MSCHE Signs Amicus Briefs Challenging Now-Rescinded ICE Rule and Title IX Timing

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) continues to endorse efforts to protect students and support its institutions through signing various amicus briefs or letters of support.

While the proposed rule was ultimately rescinded by the Trump administration on July 14, 2020, MSCHE had quickly joined 70 other organizations in signing an amicus brief submitted on July 13, 2020, by the American Council on Education (ACE), in the federal case filed by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The brief was in support of several legal challenges to the July 6 directive issued by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that “prohibits international students from remaining in the United States if their colleges hold courses online-only this fall as the country continues dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.” MSCHE had also added its name to a letter being prepared by ACE for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf objecting to the proposed guidance.

“While we will be focused on initiatives designed to fulfill our mission and values and ultimately benefit our institutions and students, we too have a voice and responsibility in promoting social justice, standing against systemic racism, and promoting change through our own work, through our member institutions and their communities, and through the over two million students served by our institutions,” said MSCHE President Dr. Heather F. Perfetti in remarks to membership on July 13. “We will continue to leverage the work of accreditation to promote equity, access, and success in educational climates that foster respect from a range of diverse backgrounds, ideas, and perspectives.”

On June 24 and 26, 2020, MSCHE and 23 organizations again joined ACE in two amicus briefs to support a preliminary injunction against U.S. Department of Education and Secretary of Education Betsy Devos for the unreasonable implementation timeline for the Title IX regulatory overhaul.  The brief sought to provide more time to institutions to consider the new regulations and implement them, as institutions face unprecedented demands trying to determine the best approaches for their campuses and students this fall as a result of the continuing challenges relating to COVID-19.