In Washington, the White House will host a second summit on college access. The Department of Education announced the final rules for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). APLU joined several other higher education associations in sending a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on natural products guidance.
APLU also endorsed a STEM education dear colleague letter. APLU members are also invited to attend the annual Higher Education Government Relations Conference (HERGC) December 3-5 in New Orleans.
In January, the White House hosted more than 100 college and university presidents and other higher education leaders at the White House Day of Action on College Opportunity. At that event, the broad topic was serving low-income and first generation students who might not be able to attend and graduate from college without additional financial and/or academic assistance. Higher education leaders committed to contribute to solutions in a range of ways. The White House is now seeking participation of higher education institutions in a second summit on December 4 in Washington, D.C. that will again explore college opportunity.
This summit will focus on four new areas (indicated below), again intended to encourage colleges and universities to make commitments. APLU sees these summits as contributing to the big goal of 60 percent of the U.S. working age population having a degree or certificate by 2025. Reaching this big goal will require the education of a very large number of low-income and minority students. Dramatically increasing the number of graduates has been a priority of the administration from its beginning. Nearly 500 members of APLU and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) have collectively committed to making their contribution to the 60 percent goal through the Project Degree Completion initiative.
APLU will keep you posted on plans for the summit as more information becomes available. The White House’s blog also contains some additional information and links to commitment forms, which have a deadline of October 31.
The Department of Education announced the final rules on changes made to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (also referred to as “Clery”), which were required under the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) passed last year. The VAWA reauthorization and corresponding rules add new requirements of Clery reporting including incidents of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Additionally, the new rules require institutions to describe prevention and awareness programs in annual security reports and also include new requirements related to disciplinary proceedings.
APLU joined the Association of American Universities (AAU), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), and the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) in sending a letter to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in anticipation of the upcoming final guidance on natural products. The letter expresses concern about the effect this guidance will have on universities’ ability to secure patent protection.
The USPTO published a memorandum in March 2014 on the procedure for subject matter eligibility of claims reciting or involving laws of nature, natural phenomena, and natural products. APLU previously joined with AAU, AUTM, and COGR to express concern with the March 2014 guidance. It is our understanding that the USPTO will revise and include elements of the March Guidance in the final Guidance. Because it appears the final guidance may include substantial changes, the letter urges the USPTO to provide an additional opportunity for public comment prior to implementation.
Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Representative Larry Bucshon (R-IN) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to express support for continued development of the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles and Engineering courses and also encourage the development of an AP Engineering Course. At the top of the letter is a list of endorsing organizations, including APLU.
University state government relations professionals are invited to attend the annual Higher Education Government Relations Conference (HERGC) sponsored by APLU, along with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the American Association of Community Colleges, and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. The HERGC focuses on state government relations and will cover issues such as higher education policy, advocacy, partnerships and public engagement. The conference will be held December 3-5 in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more information, or to register online, please click here.