare, but one of the complaints from the Oregon State stakeholders, after the president resigned under pressure, was that he was chosen through a “closed” search. Within a year, it came to light that there were missteps by the new president in handling allegations against a coach in a prior position–facts that might have been sussed out through a wider public vetting scenario. Purdue’s recent search raised questions due to its opacity—not even the candidate knew they were under consideration (see SA8). A hybrid approach that keeps candidates anonymous until they are named finalists is more appropriate since only then should candidates need to let their boards know. Other tips on hiring leadership?  Don’t let the search firm run the process—one executive search firm managing the process was blamed for the revelation that the incoming president they vetted received a vote of no confidence at his previous job.  Getting the search done right is critical and mistakes are costly—payouts for mismatched leadership have led to several $1 million-plus payouts to college leaders for leaving before their contracts ended.   Presidents also have their own search processes:  One candidate secret-shopped his campus posing as a prospective parent.  His advice?  “Don’t just go with the glossy brochure…that tells you everything’s OK.” His visit raised no red flags and helped plan for challenges ahead. Since the pandemic enrollment has fallen and he heard “lots of concern” during his visit.  to the top

11  Notable Comings and Goings
Rebecca Blank, who was planning to become Northwestern’s president after serving as chancellor on the UW-Madison campus, instead intends to return to Wisconsin after receiving a cancer diagnosis.   Subsequently, Northwestern named Michael Schill, president of the University of Oregon, as the leader to succeed Morton Schapiro.
• The University of Michigan has hired Santa Ono as its new president, luring him from the University of British Columbia. He will become Michigan’s first leader of Asian descent.
• Sian Beilock, Barnard College, will assume the Presidency of Dartmouth College.  A cognitive scientist, Beilock will become the first female president of Dartmouth College in its 252-year history.
• Eloy Oakley will resign as head of California’s state community colleges.  Oakley, who has served as chancellor for the system for six years is moving to a new position at the College Futures Foundation, whose mission is to help students finish college and to close equity gaps.  to the top

12  Why are These College Presidents in Hot Water?   One denigrated teachers at a reception and another gave underwhelming public support to a faculty member giving lifesaving healthcare.  Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, Trump ally and adviser to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, spoke on a panel and opined that teachers “are trained in the dumbest parts of the dumbest colleges in the country,” and that “anyone” can teach. Hillsdale, which trains faculty and staff for charter schools, shares its curriculum centered on Western civilization and designed to help “students acquire a mature love for America.” It is helping to launch 50 charter schools in Tennessee with its K-12 curriculum that distorts civil rights history, saying, for example: “The civil rights movement was almost immediately turned into programs that ran counter to the lofty ideals of the Founders.” He later wrote an op-ed to clarify what he meant “Dumb also means ‘ill-conceived’ or ‘misdirected,’ which is, sadly, a fitting description for many education schools today.” At Indiana University, faculty expected President Pamela Whitten to show strong support for Caitlin Bernard, an obgyn trained in complex reproductive care at IU’s School of Medicine. Bernard is being prosecuted for performing an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim who had traveled from Ohio. A petition supporting the physician has gained 161 signatures.  Whitten’s statement said that Barnard “has always demonstrated sincere concern for the well-being of her patients and the education of her students. It’s what makes her a well-respected doctor, researcher, and educator, and a member of the faculty in good standing with IU School of Medicine.” Some faculty deemed the words “late, lackluster, and nonspecific” and their expectations are for protection from such “politicized bullying” if the administration expects to keep and attract faculty members.   to the top

13   Princeton Fires Controversial Tenured Professor A tenured classics professor at Princeton University, Joshua Katz, was fired over his failure to be totally forthcoming about a consensual sexual relationship he had with an undergraduate student he supervised in the mid-2000s. Katz’s supporters contend this is an effort to silence him after he criticized liberal faculty and students. The case touches on several hot-button issues: sexual relationships between faculty and students, free speech protections, as well as the tensions that can erupt as universities seek to dismantle the legacy of racism on campus. Katz was suspended for a year without pay over the relationship after a 2018 probe found he had violated school policy. In 2020, Katz penned an online essay opposing faculty proposals to combat racism at the university after the murder of George Floyd. This prompted a second investigation shortly thereafter. On May 10 of this year, Princeton’s president, Christopher L. Eisgruber, wrote to the university’s board of trustees recommending dismissal, and on May 23, Katz was formally stripped of his tenure and fired. “With the firing of Professor Katz, Princeton will have sent a message,” said Edward Yingling, co-founder of Princetonians for Free Speech. “If a faculty member or student says something that contradicts our orthodoxy, we will get you.”  to the top

