Dixon, Siqueira honoured by IADR

A pair of internationally renowned Western researchers were honoured recently for their work in and commitment to their discipline, the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) announced this week.

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor S. Jeffrey Dixon received the 2019 IADR Distinguished Service Award for his decades of dedicated service to the association and its mission.

A Professor of Physiology and Pharmacology and Dentistry, Dixon focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the resorption and formation of mineralized tissues in development, during orthodontic tooth movement and in inflammatory diseases such as periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Studies led by Dixon, a member of the Bone and Joint Institute, have been supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), pharmaceutical and biotech industries and the Canadian Arthritis Network of Centres of Excellence.

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry professor Walter Siqueira received the 2019 IADR Salivary Research Award for his outstanding and innovative achievements that have contributed to the basic understanding of the salivary gland structure, secretion, and function, and salivary composition and function.

Associate Dean of Graduate and Postgraduate Dental Education and Acting Chair of the Schulich Dentistry Continuing Dental Education, Siqueira has demonstrated scientific excellence which is reflected by his many publications and consistent success in obtaining funding for his work, including the Leader’s Opportunity Fund from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday issued the final repeal of regulations crafted by the Obama administration to hold low-quality career education programs accountable. 

The rule, known as gainful employment, was heavily criticized by the for-profit college sector and Republicans in Congress. In the first gainful employment ratings released in 2017, 98 percent of programs that failed the standards were operated by for-profit institutions.

The Education Department estimated that repealing the rule would cost $6.2 billion over 10 years in payments for Pell Grants and student loans for programs that otherwise would have been cut off from federal aid. 

Critics complained that gainful employment, which sought to penalize programs that produced too many graduates with unmanageable student debt, discriminated against programs based on their tax status. DeVos said dropping the rule was one of her first priorities as secretary. Since last year, though, the final repeal of the rule has been delayed by a series of bureacratic hurdles.

DeVos was required to convene a negotiated rule-making panel, including industry representatives and consumer groups, which failed to produce a new rule. After she subsequently issued a proposal to rescind gainful employment entirely, the department received tens of thousands of public comments it had to review before final repeal. A Trump administration official subsequently said the department would fail to meet a deadline to repeal the rule last November. That meant the earliest the rule could be repealed is July 2020.

The Education Department has taken few steps to enforce the rule since 2017. And consumer groups and Democrats in Congress were quick to criticize the latest step by DeVos to roll back higher-ed regulations. Rep. Bobby Scott, the chairman of the House education committee, said in a statement that repealing rather than revising the regulations “will prop up low-quality for-profit colleges at the expense of students and taxpayers.”

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