Welcome to REGucation, the higher education blog that strives, through practical advice and insight, to help the higher education community manage a fast-changing and increasingly complex regulatory environment.
With this initial installment, we’ve included for your consideration the following three posts, each examining a different regulatory challenge faced by postsecondary administrators:
- Offering referral programs in the shadow of the federal incentive compensation prohibition;
- Gathering Clery Act statistics in light of changes made by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013; and
- Managing first contact with the U.S. Department of Education regarding a program review.
My name is Aaron D. Lacey and I’m a partner in the Higher Education practice at Thompson Coburn LLP, as well as the editorial director of REGucation. Through our practice, we advise clients concerning the wide range of federal, state, and accrediting agency laws and standards that govern institutions of higher education, including the federal financial aid programs. We also represent institutions in administrative proceedings before state agencies, accreditors, and the U.S. Department of Education, and guide clients through postsecondary transactions, contract negotiation, policy creation, and compliance systems design.
We determined early on when contemplating the nature and scope of REGucation that we wanted to create a practical, concise, and accessible resource for institutions confronting regulatory and policy issues. We may occasionally offer updates or notifications regarding recent developments, but our primary goal is to create a well-organized, online library of sorts for the higher education set — a readily accessible, quick-reference guide for regulatory and policy concerns.
Ultimately, we expect the topics covered will be fairly wide-ranging. Contemporary postsecondary institutions contend with an extraordinarily broad and sophisticated set of legal challenges involving real estate, construction, joint ventures, litigation, intellectual property, immigration, taxation, financing, employees and benefits, and government relations, to name a few. And this is without reference to the staggering collection of federal, state, and accrediting agency laws and standards specific to higher education.
Early on, however, we expect to focus on demystifying the burgeoning universe of disclosure, reporting, and training requirements that have come into existence in recent years and typically are associated with participation in the federal student aid programs. Among others, we intend to explore topics such as the Clery Act, Title IX, Drug and Alcohol Prevention Information, Student-Right-to-Know, FERPA, and Gainful Employment. In each instance, we aim to go beyond simply reciting legal requirements and to provide practical insight and advice that institutions can put to use.
We hope that you’ll follow the site and provide us feedback as to what may or may not be working. If there are topics you would like us to cover, or questions you may have regarding a topic that already has been addressed, please do not hesitate to reach out. And if you would like to contribute a guest article, we would love to hear from you.
Finally, as stated in our disclaimers, please keep in mind that our posts should not be considered legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you have specific questions about the issues we discuss here.
Aaron Lacey is a partner in Thompson Coburn’s Higher Education practice, and editorial director of REGucation. You can find Aaron on Twitter (@HigherEdCounsel) and LinkedIn, and reach him at (314) 552-6405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.