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Category Archives: Higher Education

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U.S. Department of Education to Rescind Subregulatory Guidance on Sexual Violence and Issue New Regulations

Posted in Higher Education
In remarks today, United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education plans to initiate a public comment period to begin the process of adopting new regulations on campus sexual violence and harassment prevention and response. The new regulations would supplant existing Department subregulatory guidance (most notably the April 4, 2011… Continue Reading

Trump Administration’s Rescission of DACA to Affect Faculty, Students and Staff at Colleges and Universities

Posted in DACA, Higher Education, Student Affairs
On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration’s formal plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program. The rescission of DACA and the benefits afforded by the program will affect individuals employed by and enrolled in colleges and universities across the country. DACA, implemented in 2012 through an… Continue Reading

Department of Justice Reportedly to Target Race-Conscious Admissions Policies

Posted in Higher Education
According to published reports, the Trump administration appears poised to direct the Department of Justice to begin investigating, and potentially litigating against, institutions over what it characterizes as “intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” This initiative, first reported by the New York Times, is purportedly reflected in an internal DoJ communication obtained by the… Continue Reading

Structuring Voluntary Resignation Incentive Options For Tenured Faculty Members

Posted in Higher Education
Many universities and colleges across the country have been struggling with the issue of how best to incentivize certain tenured faculty members to resign and relinquish their tenure. If a university or college decides to offer a voluntary resignation incentive option to some or all of its tenured faculty members, steps it should take when… Continue Reading

Travel Ban Tweaked Again: U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii Expands Definition of Close Familial Relationship to Include Grandparents and Others

Posted in Higher Education, Travel Ban
As a result of an order issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii last night, foreign nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are now considered exempt from President Trump’s travel ban if they are coming to the U.S. to visit with grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces,… Continue Reading

Further Breaking News for New York State Institutions: State Provides Clarification on Article 129-B Audit

Posted in Higher Education
On Friday, July 7, 2017, the Office of Campus Safety clarified its Notice of Audit, specifically stating that it is “not requesting submission of personally identifiable information of any individual” and emphasizing that colleges and universities should “not submit individual case records” in response to the audit.  The original Notice of Audit, dated June 26,… Continue Reading

Breaking News for New York Institutions: State to Narrow Scope of Article 129-B Audit

Posted in Higher Education
In light of the serious concerns institutions and advocates have expressed about FERPA and other privacy laws, we have recently been informed that the Office of Campus Safety will likely revise its Notice of Audit, dated June 26, 2017. More information about these concerns is covered in our earlier posting, which can be found here.… Continue Reading

N.Y. Education Law Article 129-B Notice of Audit Issued to New York Colleges and Universities

Posted in Higher Education, Sexual Assault, Sexual Violence, Student Affairs, Title IX
Many institutions are reporting receipt of a letter dated June 26, 2017 from the New York Office of Campus Safety with an attached Notice of Audit (“Notice”) pursuant to New York Education Law Article 129-B (N.Y. Educ. Law §§ 6439–6449). The Notice seeks data submissions relating to the provision of Article 129-B and it includes… Continue Reading

New York Institutions: Annual Certificates of Compliance With Education Law Articles 129-A and 129-B Due at NYSED by July 1

Posted in Higher Education
It’s that time of year again! Just a friendly reminder that New York colleges and universities must file their Article 129-A and Article 129-B of the Education Law Certification of Compliance with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) on or before July 1, 2017.  By signing and submitting the Certification of Compliance with NYSED,… Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Rules That Transgender Student Can Use Restroom of Choice

Posted in Higher Education, Transgender
Perhaps lost in the media stories about the so-called “bathroom wars” is the emotional toll that they have taken on individuals whose lives are directly impacted by the controversy. While both sides have fiercely advocated the social and emotional import at the core of the dispute, courts have struggled to find a uniform answer to:… Continue Reading

New York Institutions: Governor Reportedly to Order Comprehensive “Enough is Enough” Compliance Audit

Posted in Higher Education, Student Affairs, Title IX
Apparently prompted by allegations from students and advocates, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is reportedly directing an audit, to be conducted by representatives from the New York State Department of Education, Department of Health, Office of Victim Services and State Police, of institutions’ compliance with Education Law Article 129-B, the so-called “Enough is Enough” campus… Continue Reading

NLRB Region Five Rules that Resident Advisors at George Washington University are Employees Who May Unionize

Posted in Higher Education, National Labor Relations Board
On April 21, 2017, the Acting Regional Director of Region Five of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued a Decision and Direction of Election holding that Resident Advisors (“RAs”) at George Washington University are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) who are entitled to vote in a union representation election.  This decision comes on the… Continue Reading

