Legal Updates

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What We Know about the Sexual-Abuse Investigation of a Former Ohio State Doctor

An NBC News investigation, published on Tuesday, provides more details about sexual-abuse allegations against Richard Strauss, a now-deceased team physician who worked for Ohio State University from the 1970s to the 1990s. The NBC report, which focuses mainly on allegations that Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, knew of the abuse ... Read More

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Temple U. Says Several Programs Submitted False Data to 'U.S. News'

Temple University announced on Wednesday that multiple programs in its business school had misreported data to the national rankings powerhouse U.S. News & World Report, widening the falsification charges beyond its online M.B.A. program.The university was already under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education and the Pennsylvania attorney general ... Read More

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Georgia Tech's Finance Chief Is out after Campus Gave 'Boat Load of Money' to Company That Paid Him

The message came in on a University System of Georgia ethics hotline in late May:" Georgia Tech has spent a boat load of money with this company and hasn't see [sic] any benefit so far," the tipster said. "The company uses the Georgia Tech name on their website and especially their ... Read More

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Visa Policy Change Will Make It Easier for Trump Administration to Deny Applications

Visa policy change will make it easier Trump administration to deny applications It will soon be easier for the Trump administration to deny visas. In a move that further curbs immigration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is giving anyone who reviews visa applications or petitions the discretion to deny requests, without ... Read More

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More Than 100 Ohio State Alumni Allege Abuse by Former University Sports Doctor

More than 100 former Ohio State University students have alleged that Richard Strauss, a former OSU sports doctor, sexually abused them, the university announced on Friday. The allegations span the years 1979 to 1997, when Strauss worked at the institution. The announcement is the latest news in Ohio State's investigation into ... Read More

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Legislative Auditors Ask Colleges: 'Dude, Where's Your Keys?'

Legislative auditors literally burned the midnight oil making covert site visits to all state colleges and universities in recent months to assess campus inventory and security controls. Staff from Utah's Office of the Legislative Auditor General discovered dozens of exterior and interior doors accessible between the hours of midnight and 5 ... Read More

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Trump Administration Will Rescind Obama-Era Guidelines on Race-Conscious Admissions

The Trump administration plans to revoke two pieces of Obama-era guidance on race-conscious admissions, The Wall Street Journal reports. The two guidelines, issued by the Obama administration in 2011 and 2016, respectively, gave colleges a wide berth in determining whether considering applicants' race was necessary to achieve a diverse campus. The ... Read More

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Documents Raise New Concerns about a University Psychiatrist's Study on Children

Newly obtained records raise additional concerns about the research and oversight of Dr. Mani Pavuluri, a star pediatric psychiatrist at the University of Illinois at Chicago whose clinical trial studying the effects of the powerful drug lithium on children was shuttered for misconduct. ProPublica Illinois has learned: Parents of at least eight ... Read More

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Michigan State Settles with Larry Nassar Victims for $500 Million

Michigan State has agreed to pay $500 million to settle lawsuits filed by 332 alleged victims of disgraced former sports physician Larry Nassar, both sides announced Wednesday, ending the university's involvement in litigation over the former Olympic gymnastics doctor's rampant sexual abuse of girls and women under the guise of ... Read More

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U. of Kentucky Moves to Fire Tenured Professor for Telling Students to Buy His Book

The University of Kentucky has moved to fire a tenured professor for the first time in at least half a century, saying that Buck Ryan stole university property and profited from it by requiring students to buy a book he wrote, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. David Blackwell, the provost, last ... Read More

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No One's Ready for GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation will go into effect on May 25th, and no one is ready -- not the companies and not even the regulators. After four years of deliberation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was officially adopted by the European Union in 2016. The regulation gave companies a ... Read More

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Head of Sexual Assault and Discrimination Office at UUS Removed Following Report of Unchecked Misconduct, Harassment

Utah State University announced Wednesday that the school's president had removed Stacy Sturgeon from her position as Title IX coordinator in response to an investigation that found gender discrimination and sexual misconduct went unchecked for years in the school's music department, according to Tim Vitale, a spokesman for the university. The ... Read More

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Data Privacy and the Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Much of the web-surfing world is now aware of Cambridge Analytica (CA), the UK-based data firm that helped influence global politics by leveraging data contained within the virtual profiles of millions of real human beings. The company is implicated in a major data privacy breach involving millions of Facebook users. ... Read More

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Sixth Circuit Holds Discrimination Based on Transgender Status Is Prohibited Under Title VII

In a unanimous decision in EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., a three-judge Sixth Circuit panel has held that discrimination on the basis of transgender status is "necessarily" discrimination on the basis of sex and therefore prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ... Read More

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USU Officials Dismissed from Student's Lawsuit over Frat Party Rape

Three Utah State University officials have been dismissed from a lawsuit filed by a student who was raped at a fraternity party and claims the school should have done more to protect her. Victoria Hewlett sued her now former university, three of its employees and the schools Sigma Chi Fraternity chapter ... Read More

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Federal Documents Detail Sweeping Potential NCAA Violations Involving High-Profile Players, Schools

