Interesting Policy Reads: Responding to Ransomware, Accreditation and State Authorization, and Alternative Textbook Providers

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This post includes articles regarding the ability of four-year colleges and universities to adapt to emerging trends, a departure of a senior US Department of Education official, the US Department of Education's final rule on accreditation and state authorization of online education providers, and calls for the creation of a new federal agency to police online privacy.

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.

  • Not Future-Ready, Inside Higher Ed, October 22, 2019. (A survey of nearly 500 senior administrators at four-year colleges and universities shows that institutional leaders do not feel overly confident in their institutions' ability to adapt to emerging market trends.)
  • Trump Administration Official Resigns, Calls for Massive Student Debt Forgiveness, CNBC, October 24, 2019. (Wayne Johnson, a senior US Department of Education official, resigned from his post and characterized the current student loan system as "fundamentally broken.")
  • Sticking with the Same LMS, Inside Higher Ed, October 23, 2019. (A new analysis shows the pace at which colleges and universities are changing learning management systems is slowing—a trend some believe illustrates institutions' relative uncertainty about how best to adapt to online learning.)
  • Congress Still Doesn't Have an Answer for Ransomware, Wired, October 28, 2019. (Faced with limitations around just how much the federal government can do to assist state and local governments in responding to cyberattacks, lawmakers are working to chart a path forward to help smaller entities combat ransomware.)
  • New Rules on Accreditation and State Authorization, Inside Higher Ed, November 1, 2019. (A final rule on accreditation and the state authorization of online education providers will take effect in July 2020.)
  • California Lawmakers Call for New Privacy Cop, Axios, November 5, 2019. (Arguing that the Federal Trade Commission is not fully capable of policing consumer privacy, two Democratic lawmakers have proposed the creation of a Digital Privacy Agency charged with protecting online privacy.)
  • Alternative Textbook Providers on the Rise, Inside Higher Ed, November 4, 2019. (As a variety of factors hinder growth at major educational publishing companies, smaller providers are making headway into the educational materials and open educational resources market.)
  • Senators Introduce Cybersecurity Workforce Expansion Bill, The Hill, November 5, 2019. (The Harvesting American Cybersecurity Knowledge through Education Act would incentivize the recruitment of educators in the cybersecurity field to address the country's cybersecurity workforce shortage.)

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.