- Introducing “Mary Sue’s Desk”
- Education Department Releases Interim Title IX Enforcement Guidance
- Associations File Travel Ban Amicus Brief
- Associations Submit Regulatory Reform Comments to Education Department
- Associations Submit Comment Letter to NIH Regarding Clinical Trial Definition
- Chief Academic Officers Endorse Doctoral Education Data Transparency Statement
- Senate Advances FY18 Defense Authorization Bill
- Reminder: Golden Goose Award Ceremony and Reception
INTRODUCING “MARY SUE’S DESK”
Earlier this week, AAU President Mary Sue Coleman released her inaugural blog post, in which she reaffirms the call made by 57 AAU Presidents and Chancellors for Congress to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participants by passing bipartisan legislation that protects them from deportation and provides a path to citizenship.
In the coming weeks, President Coleman will continue to comment on prominent and emerging issues facing research universities and the broader higher education community. Share her blog on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT RELEASES INTERIM TITLE IX ENFORCEMENT GUIDANCE
Today, the Department of Education rescinded Obama-era campus sexual misconduct guidance and issued a question-and-answer document to serve as temporary guidance. The move comes after Secretary Betsy DeVos announced earlier this month that the Department will open a formal notice and comment period to re-write the guidelines. In its public release, the Department notes that in addition to hearing from students, it will also “continue to work with schools and community leaders to better address preventing sexual misconduct through education and early intervention.”
AAU President Mary Sue Coleman issued a statement in response.
ASSOCIATIONS FILE TRAVEL BAN AMICUS BRIEF
AAU on Monday joined 29 other higher education associations in an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the administration’s second attempt to ban refugees and immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries. The brief focuses on the importance to higher education of maintaining a welcoming perception of international students and scholars, and the risks of deterring them from studying, teaching, and conducting research in the U.S. The brief cautions that if not reversed, the executive order will have detrimental effects on the global exchange of ideas and impair the ability of educational institutions to attract international talent. Oral argument is scheduled for October 10.
ASSOCIATIONS SUBMIT REGULATORY REFORM COMMENTS TO EDUCATION DEPARTMENT
AAU on Wednesday joined several other higher education associations in a letter to respond to a June 22, 2017 Department of Education Federal Register notice seeking input on regulations appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification. In addition to citing the 2015 taskforce report recommendations, led by William Kirwan and Nicholas Zeppos, the letter highlights three key issues: financial responsibility standards, return of Title IV funds when a student withdraws, and state authorization of distance education. The letter acknowledges Congress and the Department have addressed several regulatory issues since publication of the 2015 report, but insists much more can be done.
ASSOCIATIONS SUBMIT COMMENT LETTER TO NIH REGARDING CLINICAL TRIAL DEFINITION
AAU joined the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), American Council on Education (ACE), Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) in a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to express concerns regarding NIH’s expanded definition of clinical trial. The letter, submitted Monday, notes recent NIH information on the definition has caused confusion.
Primary concerns expressed are: 1) the case studies have modified the definition so it includes fundamental and basic health-related research; 2) inconsistencies and insufficient clarity in the analysis may lead to varying conclusions from institution to institution about what constitutes a clinical trial; and 3) the impact on an investigator and research study of designating research as a clinical trial is more significant than has been acknowledged. The letter offers to continue engaging in conversations about how best to assist the NIH in reaching the goals of transparency and accountability.
CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICERS ENDORSE DOCTORAL EDUCATION DATA TRANSPARENCY STATEMENT
AAU Chief Academic Officers last week endorsed a statement that calls on Ph.D. granting institutions to provide prospective and current students with easily accessible information, including the following data: student demographics, time to degree, financial support, and career paths and outcomes within and outside of academia.
Inside Higher Ed reported on the statement Wednesday.
SENATE ADVANCES FY18 DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL
The Senate voted 89-8 Monday night to approve its version of the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA, H. 2810), authorizing $13.57 billion for Defense Science & Technology (S&T) and $2.29 billion for 6.1 basic research. Compared to FY17 enacted levels, this version authorizes a 3.1 percent cut and a 0.4 percent increase, respectively. The bill next moves to conference for reconciliation with the House version, which authorized $13.31 billion for S&T and $2.26 billion for 6.1 basic research.
REMINDER: GOLDEN GOOSE AWARD CEREMONY AND RECEPTION
The 2017 Golden Goose Award ceremony and reception will be held September 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Library of Congress in the Coolidge Auditorium. This year, the award honors three teams of distinguished researchers for their work, which was silly-sounding or obscure at its outset but has gone on to yield enormous societal impact. Awardees will be announced the day of the ceremony. RSVP no later than September 25 – space is limited.
As a reminder, this is a unique opportunity for Congress to learn about the impact federal funding has on research. Please encourage your congressional delegation and their staff to attend.