14    Harvard President Announces Departure   Lawrence S. Bacow will step down as Harvard University’s president in June 2023. In his departure announcement he shared, “There is never a good time to leave a job like this one, but now seems right to me. Through our collective efforts, we have found our way through the pandemic. We have worked together to sustain Harvard through change and through storm.” Highlights of Dr. Bacow’s tenure were a high-profile legal challenge to limitations on international-student enrollment, efforts of a committee to redress the school’s ties to slavery, and creation of a new program in quantum science and engineering, as well as an institute to study neuroscience and artificial intelligence. During his tenure the school’s endowment, already the largest in the nation, grew to over $53 billion. In redressing ties to slavery Bacow decided to spend $100 million to attempt to atone for what he called an “immoral” record, outlined in a 134-page report. That report revealed that Harvard scholars had promoted concepts of racial superiority and that discriminatory practices continued even after slavery had been abolished. Michael K. Thomas, CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education, praised his tenure: “I think [Bacow] proved to be a very wise and stable choice, particularly given…the external environment that the university and higher education generally faced…[He] brought a lot of stability to the university as it encountered public policy challenges and pressures, including the admissions lawsuits that are currently being considered by the court.”  to the top

15  Purdue University Leadership Change—Daniels to Chiang Purdue’s president, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., is stepping down at year-end and will be succeeded by Dr. Mung Chiang, dean of engineering and executive vice president of Strategic Initiatives. Daniels, who served as governor of Indiana from 2005 to 2013 has taken actions deemed impossible, or even undesirable, for some of his education counterparts–a tuition freeze that lasted 11 years and a decision to bring students back during the pandemic, which raised health concerns but prevented layoffs.  His leadership on free expression is modeled on the University of Chicago principles.  While some institutions have been overrun by ideological agendas, he firmly stood up to campus bullies, promising to respond firmly to any provocation. The board of trustees’ decision on Chiang was unanimous.  The Princeton University scholar helped lift Purdue’s signature school into the top ranks; he’s credited with  strengthening its dozen research centers and forging strong connections with national security and economic leaders.  Though criticized for not having a more open search process, board chair Michael Berghoff commented, “Had we not been so certain about the candidate, we would have been more likely to have a search that looked outside.” to the top

16    Broke Colleges Resort to Mergers and Partnerships for Survival—Some Don’t Survive   “When Covid-19 first tore through the nation,” wrote Douglas Belkin in The Wall Street Journal, “hundreds of college presidents sent students home, looked across their empty campuses and wondered how they were going to pay their bills.” And as colleges and universities prepare to welcome students back to campuses for what will be the closest thing to a normal school year since 2018, we’re beginning to see how those campuses fared. Northeastern University President Joseph Aoun early on directed his senior management to look for mergers and partnership opportunities, and this July, Northeastern and Mills College, a venerable all-women’s school in Oakland, and Northeastern tied the knot. In Pennsylvania the State System of Higher Education recently merged six of its public universities into two multicampus institutions. “The big merger of two Philadelphia universities is finally complete,” proclaimed a June headline in University Business. And Inside Higher Ed reported in July that the new Vermont State University had secured accreditation after merging three of its previously independent schools. There are some potential downsides to all this merging; the Association of American Universities worried that a U.S. Senate Bill called the US Innovation and Competition Act could discourage foreign gifts and collaborations. Finally, there are the hard-luck closings, few sadder than that of Lincoln College, the historically Black college 170 miles southwest of Chicago, which opened in 1865, the year the 16th president was assassinated, and survived the 1918 influenza pandemic, multiple recessions, and two world wars. It even had record enrollment numbers in 2019, but, unable to survive the double hit of the Covid pandemic and a ransomware attack by Iran, closed its doors last May.   to the top


