naLHE7005-8 Exploring Legal Issues in Higher Education
(3 credits)
Syllabus Effective Date: 11/30/2010

Course Description:
In this course, students will develop a fundamental understanding of the importance of legal issues in higher education and their impact on individual rights and responsibilities as well as those of institutions of higher education.

Number Of Activities: 8

Learning Outcomes:
1.  Differentiate between public and private institutions.
2.  Analyze the jurisdiction of the courts and the implications of judicial opinions for postsecondary administrators.
3.  Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.
4.  Evaluate judicial decisions, their origin in legislative acts, and their effect on the administration of colleges and universities.
5.  Explain basic parameters of the legal liability of postsecondary administrators.
6.  Analyze higher education legal issues through research in peer-reviewed academic journal publications.

Course Concepts:
1. Legal system and the courts
2. Legal distinctions between public and private institutions
3. Academic freedom
4. Discipline of students for academic and behavioral misconduct
5. Liability for student behavior and well-being
6. Sexual harassment
7. Antidiscrimination statutes
8. Roles of college and university lawyers

Primary Resources:
These resources are required to complete the course.

Please make sure that you purchase the primary textbook(s) that match the syllabus you are issued. Please let your assigned Mentor know through the Northcentral University messaging system what text(s) you have purchased. Northcentral cannot be responsible for Learner purchase of books that do not match assigned syllabi.

E-book
Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A.   (2007).  The law of higher education  San Francisco, CA:   Jossey-Bass.   ISBN: 9780787970956  

You may purchase books at www.ncubooks.com.


Supplemental References & Readings:
These resources are not required, but may provide assistance in completing your work for this course. Please copy and paste any web links listed below into your browser to view the websites.
Basics of APA Style Tutorial
http://flash1r.apa.org/apastyle/basics/index.htm

Websites
Cornell University Law School
http://www.law.cornell.edu/
Legal information through a law school website; the site is designed especially for law students

Federal Judicial Center
http://www.fjc.gov
An education and research agency of the Federal judiciary

FindLaw
http://www.Findlaw.com
Numerous links to diverse sites for the law professional or other professionals; this is the main page

HG.org
http://www.hg.org/
Hieros, Gamos, legal information including news, and resources in over 50 languages

LawGuru
http://www.lawguru.com
Homepage for Law Guru

The Virtual Chase
http://www.virtualchase.com/topics/legal_research_index.shtml
A legal research guide; an annotated finding aid for legal professionals

WashLaw
http://www.washlaw.edu
Guide to legal research on the Internet
General Information:

Credit Hours:

With the faculty mentored approach at Northcentral University, credit hours are amassed in a course through student-to-faculty interaction, contact with course-specific content, assignments, and other asynchronous activities. At Northcentral, students can expect to devote between 135-144 hours for each 3-credit course.

Course Participation:

Federal Financial Aid regulations, which Northcentral observes for all students, require that students regularly participate in courses in which they are enrolled. All students must log into the course room at least once per week in order to avoid being noted as a non-participant. Students must use the Northcentral messaging system on the course web site to contact faculty. Should you be unable to participate in your course, you must contact your Academic Advisor who can advise you on the consequences of withdrawing from your course.

Preliminaries/Pre-Course Survey:

Students should review the Student web site and Course Catalog, which contains all relevant policies and procedures. Students should also complete the Pre-Course Survey. The survey goes directly to the faculty and gives the faculty information about new students entering the course.

Assignment Submissions:

The assignment header should include the student's last name, first initial, course code, dash, and assignment number (DoeJXXX0000-1) justified to the left and the page number justified to the right. Faculty may request students to submit an assignment cover sheet, located under University Documents on the student site. Assignments that do not include cover sheets should have an APA style title page.

The file submittal format consists of the student's last name, first initial, course code, dash, and assignment number (no spaces between characters): DoeJXXX0000-1. Files may be submitted in Word or in the program with which the file was created. Faculty may request resubmission of an assignment using a different file format or program if they cannot access a submitted assignment. In the event that the student is unable to submit the assignment to the professor on the date due through any of the above referenced methods because of computer problems, the student is required to email the assignment to the faculty on or before the assignment due date. In such cases, the student should also communicate with the professor to inform of the assignment transmission.

Northcentral University has adopted the 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual as the style guide for all coursework. Students are expected to follow the APA manual when completing assignments, unless instructed otherwise.  Although the APA manual does not apply to syllabi, NCU attempts to adhere to the manual in its syllabi within technical limitations.

