Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A reform higher education regs task force...And other events

see USA Today on:

Jerry Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, a conservative Christian school, said he will lead a presidential task force — possibly a pair of them — charged with trimming college regulations and curbing interference by the Department of Education.

Falwell, son of Liberty’s founder, the late televangelist Rev. Jerry Falwell, said President Trump asked him to lead the effort after he declined Trump’s invitation to become U.S. education secretary, a Liberty University spokesman said Wednesday.
The White House did not immediately confirm the formation of the task force or Falwell's appointment.
On Tuesday, Falwell told The News & Advance of Lynchburg, Va., that Trump “is forming some education task forces that I’ve been asked to head.”

He told The Chronicle of Higher Education that he sees the task force as a response to “overreaching regulation” and micromanagement by the department in areas such as accreditation and policies that affect student recruitment.
“I’ve got notebooks full of issues,” he said.
Falwell said the group would also look into new federal “borrower defense to repayment” regulations that allow borrowers who have been defrauded by predatory colleges to get their loans forgiven by the federal government. The 2016 rules went into effect after the collapse of the for-profit Corinthian Colleges, The Chronicle noted."
..."Of particular interest, Stevens said, is overreach in federal Title IX regulations. The law protects "protects people from discrimination based on sex" at schools that receive federal funding — about 7,000 postsecondary institutions, at last count. The regulations cover recruitment, admissions, financial aid, athletics, and, most prominently, sexual harassment. Falwell said the regulations require universities “to be judge, jury, police officer, and many times, there’s not enough evidence” for harassment cases to go forward. “Prosecutors don’t even take the cases,” he said. But schools are required to make a public announcement of what they concluded and “ruin a student’s life, when there’s not enough evidence for a case to even go forward."
Stevens said Fallwell "thinks those tasks should be left to local police, judges (and) prosecutors. It’s not something universities are trained to do well.”"
"He kept the task-force offer private until Tuesday, when Steve Bannon, President Trump's chief strategist, gave him the green light to discuss it, according to Mr. Falwell."
"Their support ran counter to the statements of other influential white evangelical Christian leaders, who said they found Trump's remarks about his treatment of women distasteful and were unsettled by his relative silence on social issues like gay and lesbian rights and access to legal abortion during the campaign.

Falwell acknowledged the controversies surrounding Trump, but he said he believed Trump was the better choice to advance causes championed by evangelical and other conservative Christian communities."
"to get the government off the backs of higher education."
He says the details of the task force are still being sorted out, but the aim will be “to get the government off the backs of higher education.”

Falwell says he is scheduled to discuss the task force with Trump Wednesday.

Falwell was an early supporter of the president. He told AP in November that Trump offered him the job of education secretary but he turned it down for personal reasons, including not wanting to relocate his family. "
Son of Rev. Jerry Falwell has said government bureaucracy makes higher education more expensive
The Atlantic gets into:

"This backlash against liberal universities comes at a time of financial pressure for colleges and universities of all sizes. Between 2004 and 2014, four-year, nonprofit colleges closed at a rate of five per year. Worse, a Moody’s study projected the closure rate will triple starting this year. And then there’s the doomsday scenario: The Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen predicts that up to half of the nation’s 4,000 colleges and universities will fail in the next 15 years.

How are university administrators and trustees dealing with this turbulent new reality? For one thing, many are realizing that individual schools can no longer be all things to all people. Consequently, some of them are attempting to market themselves better by "...
"One way to be conspicuously conservative is to forgo federal student loans and grants and publicize that decision so that prospective students are aware that it’s sacrificing what’s likely hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to uphold its mission. "

BFA Event Feb. 1 Event: The Future of the Public University – Christopher Newfield / Carol Christ
January 17, 2017 by admin


Christopher Newfield, in Conversation with Carol Christ

Sibley Auditorium, 2-4 pm, February 1, 2017.
Open to all.

The public university is facing unprecedented challenges: mounting budgetary pressures and a more hostile political climate. Two distinguished commentators will discuss the path the public university has taken so far, and possible roads ahead.

Christopher Newfield is Professor of Literature and American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Much of his research is in Critical University Studies; his publications include Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (2003) and Unmaking the Public University: The Forty-Year Assault on the Middle Class (2008). His most recent book, The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them, focuses on the post-2008 struggles of public universities to rebuild their social mission.

Carol Christ is the Interim Executive Vice-Chancellor and Provost of the University of California, Berkeley. After an earlier period as EVCP (1994-1999), she was the 10th President of Smith College (2002-2013) and, on returning to Berkeley, she became the head of Berkeley’s Center for Studies in Higher Education. A Professor of English specializing in Victorian literature, she is Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

On the same day BERKELEY SOCIOLOGY FORUM and THE BERKELEY FACULTY ASSOCIATION will co-sponsor an author-meets-critics panel. Chris Newfield will present his new book, The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them with responses from Professors Kim Voss (Department of Sociology), Henry Brady (Goldman School of Public Policy and Department of Political Science) and Prudence Carter (Graduate School of Education). February 1, 2017, Barrows 402, 5-7:30 pm.

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