Around the industry: Harvard librarians work to 'Free the Law'

Bite-sized college and higher education industry news

  • Illinois: A federal judge's ruling this week may make it easier for the government to forgive millions in student loans owned by Corinthian Colleges Inc.'s former students. The judge ordered the for-profit chain to pay $531 million to former students because it "engaged in deceptive practices" by misrepresenting job prospects. The chain cannot pay the restitution because its assets were dissolved when it filed for bankruptcy in May, but the ruling likely paves the way for the Education Department to forgive the federal student loans (Mitchell, Wall Street Journal, 10/28).
  • Massachusetts: Harvard University's Law School Library is going digital to "Free the Law." Librarians are in the process of digitizing approximately 40 million pages of judicial decisions—some dating back to colonial times. The goal is to create a searchable database of the all U.S. case law for free.  Typically, legal groups spend up to thousands of dollars every year for access to similar files (Eckholm, New York Times, 10/28).
  • Pennsylvania: The new President's Innovation Prize at the University of Pennsylvania will go to up to five graduating seniors in recognition of a commercial innovation with potential to improve the world. The prize comes with a $100,000 award and is the second of its type created by President Amy Gutmann. "If you want students to think big, you can give big awards," she says (Snyder, "Campus Inquirer," Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/28).

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