- Transition Update
- First Circuit Rules for Harvard in Race-Conscious Admissions Case
- AAU Joins CUPA-HR, Multi-Sector Comments Letters on Labor Department's H-1B NPRM
- AAU, Associations Comment on DHS Rule to Limit H-1B Visas
- Education Department Publishes Notice of Interpretation on Section 117 Foreign Gifts Reporting
- Navy Soliciting Ideas from College STEM Students in “Naval Horizons” Challenge
- Upcoming Events
While President Trump has not yet conceded the election, President-Elect Biden has begun the transition process in earnest, appointing agency review teams (ARTs) to assess federal agencies and prepare the incoming administration as it takes over management and appoints key personnel in the agencies. Faculty and staff from AAU institutions and AAU partners are represented on many of the teams, including the Arts and Humanities Team, the Department of Education Team, the Department of Energy Team, the Department of Health and Human Services Team, the Department of Justice team, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Team, the National Security Council Team, the Office of Science and Technology Policy Team, and the Department of Agriculture Team. The Biden Transition website is available here .
FIRST CIRCUIT RULES FOR HARVARD IN RACE-CONSCIOUS ADMISSIONS CASE
The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled this week that Harvard University’s race-conscious admissions program does not violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court found that Harvard’s “limited use of race” in admissions decisions “survives strict scrutiny” and that “Harvard has identified specific, measurable goals it seeks to achieve by considering race in admissions.” This decision continues to afford universities the appropriate discretion on whom to admit and how to best conduct higher education, as AAU tweeted in applauding the decision. AAU filed an amicus brief supporting Harvard in the case.
AAU JOINS CUPA-HR, MULTI-SECTOR COMMENT LETTERS ON LABOR DEPARTMENT'S H-1B NPRM
This week AAU and 17 higher education associations joined a CUPA-HR led a comment letter on the Department of Labor’s Wage Level Interim Final Rule. The letter expresses deep concern with the rule because it was implemented without opportunity for public comment, its methodology is fundamentally unsound, and it does not give colleges and universities adequate time to adjust to changes. AAU also joined 22 other business and higher education association in a multi-sector comment letter outlining six “fatal flaws” in DOL’s rule. The interim final rule would require employers to raise wages substantially for H-1B visa holders, creating significant wage issues for new H-1B visa holders at universities. Several AAU institutions are also involved in litigation or have joined an amicus brief , including AAU and other higher education associations , in support of the lawsuits challenging the rule. The rule went into effect on October 8.
AAU, ASSOCIATIONS COMMENT ON DHS RULE TO LIMIT H-1B VISAS
AAU joined ACE and 31 other higher education associations to submit comments expressing concern with the impact of a Department of Homeland Security H-1B visa rule on the ability of colleges and universities to hire H-1B holders for important faculty and research positions. The DHS interim final rule would narrow the criteria for meeting the threshold of “specialty occupations” eligible for H-1B visas and goes into effect on Dec. 7, 2020. Litigation is also being pursued by several AAU institutions and business organizations. AAU also filed an amicus brief in support of the litigation.
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT PUBLISHES NOTICE OF INTERPRETATION ON SECTION 117 FOREIGN GIFTS & CONTRACTS REPORTING
The Education Department has published a Notice of Interpretation regarding Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The NOI follows the department’s recent release of a report, “Institutional Compliance with Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965,” which was based on the department’s investigation into 12 colleges and universities (including 10 AAU members). The report alleges that schools have “massively underreported” foreign funding received from “foreign adversaries,” including China and Russia. AAU will work with ACE and other higher education associations to submit comments. Organizations can also request a meeting with OMB on the topic of the NOI.
NAVY SOLICITING IDEAS FROM COLLEGE STEM STUDENTS IN “NAVAL HORIZONS” CHALLENGE
The Navy is soliciting ideas from undergraduate STEM students as part of its “Naval Horizons” challenge. The effort is designed to introduce students to cutting-edge science and technology topics that impact the Navy and Marine Corps. Students are invited to watch a video series, select a topic and share their ideas on a futurist vision of the Navy and/or Marine Corps in the year 2040. Submissions will be evaluated on a rolling basis and the first 3,000 submissions to meet the evaluation criteria will be awarded a $200 stipend. Eligible students can learn more on the Naval Horizons website.
DECEMBER 1 GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD VIRTUAL CEREMONY; 4:00 p.m. ET. More information available here.