Regional Accreditor Poised to Ban Incentive Compensation to Recruiters of International Students

Posted in Higher Education
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has proposed the adoption of a policy that would prohibit Middle States-accredited colleges and universities from providing “incentive payment” (e.g., tuition sharing or per capita payments) to recruiters “based on [their] success in securing student enrollment….” If approved, the policy would apply to the recruitment of prospective students… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Remands Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., Will Not Hear Transgender Student’s Case

Posted in Higher Education, Transgender
The Supreme Court will not review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. despite agreeing in October 2016 to do so. The Fourth Circuit’s decision in favor of G.G., a transgender Virginia high school student, had been stayed by the Supreme Court while it considered whether to grant the School Board’s… Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education Rescind Obama Era Guidance on Transgender Students

Posted in Higher Education
On February 22, 2017, in its first “Dear Colleague Letter,” the Trump Administration withdrew existing U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education guidance that interpreted Title IX’s protections against sex discrimination to encompass discrimination based on gender identity and transgender status. In this joint Dear Colleague Letter (“February 22 DCL”), the Departments point to… Continue Reading

New York Institutions: Exemption from Cybersecurity Regulations Sought by Bond Granted in Final Regulations Issued by Department of Financial Services

Posted in Cybersecurity, Higher Education
Last month, Bond, Schoeneck & King  sought  an exemption from cybersecurity regulations proposed by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) for colleges, universities and other charitable organizations that would have been covered under the regulations solely because they operate charitable gift annuity programs.  Joined by the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, Bond submitted a… Continue Reading

9th Circuit Court of Appeals Refuses to Reinstate Trump’s Travel Ban

Posted in 9th Circuit, Higher Education, Travel Ban
After hearing oral arguments earlier this week from attorneys representing the White House and the states of Washington and Minnesota, last night, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously upheld the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington’s February 3, 2017 issuance of a temporary restraining order prohibiting the federal government… Continue Reading

UPDATE ON EXECUTIVE ORDER 13769: “PROTECTING THE NATION FROM FOREIGN TERRORIST ENTRY INTO THE UNITED STATES”

Posted in Higher Education, Immigration
We previously reported that on January 27, 2017, the Trump administration issued Executive Order 13769 entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”. EO 13769 suspends: the entire US refugee admission system for 120 days; the Syrian refugee program indefinitely; and the entry of immigrants and non-immigrants from seven designated countries… Continue Reading

What President Trump’s Travel Ban Means for Colleges and Universities

Posted in Higher Education, Immigration
On January 27, 2017 President Trump signed an Executive Order (“EO”) titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”.  Given the diverse composition of colleges and universities, which includes faculty, staff and students, this EO significantly impacts the higher education community.  Specifically, the EO suspends the entire US refugee admission system… Continue Reading

A New Year, A New Form I-9

Posted in Higher Education, Immigration
On November 14, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a new Form I-9 (Rev. 11/14/2016 N) to replace the prior form which expired on March 31, 2016.  Beginning January 22, 2017, colleges and universities must use this updated form for the initial employment verification of all new hires (including student employees)… Continue Reading

New York Institutions: Department of Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulations Likely to Impose Significant Obligations on Many Colleges and Universities

Posted in Cybersecurity, Higher Education
Following a public comment period, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) has published a modified version of new regulations, previously issued on September 13, 2016, aimed at creating higher cybersecurity standards within the banking, insurance and financial services industries.  The regulations go into effect on March 1, 2017 with phased implementation thereafter,… Continue Reading

New York Institutions: New Amendments to the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 Signed into Law by Governor Cuomo

Posted in Higher Education
On November 28, 2016, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation enacting another round of amendments to the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013.  The amendments should ease compliance with the NPRA’s related party transaction rules by incorporating express exceptions, allowing for committee approval, authorizing ratification of past transactions, and narrowing the universe of persons… Continue Reading

U.S. District Court in Texas Issues Nationwide Injunction Preventing New Overtime Rule From Taking Effect

Posted in Higher Education, Labor
Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a nationwide injunction preventing the U.S. Department of Labor from implementing its regulations revising the white collar exemptions.  Therefore, the increase in the minimum salary level to $913.00 per week that was expected to go into effect on December 1 will not occur… Continue Reading

Recent IRS Audit is a Reminder to Check Whether Your Employment Agreements and Appointment Letters Comply With the Applicable Tax and Benefit Requirements

Posted in Higher Education
The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recently notified a major university that it is being audited, and as part of that audit requested copies of the employment agreements of the president of the university, the provost of the university, and the head coaches of the University’s football team, men’s basketball team, and women’s basketball team. This… Continue Reading