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Senators Ask Education Dept. to Release Records on Former Official


The Chronicle of Higher Education. July 17, 2014.

Two Republican U.S. senators have asked the Department of Education to release the records of a former deputy under secretary of education amid an investigation into whether the official, Robert M. Shireman, shared sensitive information with an advocacy group he founded, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Sen. Tom A. Coburn of Oklahoma wrote a letter on Wednesday to the education secretary, Arne Duncan, asking that the department release records of Mr. Shireman’s communications while he was at the department, from 2009 through July 2010. Before he worked in the government, Mr. Shireman founded the Institute for College Access and Success, known as Ticas. Federal investigators are looking into whether he shared sensitive information with Ticas while the department crafted stricter rules governing for-profit colleges.

The role of Ticas in the investigation has been the subject of a legal battle. A judge ruled one year ago that the Education Department’s inspector general could not subpoena two years’ worth of records from Ticas. Another judge reversed that decision in March.

Mr. Shireman now leads the advocacy group California Competes.