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Michigan Gov. Slams Voter Suppression Bill; In-state Tution for DREAMers at Univ. of Texas

Michigan Gov. Blocks Voter Suppression Bill. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R-Mich.) vetoed an effort by the state’s legislature to broaden an existing Voter ID law, becoming the first Republican governor to veto the sort of suppressive legislation that has been cropping up in legislatures across the nation. The vetoed bills would have extended the state’s pre-existing voter ID law to include absentee ballots, and requiring voters to affirm their citizenship before receiving the ballots. State’s voter registration groups would have also been forced to undergo training by the secretary of state or local clerks. Snyder defended his veto-decision, saying that the proposals would have confused absentee voters. [Reuters]

College Leaders Find Big Pay, But Bigger Problems in New Positions. The country’s leaders at the largest universities are finding that the headaches associated with running a college are mounting due to a changing landscape in education with the rise in tuition costs, and increased scrutiny from the government. “It’s harder now than ever before,” says Stephen Trachtenberg, who works for a higher education search firm, and is the former president at both George Washington and the University of Hartford. “You’re trying to fill as many mouths now with short rations.” A recent survey conducted by the American Council on Education found that the average college president now lasts seven years on average—down from 8-and-a-half in 2006. The same survey found that nearly one-third of all presidents came from private business and political backgrounds, and were never faculty members. Only 1 in 4 college provosts were considering seeking the presidency job if available, which some say is due to the increased pressure put upon school presidents. “There’s no question the job is getting more difficult,” says Richard Ekman, president of CIC, and former vice president at Hiram College in Kentucky. “There’s increased government regulation, there’s a need to raise money, and the college-going population is changing." [Huffington Post]

Texas College Keeping the DREAM Afloat. The University of Texas at Pan American has a rather sizeable DREAMer population of 600 students, and now offers in-state tuition thanks to the passage of the DREAM Act in Austin, the state’s capital. UT-Pan American is located only 10 miles from the Mexican border, where the undocumented minority is neither silent nor complacent. “On our campus, the feeling is very palpable because there are so many of these students,” school president Robert S. Nelsen said of the group. “When you’ve got 600 of 19,000 students are [undocumented] and are active, everybody knows. And you live and breathe the DREAM Act.” Undocumented scholars like Esther Herrera say they feel supported by the school itself, though they cannot ignore the constant taunts by outside critics who chastise the group, and do not support the state’s decision in regards to their tuition rates. “It’s not something you particularly advertise about yourself,” Herrera said. “Because while the community is relatively accepting, there are still people who aren’t, so you have that fear of being rejected.” While DREAMers can breathe a little easier thanks to President Obama's recent directive to defer the deportation of DREAM-eligible undocumented youth, some advocates worry that not enough has been done to educate those who would benefit most from the action. “There’s not enough education that happens to help spread the word,” said Victor Sanchez, president of the United States Student Association (USSA). “Not only do we have to combat the large piece that is education an entire community…It’s also now combating the misinformation that’s being put out there.” [Inside Higher Ed]

Christopher Boan is a journalism intern with Campus Progress.

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