17   A Surge in Ransomware Attacks Costs Colleges and Universities Millions    Ransomware attacks are an increasing concern for colleges and universities worldwide. It’s estimated that ransomware attacks cost educational institutions $3.56 billion in downtime alone. In 2021, ransomware amounts varied from $100,000 to a whopping $40 million, while downtime varied from minimal disruption to months and months of recovery time. After a ransomware attack in December 2021, enrollment fell significantly at Lincoln College in Illinois. A few months later, the college announced that it was shutting its doors permanently. The propensity of colleges and universities to share data openly and widely makes them particularly susceptible to these attacks. Sixty-four percent of higher education institutions reported ransomware attacks last year (up from 44 percent in 2020) and 74 percent of the attacks succeeded, according to a new report from Sophos, a global cybersecurity firm. Half of the targeted institutions paid ransoms to restore data. Though most (61 percent) that paid the ransom got some of their data back, very few (2 percent) got all of it back. Ransomware criminals don’t always target the wealthiest colleges and universities. More obscure schools, with fewer resources for defenses, may actually be at the greatest risk.  to the top

18   Colleges Face a New Public Health Crisis as Monkeypox Cases Mount  Still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic, colleges and universities are now preparing for a potential new health threat: monkeypox. The White House recently declared monkeypox—a painful but nonfatal virus spread primarily through skin contact—a national health emergency. Over the summer, when campuses were largely empty, five schools reported confirmed cases: the University of Texas at Austin; Georgetown University and George Washington University in Washington, DC; and West Chester and Bucknell universities in Pennsylvania. While the risk of transmission is low, there have been more than 7,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and could be higher). There’s an increasing concern about stigma and bias against the LGBTQ community as cases have been largely concentrated in the gay and queer community, with 99 percent related to male-to-male sexual contact. However, authorities say it’s possible the outbreak could spill over into other groups and warn of possible spread through nonintimate contact (e.g., through respiratory secretions or touching the bedding or towels used by someone who is infected). For now, schools are not embracing mass vaccination. Supplies of the monkeypox vaccine are limited and prioritized for those most at risk for the virus.  to the top


19    Since the Pandemic, College Students’ Mental Health Continues to Worsen The rate of mental health issues among students continues to increase at alarming rates. In a survey earlier this year, 88 percent of college students polled agreed there’s a mental health crisis on campus. The pandemic, and the profound way it has affected young people, is finally bringing the topic of student mental health to the forefront. President Joe Biden has called on colleges to use federal Covid relief funding to add mental health support for students. At a time when it feels like the federal government is too divided to accomplish anything, the House of Representatives recently passed two bipartisan bills to address mental health on campus: the Enhancing Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Through Campus Planning Act and the Campus Prevention and Recovery Services Act of 2022. The first would require the Education Department to partner with the Department of Health and Human Services to encourage colleges to develop comprehensive approaches to mental health and suicide. The second would require the two departments to create substance abuse prevention and support programs. Since 2013, there has been a 135 percent increase in depression and a 110 percent increase in anxiety among college students. A Harris poll found that college students are 12 percent more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness than other adults.    to the top



20    Biden Administration Proposes Sweeping Changes to Title IX The Biden administration has proposed major changes to Title IX—the law prohibiting sex discrimination at federally funded schools—that would expand protections against sexual assault and harassment and undo many of the rules put in place by the Trump administration. The new rules, announced on the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights law, expand the definition of sexual harassment to include not only harassment based on sex, but also sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy as well as any action that creates a “hostile environment.” The proposed regulations throw out the Trump-era definition that harassment must be “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” that it prohibits educational access, returning to the pre-2020 standard of “severe or pervasive.” Colleges would be allowed to respond to instances of sexual harassment that occur off campus or even out of country, such as in study abroad programs, while victims could file a complaint even after leaving college. Additionally, live hearings or cross-examination in hearings would no longer be required. Supporters view this as a step forward for victims, while civil liberties advocates fear new rules would weaken free speech and due process protections. The department must now solicit public feedback before the pending rules are finalized.  to the top

21  Legal Challenges May Hinder Expanded Title IX Protections For Transgender Students   The Biden administration’s proposed Title IX regulations would cement protections for LGBTQ students, which were not observed under the Trump administration’s interpretation of Title IX. Transgender-rights experts and Title IX coordinators say the new rules would be a positive step in making their campuses more inclusive. The new rules would allow trans students to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity, prohibit bullying based on gender identity, and ensure that students are referred to with the correct pronouns. Colleges found in violation of Title IX could be investigated and they risk losing federal funding. Yet despite the Biden administration’s best efforts to protect transgender students, experts say legal challenges may hinder a school’s ability to enforce the pronoun part. Misgendering and refusing to use the correct pronouns are the most common Title IX complaints filed by transgender students. Earlier this year, Shawnee State University in Ohio paid $400,000 to a professor who sued the institution for violating his rights and levying an unfair punishment when he refused to refer to a transgender student by her pronouns.   to the top

