Interesting Policy Reads: Innovation and Accreditation, SCOTUS and Online Accessibility, and Privacy Legislation

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This post includes articles regarding an online accessibility case, net neutrality, centrist Democrats' endorsement of a privacy bill, and investments in academic personalization.

With our "Interesting Policy Reads" blog posts, the EDUCAUSE Policy Office highlights recent articles on federal policy issues and developments that are directly relevant to members or provide insights on higher education policy in general.

  • Accreditation and Innovation, Inside Higher Ed, October 2, 2019. (College Unbound's story of accreditation shows how nontraditional universities' innovation in the education sector can be a barrier to the accreditation process.)
  • Alexander Backs College Transparency Act, Inside Higher Ed, September 30, 2019. (Senator Lamar Alexander, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, recently signed onto a bill that would remove the federal ban on a student-level data system that would track college outcomes.)
  • Supreme Court Allows Blind People to Sue Retailers If Their Websites Are Not Accessible, Los Angeles Times, October 7, 2019. (The Supreme Court has turned down a case involving disability accessibility on the Internet, thus holding a lower court ruling that the Americans with Disabilities Act also protects disabled citizens' access to restaurant and store websites and apps.)
  • Marketing for a Massive Online University, Inside Higher Ed, October 8, 2019. (Southern New Hampshire University has grown tremendously over the past decade thanks to mass marketing, and it is looking to leverage innovation to continue growing.)
  • Why Ajit Pai's "Unhinged" Net Neutrality Repeal Was Upheld by Judges, Ars Technica, October 2, 2019. (Although judges have expressed skepticism about Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] Ajit Pai's justification for repealing net neutrality rules, the judges ruled to keep the net neutrality repeal in place on the basis of US law and Supreme Court precedent.)
  • A $50 Million Investment in Academic Innovation, Inside Higher Ed, October 9, 2019. (The University of Michigan has invested $50 million to establish a Center for Academic Innovation that will seek to upgrade the campus-based learning experience through personalization similar to its current online degree program.)
  • Centrist Democratic Lawmakers Back Pro-Business Privacy Law, Bloomberg, October 15, 2019. (Over 100 moderate Democrats in the New Democrat Coalition plan to endorse a privacy bill that would allow consumers to opt out of the collection, storing, and sharing of their data. The bill would also expand the Federal Trade Commission's authority.)
  • Washington State Keeps Enforcing Net Neutrality As It Hails FCC Court Loss, Ars Technica, October 15, 2019. (Washington State passed a net neutrality law in June 2018 that survived the FCC's repeal after a federal appeals court denied the FCC's decision to preempt all state net neutrality laws.)
  • In the Dark on Digital Learning, Inside Higher Ed, October 16, 2019. (A new survey of IT professionals reports that college leaders are often not perceived as well-informed about digital learning and digital transformation by their IT colleagues.)

For more information about policy issues impacting higher education IT, please visit the EDUCAUSE Review Policy Spotlight blog as well as the EDUCAUSE Policy page.

Kathryn Branson is an Associate with Ulman Public Policy.

© 2019 Kathryn Branson. The text of this work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License.