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Subra Suresh heads to Singapore, Harvard eyes banning frats & Pitt professor to speak before DeVos: 5 things to know today

Natasha Lindstrom
| Thursday, July 13, 2017, 11:54 a.m.
Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill  January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan.
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Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be the next Secretary of Education, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. DeVos is known for her advocacy of school choice and education voucher programs and is a long-time leader of the Republican Party in Michigan.

Happy Thursday, education watchers.

Hundreds of moms and children from around the country — including parents from the Pittsburgh region — rallied on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to demand that the Trump administration prioritize clean air and embrace renewable energy options.

Organizers told the Trib that the so-called "play-in" rally, organized by Moms Clean Air Force , is part of a four-year campaign to improve air quality that's taken on a "special urgency" following Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate pact .

Your daily dose of schools-news from around the region, state and nation begins now.

Here are five more things to know about education today:

1). SURESH HEADS TO SINGAPORE: Why did Subra Suresh abruptly step down from his post helming Carnegie Mellon University last month after a four-year tenure in Pittsburgh? We learned Thursday that he likely had his next gig lined up on another continent. Suresh has been named president of world-renowned Nanyang Technological University in Singapore , NTU Singapore officials announced.

2). PA COLLEGES HIKE TUITION PRICES: Students at the 14 state-owned universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education will face a 3.5 percent tuition increase this fall, the Trib's Debra Erdley reports . The PASSHE oversight board voted Thursday morning to raise the lowest base tuition by $254 a year, from $7,238 to $7,492, based on a recommendation made on Wednesday . The increase follows seven straight years of sagging enrollment.

3). CCAC GETS ACCREDITATION WARNING: Community College of Allegheny County officials told the Trib's Theresa Clift they were surprised by a June 22 letter from the Philadelphia-based Middle States Commission on Higher Education that warned the college's accreditation could be in jeopardy — a change that would threaten the institution's federal funding and financial aid eligibility. CCAC administrators, however, said they were confident that won't happen. They have until March 1 to submit a report responding to the oversight body's concerns.

4). DEVOS HOLDS CLOSED-PRESS SESSIONS ON TITLE IX: U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is busy hosting a series of "listening sessions" in Washington today regarding potential changes to guidances rolled out under the Obama administration regarding Title IX and sexual assault on school campuses. University of Pittsburgh law professor Deborah Brake will be among subject-matter experts appearing before DeVos this afternoon. DeVos has faced backlash for her decision to spend as much time listening to men's rights activist groups and students who say they were falsely accused of rape as she is with sexual assault victims and victims' advocacy groups.

Brake noted that "Obama didn't break the mold" with the Office of Civil Rights guidance documents in question, which she said actually provide more protections for accused students than had been around previously.

"Nobody is in favor of railroading accused students, and that's not what the OCR guidelines do," Brake told me this morning. "It's wrong to see it as a zero-sum game between protecting survivors of sexual assault and wrongly accused students."

Check TribLIVE.com later for updates.

5). HARVARD EYES BANNING FRATS: A faculty committee has presented a proposal to Harvard University President Drew Faust calling for banning all fraternities, sororities and single-gender clubs — a recommendation "aimed at the school's exclusive, all-male social clubs that have been blamed for problems with sexual assault and alcohol abuse," the Associated Press reports . A previous committee had concluded that certain all-male clubs in particular — including the likes of the Porcellian Club, which dates to the 18th century — have "deeply misogynistic attitudes" and a "sense of sexual entitlement."

Questions? Story ideas? Send them to: schooltips@tribweb.com

Don't forget to follow the TribLIVE Education Team on Twitter:

• Emily Balser @emilybalser (Valley News Dispatch newsroom)

• Debra Erdley @deberdley_trib (Greensburg newsroom)

• Natasha Lindstrom @NewsNatasha (Pittsburgh newsroom)

• Jamie Martines @Jamie_Martines (Greensburg newsroom)

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