Documents and bank records obtained in discovery during the federal investigation into the underbelly of college basketball detail in meticulous fashion the expenditures of prominent former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate Christian Dawkins and his agency, ASM Sports. They include expense reports and balance sheets that list cash ... Read More

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Updated Cybersecurity Compliance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Posted

FSA's Senior Advisor of Cybersecurity has updated the Cybersecurity Compliance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on the Cybersecurity Compliance page. This guidance clarifies some of the data security and breach questions asked during the 2017 FSA Training Conference. We hope this information is helpful to schools, their CISOs and other members of ... Read More

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How an Army of Survivors Toppled a President

One by one, they came forward. Inside an Ingham County courthouse, at the sentencing hearing for Larry Nassar, over seven grueling, emotional days, more than 150 women stood to speak. Their statements excoriated Nassar, a prominent sports doctor, for decades of sexual abuse and assault under the guise of medical treatment. It ... Read More

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Justice Dept. Says Harvard Is Not Complying With Probe on Race in Admissions

The U.S. Justice Department has accused Harvard University of failing to cooperate with its investigation of the university's admissions policies, according to The Wall Street Journal. In a letter to Harvard's lawyers, the department told the university it had failed to comply with a November 2 deadline to provide documents regarding ... Read More

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Transportation Department Expands Drug Testing Panel to Include Certain 'Semi-Synthetic' Opioids

DOT announced in a rule published in the Federal Register on November 13, 2017, that it will expand its drug testing panel to include the following four "semi-synthetic" opioid drugs: Hydrocodone; Hydromorphone; Oxycodone; and Oxymorphone. DOT-regulated employers include those regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Railroad Administration ... Read More

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DFARS Clause 252.204-7012 Requirements in Cloud Computing

On December 31, 2017, contractors and subcontractors working with the Department of Defense (DoD) will be required to provide adequate security measures on all covered information systems that process, store, or transmit covered defense information (CDI) in accordance with Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) clause 252.204-7012. If you intend ... Read More

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Chapel Hill Is Spared Penalties in NCAA Investigation of Academic-Athletic Scandal

The NCAA stopped short on Friday of handing down penalties that many at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had feared would result from the association's investigation of the academic and athletic scandal that has rocked the campus for years. The NCAA announced in a report that it ... Read More

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U.S. Department of Education Withdraws 2011 "Dear Colleague Letter" and 2014 Q&A on Sexual Misconduct; New Guidance Document Issued

In a move that was foreshadowed by statements from the new administration, by letter dated September 22, 2017, the U.S. Education Department, Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") announced the withdrawal of the April 4, 2011 Dear Colleague Letter ("DCL") on sexual misconduct as well as the April 29, 2014 Questions ... Read More

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One Activist Has Hundreds of Colleges Under the Gun to Fix Their Websites

After the 2016 presidential election, Marcie Lipsitt looked up the alma maters of Donald J. Trump's chief advisers and persuaded the Education Department to investigate them for illegally having websites inaccessible to people with disabilities. At the height of this year's NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, she similarly triggered ... Read More

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The Supreme Court Sided with Trinity Lutheran Church. Here's why that matters.

The Supreme Court's ruling on a high-profile case involving a church's day-care playground surfaces will likely be used in church-state battles in the future, experts believe. The decision, released on Monday, involving a church in Missouri was seen as a victory for many advocates and a blow to those who ... Read More

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Education Dept. Closes Title IX Investigation of Liberty U.

The Education Department's civil-rights office has closed a Title IX investigation of Liberty University that had been triggered by a sexual-assault claim. The office cited a lack of jurisdiction. In a letter addressed to President Jerry L. Falwell Jr., Letisha Morgan, a team leader in the Office for Civil Rights, wrote ... Read More

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Trump Administration Plans to Minimize Civil Rights Efforts in Agencies

The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House's newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights. As outlined in Labor's fiscal 2018 plan, the move ... Read More

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Wichita State to Pay Nearly $100K Fine in 2014 Hazardous Waste Case

Wichita State University has agreed to pay a $98,578 fine for mishandling hazardous wastes. The university said Friday in a news release that its agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stems from violations found during an inspection in 2014. The problems were corrected that same year. Those violations included ... Read More

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

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 ... Read More

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Jerry Falwell Jr. Says He Will Lead Federal Task Force on Higher-Ed Policy

Jerry L. Falwell Jr., president of Liberty University, has been asked by President Trump to head up a new task force that will identify changes that should be made to the U.S. Department of Education's policies and procedures, Mr. Falwell told The Chronicle on Tuesday. The exact scope, size, and ... Read More

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Education Dept. Clarifies Rule Governing Online Courses

The Education Department on Thursday clarified a key piece of a new distance-education regulation, making it clearer that the reciprocity agreement known as SARA, under which more than 1,300 colleges have already been approved to offer online courses across state lines, would satisfy the new regulation. The clarification removes the question ... Read More

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Record Fine for Penn State Sends a Signal on Clery Act Compliance

