General Business Operations & Finance

Approximately 70 million Americans have been involved with the criminal justice system. Education and employment are seen as necessary for transitioning those Americans back into their communities. At the same time, pressures on colleges and universities to demonstrate safety measures are leading more of them to ask about the criminal history of student and employee applicants. These realities generate tension between institutional strategies for best serving their communities. Continue Reading To Infinity and Beyond the Box: Requesting Criminal Histories on Campus

Colleges and universities purchase an impressive array of services and products.  The underlying deals are commonly negotiated by employees across campus, and the agreements are not always reviewed by a lawyer.  Although most of these agreements never create a problem, the ones that do cause major headaches.  As explained in more detail below, many of the headaches could be avoided, or at least minimized, if the contractual relationship was limited to a year or less.

Continue Reading A simple way for colleges and universities to help avoid buyer’s remorse with vendor contracts—block employees from locking your institution into long-term agreements

On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that the administration is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.   The DACA program provides protection from deportation for certain qualifying undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children.  If approved, DACA grantees are eligible for work authorization and a social security number.  Since the program’s inception, many DACA grantees have enrolled in colleges and universities and/or are working on campus.

Future of DACA

With the rescission of the Executive Order establishing the DACA program, it is up to Congress to pass legislation to continue the program or provide protection to these individuals.  Absent legislation, all DACA grantees may be deported once their DACA authorization expires.  A bipartisan group of senators has introduced the DREAM Act to provide a path to citizenship for those currently eligible for DACA.  This bill is not new to Congress—iterations of this bill have been introduced in Congress over the past 15 years without any success. Continue Reading The End of DACA: What Colleges and Universities Should Know

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