DC Digest - August 20, 2010
In Today's Issue:
- How the Wall Street Reform Act Affects Higher Education
- New NSF Social Science Agenda
- Colleges Cite Burden of NIH Proposed Conflict of Interest Rules
- AAU Working Group Urges Enactment of NASA Authorization Bill (Plus Comparison of House and Senate Bills)
- Dept of Ed Inquiry: Women's Basketball Games a 'Warm Up' Act for Men's Teams?
- Ed Dept to Step Up Monitoring of Compliance on Student-Aid Rules
HOW THE WALL STREET REFORM ACT AFFECTS HIGHER EDUCATION
The American Council on Education (ACE) has released an updated memo on the three key ways in which the financial reform bill—known as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act—will impact colleges and universities:
- The jurisdiction of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the Act specifically extends to any person or entity that offers “private education loans.”
- The law imposes new restrictions on the interchange fees that payment card networks may charge to merchants—including universities—in debit card transactions.
- Payment card networks will no longer be able to impose certain restrictions on universities regarding establishing minimum or maximum transaction amounts as a condition for accepting credit cards for payment, and offering discounts for payment by cash rather than by credit card.
Full ACE Memo (ACE.edu)
Background on Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (OpenCongress.org)
NEW NSF SOCIAL SCIENCE AGENDA
Seeking to move "beyond near-term funding cycles," leaders of the National Science Foundation briefed sociologists in Washington Sunday about plans to create a strategy to support the social sciences over the next decade. The NSF is seeking advice on shaping the agenda, but on a relatively tight time frame -- with a request for ideas having gone out late last week and a deadline of the end of September.
NSF Request for Input in Social Science Agenda (NSF.gov)
New NSF Social Science Agenda (Inside Higher Ed)
COLLEGE GROUPS CITE BURDEN OF NIH PROPOSED CONFLICT OF INTEREST RULES
New regulations proposed by the National Institutes of Health in May to restrict conflicts of interest in biomedical research sponsored by the agency would significantly increase universities' administrative burden and their costs of complying with federal research rules, four higher education groups argued in jointly submitted comments Tuesday. In their formal response to the proposed regulations, the groups -- the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the American Council on Education, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities -- recommended that the NIH alter several provisions that they argued would require excessive, unnecessary reporting.
Colleges Cite Burden of U.S. Conflict of Interest Rules (Inside Higher Ed)
Associations' Comment Letter (pdf)
Council on Government Relations' Letter (pdf)
Background of proposed conflict of interest rules (Inside Higher Ed)
AAU WORKING GROUP URGES ENACTMENT OF NASA AUTHORIZATION BILL
The Association of American Universities (AAU) – representing 61 U.S. and two Canadian research universities – applauds the efforts of Congress to authorize three years of funding for the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and urges the completion of the reauthorization process. The NASA authorization bills passed in the House Science and Technology Committee (H.R. 5781) and the Senate (S. 3729) provide continued support for the International Space Station (ISS) until the year 2020 and also authorize $5 billion annually for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). AAU encourages this sustained level of funding as it will provide SMD with the resources it needs to perform and support short and long-term Space and Earth Science research.
DEPT. OF ED INQUIRY: WOMEN'S BASKETBALL GAMES A 'WARM-UP' ACT FOR MEN'S TEAMS?
U.S. investigates gender equity complaint that conference policy of having women's basketball teams always play first in doubleheaders makes them seem like "warm-up" act for men.
Who's on First? (Inside Higher Ed)
ED DEPT. TO STEP UP MONITORING OF COMPLIANCE ON STUDENT-AID RULES
In a continuing effort to crack down on unscrupulous colleges that collect federal student-aid dollars but provide little useful education in return, the U.S. Department of Education plans to develop a program to assess whether institutions are complying with existing laws and regulations. The proposed "gainful-employment" rule would cut off federal aid to programs whose students have the highest debt burdens and lowest loan-repayment rates, and could limit enrollment growth at hundreds of other programs.
Ed Dept to Step Up Monitoring of Compliance on Student-Aid Rules (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
Excerpts of Ed Dept Letter to Sen. Harkin (Barron's)