I was informed last Friday by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) that another of my (now) 231 complaints (probably the most ever filed by an individual) alleging Title IX violations in higher education has been successfully resolved in my favor. That brings the total number of Title IX complaints to date that have been resolved in my favor to 27 and there are more than 80 ongoing OCR investigations based on my complaints that I expect to also be successfully resolved in my favor (given the clarity of Title IX above and the clear violations of that law). Successful resolutions are illegal Title IX violations involving sex-specific female-only programs that are corrected with one of three outcomes: 1) the discriminatory program is discontinued, 2) the discriminatory female-only program is offset with an equivalent male-only program, or 3) the discriminatory female-only program is converted to a program
When it comes to domestic policy, the question is which President Biden would emerge: the affable Obamaphile centrist or the AOC sock puppet? In higher education, it’s something of a difference without a distinction. Biden may have been the most centrist top-tier candidate in the 2020 Democratic field, but his higher-ed agenda is also the most expansive, expensive, and intrusive proposal ever offered by a major party nominee.
While Biden has called for doubling or tripling federal spending on K-12 and for vast new outlays for early childhood education, his most ambitious education offerings are reserved for higher ed. Biden has proposed federally funded “free college,” billions in student loan forgiveness, and gender-related policies that would remake daily life in the nation’s colleges.
Biden’s proposals pale alongside what Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren called for during the primaries but also make Obama’s approach look positively Reaganesque.
Why is Biden’s
Ben Nelson is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Minerva, a San Francisco-based university and ed-tech startup. Prior to founding Minerva, Ben spent more than 10 years at Snapfish, serving as CEO for five of those, where he helped build the company from startup to the world’s largest personal publishing service. Before Snapfish, Ben was president and CEO of Community Ventures. I recently sat down with Ben to discuss the Minerva model and the implications for higher education more broadly.
Rick: What is Minerva?
Ben: Minerva is two organizations that are unified with one mission: to nurture critical wisdom for the sake of the world. We believe that there are no more important institutions to society than universities, as they have such a strong influence on picking those individuals who will eventually make decisions of consequence—decisions that will impact the lives of others more so than their own.