New Cases and Developments

NACUA's Legal Resources staff summarizes current higher education cases and developments and provides the full text of selected cases to members. New cases and developments are archived here for up to 12 months.  Cases provided by Fastcase, Inc.

Selected Topics: Technology
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Constitutional Issues; Research; Technology; First Amendment & Free Speech; Faculty & Staff

Comments from Higher Education Organizations to the Federal Communications Commission on Net Neutrality (July 17, 2017)

Comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from nine higher education associations regarding the proposed reversal of net neutrality rules. The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Restoring Internet Freedom on May 18, 2017. The associations assert that preserving an open Internet is essential for higher education institutions and libraries, whose missions rely heavily on research, education, and the free flow of information.  They are concerned that public broadband Internet access providers will have a financial incentive and the opportunity to block, degrade or prioritize the Internet transmission of some at the expense of others “unless the Commission maintains strong, enforceable network neutrality rules.”

Cybersecurity; Technology; Campus Police, Safety & Crisis Management; Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity: FBI Public Service Announcement on Fraud Schemes Targeting Universities (May 5, 2017)

Public Service Announcement issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warning of a fraud schemes targeting universities and their students. The Announcement identifies and summarizes the different schemes that scammers have used since July 2016—including a vendor bank account update scam, the fake “education tax” scam, a phishing scheme requesting W-2 tax information, and a phishing scheme involving payroll fraud—and offers tips on how universities and students can protect themselves.

Online Learning; Higher Education Opportunity Act; State Authorization; Authorizations & Regulations; Technology

Final Rule on State Authorization for Distance Education (Dec. 16, 2016)

Final Rule issued by the U.S. Department of Education regarding state authorization rules under the Higher Education Act. The Rule amends the eligibility requirements that institutions must meet in order to participate in Title IV student aid programs when they offer distance education or correspondence courses. Specifically, the Rule requires institutions to be authorized by each state in which the institution enrolls students, if authorization is required by the state. A press release was issued by the Department announcing the Rule. The Final Rule will go into effect on July 1, 2018.

HIPAA; Cybersecurity; Faculty & Staff; Technology

Health and Human Services Resolution Agreement and Corrective Action Plan for the University of Massachusetts Amherst on HIPAA (Nov. 16, 2016)

Resolution Agreement and Corrective Action Plan between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) regarding a potential breach of unsecured electronic protected health information. After a workstation at the institution was infected by malware, which may have resulted in a violation of the privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), HHS investigated the institution and discovered several HIPAA compliance issues involving the designation of its Center for Language, Speech, and Hearing as a covered health care component. In addition to the payment of a monetary settlement, UMass has agreed to a Corrective Action Plan requiring it to conduct an enterprise-wide risk analysis; to develop and carry out a risk management plan; and to revise the Center’s policies and procedures governing the privacy of health information.