22   The New Title IX Rules and the Future of Due Process A lot of attention has been paid to the Biden administration’s efforts to broad the definition of “sex” in Title IX. However, critics of the newly proposed rules fear they would fundamentally undermine due process rights for the accused, and signal a return “to the bad old days when the accused lacked a fair chance to defend themselves and faced severe punishment if Title IX administrators where 50.1 percent certain they were guilty.” They say the new rules favor an “inquisitorial” approach over procedural fairness. Accused students would lose their right to cross-examination entirely. They would also lose the right to a live hearing. Schools can satisfy the new Title IX rules merely by providing at least two “meetings” between the accused student and an investigator. Under the “single investigator” model, which was barred under the DeVos reform, one administrator can act as detective, prosecutor, judge, and jury on a Title IX complaint. The new rules also undo many of the procedural protections for the accused—including the right to see all the evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory, gathered against him.   to the top

23   The 50th Anniversary of Title IX On June 23, 1972, Title IX, the landmark legislation that banned sex-based discrimination in federally funded schools, was signed by President Richard M. Nixon. It became law amid little fanfare, “a notable whisper nestled between two other landmark provisions meant to bestow rights to women within a 12-month period: The Equal Rights Amendment and Roe v. Wade.” Today, Title IX is the only one of the three in force. While Title IX was originally intended to equalize college admissions and get more women into graduate school, the exponential growth of women in college sports can be directly linked to its passing. Fifty years ago, women made up only 15 percent of college athletes, compared with 44 percent today. Over the years, Title IX expanded to create a broad umbrella of protections, including against campus sexual harassment and assault. In 2017 the Trump administration revised the rules to limit the scope of sexual assault complaints schools are responsible for and bolster the due process rights of the accused. Former Trump-era education secretary Betsy DeVos said that the expansion of the definition of “sex” to include “gender” and “gender identity would be “a bridge too far.” “I hope that, and I trust that many people will raise their voices if what is rumored to be true actually unfolds.”  to the top

24   Title IX’s Particular Sports Quandary On the 50th Anniversary of Title IX, the NCAA released a report highlighting the gains made by female college athletes since its enactment. The measure was originally designed to bar sex-based discrimination in “any education program or activity receiving federal assistance.” According to the report, using 2020 data, in Division I, 32 percent of participants are women of color, and overall participation by women is 47 percent, although there is a large disparity in resources given to men’s and women’s programs.  The anniversary was also accompanied by new, protest-sparking proposals from the Biden administration to change the definition of “sex” to include “gender identity.” These changes “would sacrifice women’s hard-fought gains on the altar of the left’s agenda,” according to Heritage Foundation legal scholar Sarah Parshall Perry, who spoke at a Stop Abusive and Violent Environments rally.  Absent from the proposed updates to Title IX is language on whether transgender athletes can participate in sports teams that align with their gender identity. The White House said a separate rule would be drafted on that issue and will address concerns about direct male-female competition.  Nearly 40 states have tried to enact laws preserving distinct spaces for women’s sports. Until the administration announces that rule, girls who participate in sports may be left to wonder if a lifetime of hard work will be obliterated by a boy at the finish line.  to the top

25   Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: Control Freak? Or Savior of Higher Education? Ron DeSantis is on a crusade to remake higher education in the Sunshine State, signing laws that alter the tenure system, remove state universities from commonly accepted accreditation practices, and mandate annual “viewpoint diversity surveys” from students and faculty. The GOP governor also pushed through the “Stop WOKE Act,” which regulates what workplaces and schools can teach about race and identity. Records obtained through a series of public-records requests show that DeSantis had even bigger plans: to consolidate power in state boards run by his political appointees; make colleges more reliant on money controlled by the state legislature; impose restrictions on what can be taught in Florida’s colleges and universities; and strip university presidents of certain hiring powers. Even though the draft bill was shelved, critics say DeSantis is creating a toxic political climate that’s hurting the reputation of the state’s universities. “It is no exaggeration to say that the DeSantis administration represents an existential threat to higher education in the state of Florida,” said J. Andrew Gothard, the statewide president of the United Faculty of Florida. DeSantis’ proponents, however, see his plans as the new playbook for “the restoration of authentic liberal education to America’s over-specialized and heavily politicized public universities.” Good or bad, it remains to be seen what the national impact will be.  to the top


