DC Digest - May 8, 2010
In Today's Issue:
- Fuqua Professor Appointed to President's Council of Economic Advisers
- Duke Comments on Proposed Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations System (DFARS) Amendment
- Opinion: Restoring Our Innovative Edge
- House Appropriations Chairman David Obey Announces Retirement
- More Scrutiny for Colleges' Business Practices
- Colleges as Potential Tax Targets
- Opinion: FERPA Frustrations: It's Time for Reform
FUQUA PROFESSOR APPOINTED TO PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS
Ronnie Chatterji, Assistant Professor of Strategy at The Fuqua School of Business, has been selected for a one-year appointment as a Senior Economist with President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. The Council is charged with offering the President objective economic advice on the formulation of both domestic and international economic policy.
Chatterji Appointed to President's Council of Economic Advisers (Fuqua.duke.edu)
DUKE COMMENTS ON DOD PROPOSED RULE RELATED TO DISCLOSURE OF UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION
Duke University officials have sent a response to a proposed amendment to the Defense Federal Acquisitions Regulations System (DFARS) and its potential impact on Duke and other research institutions. The letter, signed by Jim Siedow and Mark Stomski, noted Duke's concern with the proposed expansion of DFARS 7000 clause, which restricts publication of research results and release of any information pertaining to a project without prior government approval. Duke's comments also suggested that DOD adopt existing agency standards regarding the protection of information.
Duke Comments on DOD Proposed Rule Related to Disclosure of Information (pdf)
OPINION: RESTORING OUR INNOVATIVE EDGE
In this opinion piece for Politico, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke writes about the need to fix the outdated U.S. patent system, which Locke says "can boost our economy and doesn't add a cent to our federal debt."
Restoring Our Innovative Edge (Politico.com)
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN DAVID OBEY ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Many in Washington were surprised at the announcement last week that after 40 years in Congress, Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the influential chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, will not seek re-election in November. Mr. Obey is known for his fierce commitment to helping low- and middle-income students attend college and stands as one of the strongest supporters of Pell Grants the higher education community has ever had. He also has been a strong supporter of Title IV international education programs as well as community colleges.
David Obey Won't Seek Reelection (Politico.com)
MORE SCRUTINY FOR COLLEGES' BUSINESS PRACTICES
The Congressional Budget Office has released a study (which Senator Chuck Grassley had requested in 2007) asserting that colleges and universities may inappropriately benefit from federal tax law by issuing tax-exempt bonds to, essentially, subsidize investments in higher-yield assets.
In his statement, Senator Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, highlighted several concerns: "Issuing bonds costs money on interest and management fees. Does the expense of debt service take money away from student aid or academic service? Do bond issuances occur even as universities raise tuition and build investment assets?"
But it is unclear whether the senator, who is the senior minority member of the Senate Finance Committee, intends to propose any changes in law in response to the report. In the statement released on Friday evening, he says, "These are further questions to explore." Higher education tax experts were divided on how seriously to take the latest salvo from a federal government that has focused intensifying scrutiny on college and university operations.
More Scrutiny for Colleges' Business Practices (InsideHigherEd)
Senator Questions Another Break for Colleges: Tax-Exempt Bonds (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
CBO Report (CBO.gov)
COLLEGES AS POTENTIAL TAX TARGETS
The Internal Revenue Service is focusing on issues related to executive compensation and payment (or non-payment) of tax on unrelated business income in more than 30 reviews it is conducting of individual colleges and universities, the agency said Friday, as it released the preliminary results of its survey of 400 institutions. The interim report issued Friday offered the first official look at the information the federal tax agency has collected from a wide-ranging questionnaire it sent to colleges in 2008.
IRS Finds Possible Problems With How Colleges Set Salaries and Report Business Income (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
OPINION: FERPA FRUSTRATIONS: IT'S TIME FOR REFORM
In April, the Department of Education announced that it will again propose rules clarifying FERPA this summer, but the preliminary notice gives no hope of wholesale reform. Rather, the focus appears limited to facilitating data collection that the Obama administration believes is necessary for education reform. That would be a colossal missed opportunity.
Ferpa Frustrations: It's Time for Reform (Chronicle of HigherEd)