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SA Weekly: July 1

Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
July 1, 2019 Maya Ward-Fineman NASPA

Welcome to SA Weekly, your destination for higher ed news, NASPA research and policy, constituent blogs, and more. 

'Shocking' Cut May Force Layoffs for Alaska's Universities “Governor's slashing of state funds has University of Alaska preparing for inevitable cost-cutting measures and faculty fearing declaration of financial exigency could enable dismissal of tenured professors.”

Democratic Divisions on Higher Ed “In first debates of Democratic presidential primary, candidates outline contrasting visions on college affordability, student debt.”

State Funding for Students' Basic Needs “Several states have begun to fund efforts to help students with their basic needs amid growing concern about homelessness and hunger on campus.”

Race, Geography and Degree Attainment “Residents of rural counties typically are much less likely to hold a college degree, new analysis finds, and urban and suburban areas often feature wide attainment gaps across racial lines.”

White Supremacy Activity Spreads on Campuses “White nationalists, mostly non-students, continue to post propaganda on college campuses, despite efforts by colleges to stop them.”

Seeking Answers on Loan Relief Claims “With borrowers who attended for-profits having waited years on loan relief applications, lawyers this week sued the Education Department to take action on more than 150,000 claims.”

Endowment Tax Picture Becomes Modestly Clearer “New IRS guidelines further define which institutions are subject to the tax and what should be included as taxable "investment income" (surprise: dorm rental income).”

New Bill May Allow Athlete Compensation “The NCAA suggests that college athletes in California may not be able to participate in championship games if state passes legislation to allow them to profit off their name, image and likeness.”

Waiting for Work Authorization “International students can apply for work authorization 90 days before they graduate, but they're facing application processing times that routinely exceed that.”

Policy Update

Planting Seeds and Cultivating Change by Amy Geist, Director of Strategic Initiatives

What Role Can Community-Based Organization Play in Campus Efforts to Address Sexual Violence? by Sarice Greenstein, Assistant Director, Culture of Respect

Letters of Support:

Driven by careful deliberation with senior-level staff and the consultation of NASPA membership, NASPA sign-on statements and letters of support work to advance the vision of the NASPA Strategic Plan in fulfilling the promise of higher education.

Letter to the Senate in Support of Dreamers

Federal Updates

Supreme Court Issues Decisions on 2020 Census, Partisan Gerrymandering, and Takes Up DACA in SCOTUSblog Monday Round-Up

Last Friday marked the end of the October 2018 term for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). After deferring to three lower court preliminary junctions on the announcement to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for a number of months, SCOTUS has agreed to review the cases for an expected decision on the right to terminate the program in June 2020. In addition, the court decided that partisan gerrymandering cases are not reviewable in court, and to keep the citizenship question off the 2020 census for now. If you are interested in the impacts of gerrymandering and the 2020 census specifically for student affairs, please review NASPA’s May 2018 blogpost “Threats to the One-person, One-vote Principle: Gerrymandering and the 2020 US Census,” by Director of Policy Research and Advocacy, Teri Lyn Hinds.   

H.R. 3401 – Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019

Primary Sponsor: Rep. Nita Lowey

Committees: House, Appropriations, Budget

On June 27, 2019 the House passed H.R. 3401 after removing specific portions of the bill that the Senate and President Trump had indicated would not make it through negotiations. The compromised legislation provides $4.59 billion in emergency border aid to relevant agencies, as well as $209 million in operations and support to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The bill is designed to protect detained unaccompanied children, though several oversight provisions for this were lost through the compromise. President Trump is expected to sign the bill moving forward.

As stated in NASPA’s official position on Immigration Policy in Higher Education, NASPA is an advocate of humanitarian asylum policies and relief for immigrant and international students fleeing personal and political violence.

State Updates

New York Department of Education: Guidelines to Support Transgender and Gender Expansive Students

Announced June 28, 2019

Regulatory Updates

Guidance on the Determination of the Section 4968 Excise Tax Applicable to Certain Private Colleges and Universities

Announcement of proposed regulations, expected to be released on the Federal Register by the Internal Revenue Service, July 3, 2019. Not yet open for public comment.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed regulations on Friday June 28, 2019 for expected upload to the Federal Register on July 3, on the new endowment tax, or 1.4 percent excise tax on the net investment income of certain private colleges and universities. Proposed regulations provides guidance for institutions to determine of the tax applies to them and how to determine net investment income.

Program Integrity: Gainful Employment A Rule by the Education Department, Office of Postsecondary Education on July 1, 2019

This Final Rule will rescind the 2014 Gainful Employment Rule starting July 1, 2020.

Summary from Federal Register: “The Secretary of the Department of Education (Department) amends the regulations on institutional eligibility under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), and the Student Assistance General Provisions to rescind the Department's gainful employment (GE) regulations (2014 Rule).”

Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments

Around NASPA

Queer and Coping at Conservative Institutions: Pride in Higher Education by Rachel Hendrix, Women in Student Affairs

Addressing New Professional Learning and Retention Using the Professional Competencies by Courtney Pelfrey and Carson Lonett, Professional Standards Division

Keep Calm and Call the Dean of Students by Anne G. Flaherty, AVP Steering Committee

The Future for Student Leadership Development by Christina Ferrari, Student Leadership Programs