The U.S. Department of Education on Thursday hit Pennsylvania State University with a $2.4-million fine for failing to comply with the federal campus-crime-reporting law known as the Clery Act, following an investigation that was prompted by the Jerry Sandusky child-sex-abuse scandal. The fine represents the steepest penalty that the department ... Read More

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Supreme Court Will Review Fourth Circuit Decision in Transgender Student's Rights Case

On October 28, 2016 the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the Fourth Circuit's decision in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. This case is about whether a Virginia School Board's policy limiting students' bathroom access to facilities that correspond to students' biological gender is discriminatory. The case was ... Read More

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Department of Education Issues New Guidance on Disclosure of Student Medical Records

HIGHLIGHTS: Through a Dear Colleague Letter addressed to the higher education community, the U.S. Department of Education has released "significant guidance" on the application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to the release of student medical records generally, and specifically in the context of litigation. When evaluating ... Read More

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N.C.A.A. Moves Championship Events From North Carolina, Citing Anti-Gay-Rights Law

The N.C.A.A., responding to a contentious North Carolina law that curbed anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, will relocate all championship tournament games scheduled to take place in the state over the coming academic year, the organization announced Monday night. Among the events affected is the Division ... Read More

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Updated Clery Act Handbook Released

The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting (the "Handbook"), which provides important guidance for institutions as it relates to their compliance with the Clery Act's safety and security requirements, was recently revised and a new version (the 2016 Edition) released by the United States Department of Education. This valuable ... Read More

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5 Lessons to Take From the Fisher Decision

The gasps heard in higher-education circles around midmorning on Thursday were not, as anticipated, expressions of dismay. Rather, with the U.S. Supreme Court's 4-3 decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher II), the mood among higher-education leaders was one of apparent shock -- and delight. Many had ... Read More

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DOL Implements New Sex Discrimination Rules for Federal Contractors

On June 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor adopted a final rule updating sex discrimination regulations for federal contractors. The final rule details the obligations under Executive Order 11246 (as amended by Executive Order 13672) for federal government contractors and subcontractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors. Originally issued by President ... Read More

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Former Basketball Captain Sues Yale Over Expulsion for Alleged Sex Assault

A former captain of Yale University's men's basketball team is suing the university in federal court over its decision to expel him in February after he was accused of sexual assault by another student. The allegations against the player, Jack Montague, became the subject of controversy on the campus and ... Read More

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Obama administration directs schools to accommodate transgender students

The Obama administration on Friday directed schools across the nation to provide transgender students with access to suitable facilities -- including bathrooms and locker rooms -- that match their chosen gender identity. The move, which affects all public schools and most colleges and universities that receive federal funds, plunges the administration ... Read More

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UNC Faces Federal Lawsuit Over Controversial Bathroom Law

The University of North Carolina system was caught in a flurry of legal activity on Monday as the federal government continued its push against a contentious state law banning transgender people from using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, while the state filed its own lawsuit in return. The ... Read More

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Federal appeals court sides with transgender teen, says bathroom case can go forward

A federal appeals court in Richmond has ruled that a transgender high school student who was born as a female can sue his school board on discrimination grounds because it banned him from the boys' bathroom. In backing high school junior Gavin Grimm, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the ... Read More

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Legislature will audit University of Utah athletics in wake of BYU rivalry suspension

The University of Utah roiled fans across the state -- and in the Capitol -- when it yanked Brigham Young University from next season's basketball schedule. Now, lawmakers are taking the Utes to task with ... ... Read More

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President Seeks $19 Billion and Creates a Commission to Address Cybersecurity

President Barack Obama requested $19 billion in his budget for 2017 to address cybersecurity in the United States, $5 billion more than was budgeted for the current year. Today, he issued an Executive Order that will create a commission within the Department of Commerce to be known as the "Commission ... Read More

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Education Dept. Will Publish List of Colleges With Title IX Exemptions

The U.S. Department of Education will publish a list of religious colleges that have received exemptions from some provisions of the gender-equity law Title IX, the assistant secretary for civil rights, Catherine E. Lhamon, said in a letter on Wednesday. Dozens of religious colleges have been granted waivers that exempt ... Read More

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US Education Department Appeals for Compassion in Schools

Will the new year bring peace to the world and more tolerance and goodwill among its citizens? The U.S. Department of Education certainly hopes so. In the wake of extreme acts of violence and the ongoing worldwide refugee crisis, the department is trying to do its share to promote peace ... Read More

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DOJ Reaches $145,000 Settlement Over Access of Emotional Support Animal to University Housing

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Kent State University (KSU) reached a $145,000 settlement over claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) on January 4, 2016. In 2014, DOJ initiated a lawsuit against KSU and four of its employees for disability discrimination due to KSU's denial of ... Read More

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FAA Task Force Recommends Sweeping UAS Registration Requirements

Transportation (DOT) created a registration task force (RTF) charged with making recommendations to the FAA on what mandatory registration of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including those used for recreational or hobby use, should look like. Today, the FAA publicly released the RTF's much-anticipated final recommendations report. Here are the ... Read More