Around the industry: Virginia explores new way to investigate campus sexual assault

Bite-sized college and higher education industry news

  • Illinois: The University of Illinois board of trustees has approved a tuition freeze for new in-state undergraduates, meaning that for the second consecutive year, base tuition rates will not change at the university's three campuses. The announcement comes in the midst of a statewide budget stalemate that is now in its seventh month. Since the fiscal year began in July, no Illinois public university or college has received state funding for operations. The state currently owes the University of Illinois $640 million, in addition to $31 million for student financial aid (Gurciullo/Cohen, Chicago Tribune, 1/21).
  • Virginia: The state is considering a pilot program that would create a regional center to investigate cases of campus sexual violence. In December, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) proposed a $240 million higher education plan that included $100,000 for a study to design a pilot program. The center would take a multidisciplinary approach modeled after child advocacy centers; investigators trained in trauma would work with colleges and law enforcement officials on campus sexual assault cases. Meanwhile, the study will look into costs and staffing needs, as well as establish a sample memorandum of understanding among institutions, law enforcement, and the state's attorney's offices (New, Inside Higher Ed, 1/25).
  • Wisconsin: State Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) issued a press release criticizing University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross for meeting last week with student activists advocating for better conditions for minority students on campus. Nass said Cross was "wasting time appeasing the political correctness crowd." Meanwhile, Lamonté Moore, the United Council of University of Wisconsin Students shared governance chair and a University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac student, said Nass' statements mischaracterized the goals of the United Council and that the group's actions will help all students become more culturally aware (Savidge, Wisconsin State Journal, 1/23).

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