General Business Operations & Finance

As higher education institutions increasingly outsource external trademark licensing to third party servicers, colleges and universities should remain diligent when internally licensing their trademarks with student groups and departments in order to maintain the value of the institution’s trademark within the institution. Because of this, having strong policies and procedures in place is essential. Continue Reading Six Top Tips for Your Internal Trademark Licensing Policies

Last month, the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), led by Executive Director Ramogi Huma, unveiled the College Athletic Protection (CAP) Agreement at a National Basketball Players Association’s camp held at the University of Virginia for the nation’s top 100 rising high school senior basketball players. CAPA and Huma previously led unsuccessful attempts for student-athlete unionization. The agreement would be the first-ever legally binding contract between a prospective college athlete and the university an athlete ultimately elects to attend. Continue Reading Elevated Scholarship Bargaining Power for Student-Athletes on the Horizon for Collegiate Athletic Departments

passport-iStock_000002201490_LargeIn agreeing to review two rulings by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on President’s Trump’s March 6, 2017, Executive Order, the Supreme Court reinstated certain provisions of the Executive Order that the lower courts had blocked.  The March 6th Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” was to suspend visa issuance for individuals from six countries, including Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days.  This provision, often referred to as the “travel ban,” effectively prohibits travel to the United States for individuals from the six affected countries. Continue Reading Supreme Court Allows Major Provisions of Travel Ban to Go Into Effect

close up of conference meetingRecently on American higher education campuses, the U.S. Secretary of Education was shouted down during a commencement speech; a Nobel Prize winning biologist was disinvited to speak following student outrage related to his past comments linking intelligence to race; and a faculty member held his ground when his colleagues at a large religious institution purportedly questioned whether he should host a speaker whose presence would “make students feel uncomfortable.”  These largely publicized incidents are just a fraction of the speaker controversies sweeping across America’s campuses.  While this issue is not an entirely new one and examples can be gleaned throughout U.S. higher education’s history, they are occurring at a much more frantic and seemingly urgent rate due in part to social media campaigns and the increasing speed and breadth of online communication. Continue Reading Disinviting Controversial Speakers — the Temptation of No Platforming: Key issues for administrators to consider

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a public service announcement warning of fraud schemes aimed at colleges, universities, and their constituents. The May 5 announcement outlines several – unfortunately effective – schemes that have taken off since July 2016, including:

  • Vendor Bank Account Scam
  • Fake “Education Tax” Scam
  • Phishing Scheme Involving Requests for W-2 Tax Information and
  • Phishing Scheme Involving Payroll Fraud

The announcement explains in plain language how each scam works and how schools, employees, and students can guard against falling victim to them.  Consider sharing this information with your institutional community and remain vigilant in protecting your systems and data.

Myths or Facts ConceptThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996—commonly referred to as “HIPAA”—is a federal law imposing certain data privacy and data security requirements with respect to medical information, including the personal health information of individual persons.  Colleges and universities maintain medical information related to employees and students in a host of locations, including human resources files, student records, and in the records of on-campus health and counseling centers, among others.  Higher education administrators unfamiliar with the intricacies of HIPAA often believe the law imposes more obligations on colleges and universities than it actually does.  This post dispels some of the most common myths relating to HIPAA and higher education.

Myth #1: HIPAA applies to all medical information we maintain as a college or university.

While HIPAA’s privacy rule does govern the privacy of protected health information (PHI), HIPAA’s privacy rule only applies to HIPAA “covered entit[ies].”  As a general rule, covered entities include: (1) health plans; (2) health care clearinghouses; and (3) healthcare providers who electronically transmit health information in connection with certain electronic transactions relating to billing, payment, and/or insurance coverage. Continue Reading Top 5 Common HIPAA “Myths” That Arise In Higher Education

This morning, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer. The Court is considering whether excluding churches from an otherwise neutral and secular aid program administered by a state agency violates the Free Exercise and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

Continue Reading A Level Playing Field for Religious Colleges and Universities? The Potential Impact of the Supreme Court’s Trinity Lutheran Decision

Caution - Cost Cutting AheadPresident Trump’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released: America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.  The Budget Blueprint provides an overview of the President’s budget priorities for fiscal year 2018.

With respect to education, the Budget Blueprint proposes $59 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Education (ED).  This would represent, a $9 billion (or 13%) reduction from the current funding level.

Some of more specific proposals in the President’s Budget Blueprint that would impact colleges and universities include the following:

  • Eliminating the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program;
  • Reducing the Federal Work-Study program significantly;
  • Maintaining level funding for Pell Grants;
  • Cancelling $3.9 billion in unobligated carryover funding in the Pell Grant Program; and
  • Maintaining $492 million in funding to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.

Continue Reading President Trump’s Budget Blueprint: $9 Billion Proposed Reduction to Department of Education

Pregnant Business WomanHusch Blackwell’s Hayley Hanson and Katie Jo Luningham have co-authored a NACUANOTE titled The Pregnant and Parenting Student. The article discusses the state of regulatory guidance, Department of Education investigations, and litigation related to student pregnancy and parenting issues on campus. Because institutions must be prepared to address pregnancy-related issues that implicate an array of services, this NACUANOTE provides various suggestions and approaches available to colleges and universities when working with pregnant and parenting students.

Husch Blackwell will continue to monitor developments in pregnancy-related guidance, regulations and caselaw as Department of Education leadership and student lawsuits evolve. For more information about how to handle institution-specific questions about pregnant or parenting students on your campus, please contact a member of our Higher Education group.

Legal series

On January 27, 2017, the White House handed down an Executive Order suspending entry into the United States, as well as issuance of visas, for individuals “from countries of particular concern.” The Order also directs the implementation of additional screening mechanisms for all foreign national travelers to the United States. Colleges and universities that employ foreign national workers and enroll foreign students should be cognizant of the Order and its impact on the ability of their foreign national workers and students to obtain a visa and travel to the United States. Continue Reading Executive Order on Immigration and its Impact on Colleges and Universities