26   Blame Students—or Campus Leaders—for Campus Intellectual Conformity? Campuses tout their commitment to diversity—but it seems many students don’t share a commitment to political and viewpoint diversity. An NBC poll finds that most sophomores wouldn’t room with someone who voted for a different presidential candidate—while Heterodox Academy found that 64 percent of students say their campus’ political and social climate prevents peers from freely expressing themselves, up from 55 percent in 2019. Political scientist Yascha Mounk asserts these data don’t tell the true story: Most students, he argues, are open to hearing and debating a wide range of views, but college leaders fail the open-minded majority by giving in to a vocal minority of students who call for investigations of viewpoints they don’t like. College leaders can push back against this vocal minority with policies that support free expression and viewpoint diversity, including maintaining institutional neutrality on hot button issues; ensuring student fees are distributed to clubs in a viewpoint-neutral manner; protecting faculty from discipline for speech that, even if controversial, doesn’t violate faculty handbook guidelines; gathering data about student perceptions of campus culture to inform policy; opposing state interference in campus governance of academic freedom and curricular matters; and following best practices in upholding commitments to free speech as well as to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  to the top

27   If You Can’t Get ‘Em One Way… Proxy Prosecutions and Free Speech Al Capone couldn’t be proven guilty of bootlegging and violence, so prosecutors charged and convicted him of tax evasion. Are academics “guilty” of offensive speech who cannot be indicted for their speech—because of academic freedom protections—at risk of proxy punishment under codes of professional conduct? Such, some argue, is the case with erstwhile tenured Princeton classics professor Joshua Katz, fired by Princeton after the school reopened an investigation into a consensual sexual relationship with a student after Katz had become vilified for speaking out against anti-racist initiatives. Some see a like instance in University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Amy Wax, under investigation for alleged classroom misconduct after extramural comments, deeply offensive to many, on racial preferences in college admissions and immigration. PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel warns: “Proxy reprisals for speech are not the equivalent of hooking a mafia don on tax-evasion charges as a last resort because more serious crimes cannot be proved” but instead chill protections for heterodox speech. The leadership takeaway for trustees and college leadership teams: Schools must be scrupulous about due process in dealing with conduct cases for those professors already unpopular for their speech to avoid the perception that a professor is being prosecuted for protected speech.  to the top

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Tertiary Education

28   Millions of Borrowers Have No Degree to Show for Their Debt Lured by the promise of good wages from employers desperate for workers, more students have dropped their plans to earn a college degree and entered the job market. But now that the economy is slowing and inflation is ratcheting up, experts fear this decision may come back to haunt them. Research consistently suggests that people with degrees and skills training earn more and have more job stability in the longer run, while workers with less education and those who have been hired most recently are the first ones to lose their jobs when unemployment rises and the economy weakens. Millions of those hit hardest by student loan debt never completed college and are now facing the worst of both worlds: debt—sometimes in the tens of thousands of dollars—but no degree. Thirty-seven percent of borrowers who enrolled in four-year institutions in 2013 didn’t graduate within six years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The rate was even higher at private, for-profit institutions, with 75 percent failing to earn a credential. If President Joe Biden eventually does follow through on his campaign promise to forgive $10,000 per person of student debt, 15 million individuals, or roughly a third of all borrowers, would see their debt completely wiped out.  to the top


29   Changes Planned to Some Student Loans The Biden administration has unveiled a proposed regulation to eliminate student loan interest capitalization, which is the process of adding accrued interest to the principal balance of student loans. This would apply in certain situations, including when borrowers enter repayment or default on their loans. The revision, which is expected to be implemented next July, could benefit millions of people with federal student loans. But policy experts are divided on whether it will save them much money. Purdue University has quietly paused new applications to its Back a Boiler program, under which students finance a portion of tuition by pledging a percentage of their future incomes. The program is the highest-profile income-share agreement in higher education. The university didn’t say if the suspension would be permanent—just that it was pausing new signups because of a change of vendors. Critics, however, believe this marks the death of the Back a Boiler program. Since 2016, Purdue has signed more than 1,900 income-share agreements with students, disbursing $21 million backed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which solicits investors—including hedge funds—to provide money for Back a Boiler.  to the top

