President Bush last week nominated Leonard L. Haynes III, a state education official in Louisiana, to be the Education Department's assistant secretary for postsecondary education.
Mr. Haynes is currently assistant superintendent of academic programs in the Louisiana state department of education. He served from 1982 to 1985 as executive vice president for academic affairs for the Southern University System in Baton Rouge, and taught history there from 1982 through 1988.
From 1979 to 1982, Mr. Haynes directed the Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges, an arm of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. From 1976 to 1979, he directed a Ford Foundation desegregation policy division that provided technical assistance to colleges and universities.
Graduation rates for football and basketball players at major colleges are significantly lower than those for the student body as a whole, a study by the General Accounting Office has confirmed.
The graduation rate for football players was less than 40 percent at about half of the 104 colleges and universities in Division 1-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the report shows. At 14 of those schools, the graduation rate for football players was 20 percent or less.
At 69 of the 97 Division 1-A schools that also have basketball programs, the graduation rate was 40 percent or less; it was 20 percent or less at 35 of those schools.
Individual schools were not identified in the data, which were gathered for a hearing last week by the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee on the proposed "student athlete right to know act."
The bill would require colleges to report the number of scholarship athletes who earn a degree within five years of entering school.
The bill's chief sponsor, Senator Bill Bradley, a New Jersey Democrat and a former professional basketball player, told the Senate committee that it is a "consumer information" bill.
"Each year, while the ncaa is talking, many student athletes graduate from high school and make decisions about which institution to attend with little or no information on the likelihood of their completing a college degree at their chosen institution," Mr. Bradley said.
The ncaa opposes a federal law, arguing that it plans to consider at its convention in January a requirement that member schools make public graduation data.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and the committee's chairman, wants to proceed with action on the bill, according to aides. In the House, where an identical bill has been introduced, Representative Pat Williams, the Montana Democrat who serves as chairman of the subcommittee on postsecondary education, has said he will wait until after the ncaa convention to allow action on the bill.
The Senate has approved funds to plan a White House conference on Indian education.
The $500,000 allocation, which was approved on Aug. 4, was contained in the fiscal 1990 appropriations bill for the Treasury Department and Postal Service.
Although the House version of the bill does not include funds for the meeting, Jo Jo Hunt, executive director of the National Advisory Council on Indian Education, said, "We're hopeful that the House will have no problem with that amount and that it will survive [a] conference [committee]."
If both houses agree, Ms. Hunt said, "I would expect that 1990 would be the planning year for the conference and 1991 would be the target year."
Federal law requires the President to hold the meeting no later than Sept. 30, 1991.
The Education Department has awarded contracts to five companies to process student-aid applications, beginning in 1990-91.
The companies are the College Board's College Scholarship Service, the American College Testing Program, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, United Student Aid Funds Inc., and csx Technology Inc.
The companies will split $60 million for the three-year contract, based on how many applications they process.
Eight companies bid for the contract, officials said. The department's inspector general criticized the agency last year for awarding a previous contract to all bidders without a competitive evaluation.