30   Debt Déjà Vu All Over Again Perhaps the most important thing to know about the current student-debt proposal is that it was a Joe Biden campaign promise. That means that the press–and the think tanks–have had their ducks in order for some time.  More than 45 million people are now carrying more than $1.7 trillion in debt, most of it owed to the federal government. And everyone knows, as the New York Times editorial board wrote last May, that the burden of that debt “is crushing and follows borrowers throughout their lives: It is delaying marriage and home buying and the birth of children. It leaves some students broke on the day after graduation. Others labor for years only to find their balances larger than when they graduated. Lower-income students who must borrow heavily to obtain that degree can end up earning middle-class incomes without being able to lead middle-class lives. Around 40 percent of borrowers never graduate from school in the first place. And a third of the debt will never be paid off, according to the Department of Education…. Trying to fix such a shattered system with the flick of a pen or an executive order could even make it worse. Canceling this debt, even in the limited amounts that the White House is considering, would set a bad precedent and do nothing to change the fact that future students will graduate with yet more debt—along with the blind hope of another, future amnesty. Such a move is legally dubious, economically unsound, politically fraught and educationally problematic.” Even Mitch Daniels, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget and a much respected president of Purdue (who recently resigned; see PT story Purdue University Leadership Change—Daniels to Chiang), called the proposed $10,000-per-student bailout “fatally flawed” last June. It’s unfair, he said, to the “millions of people who paid their debts back, 99 percent of our graduates at Purdue do pay them back.” Teresa Manning, policy director at the National Association of Scholars and a former professor at Scalia Law School, wrote in The American Conservative, also last June, that there are three crucial points left out of most debt forgiveness discussions: “First, college graduates have been singled out as the one demographic effectively denied relief in bankruptcy. Second, schools have received most of the loan money but none of the debt. And third, young people, and especially young women, historically began families in their twenties when it's healthiest to do so, something that college and protracted loan-repayment schedules discourage.”  The National Review ran a story in June headlined “Why Not Forgive College Loan Debt?,” answering the question in its subhead, “it [forgiving student-loan debt] will exacerbate our problem of credential inflation.”  Also in June, The Washington Post noted in a headline: “For-profit colleges, GOP balk at Biden’s $85B student-loan forgiveness plan.” And so Biden’s just-released “new” proposal is not so new–but it could also be a political winner. to the top

31   Student Debt, C’est Moi After successive presidents kicked the student-debt can down the road Joe Biden picked it up in September—and may be wondering if he should punt. Biden proposed to cancel $10,000 in student-loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000, a suggestion that the The Wall Street Journal suggested might “face legal hurdles and some political blowback ahead of midterm elections.” The New York Times was more sympathetic (but not much), emphasizing the fact that low-income students are eligible for more forgiveness and suggesting that the plan came “after months of deliberations in the White House over fairness and fears that the plan could make inflation worse [also] ahead of the midterm elections. The Journal did allow that the plan would provide “unprecedented relief” and allow for “total forgiveness” of $20,000 for federal Pell Grant recipients. Forgiven debt will also be exempt from taxes. What’s not to like? For starters, the plan could cost more than $300 billion over 10 years and add to the federal deficit. And as the Financial Times saw it, “this is the worst time to give [inflationary fires] more fuel.” As a political gamble, (see $5.8 Billion in Student Loans Wiped Out For Corinthian College Students), Biden has a slight lead on this, but we may have to wait for the outcome of the fall elections to see if it pans out.    to the top

32   $5.8 Billion in Student Loans Wiped Out For Corinthian College Students The U.S. Department of Education says it will forgive $5.8 billion in debt held by 560,000 former students of the defunct for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges. The move marks the largest-ever discharge of federal student loans. Corinthian was once a giant in the for-profit sector, enrolling more than 110,000 students at 105 campuses at its peak in 2010. But the company soon became “the poster child for worst practices in the sector,” and faced multiple lawsuits for illegal recruiting tactics, inferior educational programs, and false promises to students about their career and income prospects before collapsing in 2015. Relief will be automatic, meaning that borrowers do not need to apply or navigate other paperwork to have their debts canceled. Americans are increasingly in favor of some debt cancellation. A slim majority—55 percent—support forgiving up to $10,000 of federal student loan debt. However, the more generous the relief, the more that support narrows. Support is especially popular among younger people. According to a new survey, 71 percent of voters under the age of 34 support some form of loan cancellation, including more than half (56 percent) of young Republican voters. (See stories 29, 30, and 31 in this issue.)  to the top

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