 

Faculty have the discretion to allow and request resubmission of any assignment, with these stipulations: Comprehensive Exam courses are excluded; graded assignments with objectively correct answers (e.g., statistics assignments) may not be resubmitted; the bulk loading policy may not be violated; the policy that assignments may not be submitted after a course end date may not be violated. Students may decline to resubmit assignments. Faculty cannot request resubmissions in cases of suspected academic integrity violations.

Schedule for Course Completion:

Students may submit assignments early, but the required due date must be met. Faculty will not accept bulk assignments except as explained below under “Submittal Turn-Around Schedule”. Submitting assignments in the order assigned and reviewing faculty feedback before completing the next assignment   ensures progression according to academic standards and follows the design of the course.

Submittal Turn-Around Schedule:

Faculty have 4 days from the assignment due date to grade and return assignments. If an assignment is submitted early, the faculty may return it prior to the required return date, but they have until 4 days from the assignment due date to return feedback. If an assignment is submitted late, faculty have 4 days from the date of submission to grade and return the assignment. If, for whatever reason, the faculty does not return the assignment within 4 days, the student can submit their next assignment to maintain his/or her assignment due date requirement. Other than these circumstances, students are not allowed to bulk upload assignments. Some courses may have exceptions. Please carefully read all course syllabi. 

 

Note: Turn-around time for courses in the dissertation sequence, excluding CMP courses, range up to 21 calendar days.

Activity Submission Schedule:

The Academic Week at Northcentral University begins on Monday and ends the following Sunday night at 11:59:59 pm Arizona time. The activity due dates for 8 week courses are mandatory.

Northcentral University has designed programs and courses around best practices in adult and online learning theory. Students will gain maximum benefit from courses when they are participating fully in each week's activities and assignments according to the course schedule; a total of 8 activities will be completed during an 8 week course with each activity due weekly, no later than Sunday at 11:59:59 pm. The University's late policy supports effective time management skills for maximum classroom success.

Course Assignments:

One activity is due each week, no later than Sunday at 11:59:59 pm AZ time. For instance, in week 1, Activity #1 must be completed during that week and must be submitted no later on Sunday evening at 11:59:59 pm AZ time. Each week follows this schedule. Assignments submitted after the original deadline will be considered late, and graded according to the faculty's discretion. Papers submitted 7 or more days beyond the original due date will not be accepted. For example, if an assignment is due on Sunday at or before 11:59:59 pm AZ time, that same assignment will not be accepted if received any time on the following Sunday. No assignments will be accepted after the last day of class.

Academic Integrity:

Academic integrity includes the commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Appropriate credit of others for the scientific work and ideas applies to all forms of scholarship, not just publications. The submission of another person’s work represented as that of the student’s without properly citing the source of the work will be considered plagiarism and will result in an unsatisfactory grade for the work submitted or for the entire course, and may result in academic dismissal. Assignments will be submitted by the faculty member to TurnItIn.com for originality evaluation.

 

Self-plagiarism is the act of presenting one’s previously used work as an original work. Self-plagiarism is inconsistent with honesty and truthfulness in scholarship. Northcentral University faculty and students should discuss the expectations of each activity at the beginning of the class. There should be a clear understanding between the faculty member and student regarding the use of prior work in the class. The faculty member must indicate if the student’s response must be an original work or if the student may use prior work in their response to a new activity. For further information on self-plagiarism, review this guide noted in the NCU Writing Center on the subject.

 

Course Learning Assessment/Course Grade:

Students are expected to complete all performance requirements for the course and to demonstrate mastery of the course concepts and course learning outcomes. This may require students to use library resources and to document research with citations, bibliographies, and references as applicable in completing their coursework. Mastery of course concepts may require demonstration of critical thinking and communication skills by a combination of term papers, self-assessments, quantitative reasoning, interviews, observations, written assignments, or other activities.

Mastery of course concepts as demonstrated by successfully completing the performance requirements will determine the grade for this course. Students must follow directions and assignment requirements in the syllabus.

Grading Scale:

The following chart shows the percentages of points awarded to the letter grade for Undergraduate and Graduate grades.

Undergraduate Scoring

 

Graduate Scoring

 

Numerical Points

Letter Grade

Numerical Points

Letter Grade

100-94

A

100-94

A

93-90

A-

93-90

A-

89-87

B+

89-87

B+

86-83

B

86-83

B

82-80

B-

82-80

B-

79-77

C+

79-77

C+

76-73

C

76-73

C

72-70

C-

72-0

F

69-67

D+

 

 

66-63

D

 

 

62-0

F

 

 

Northcentral Grading Rubric:

The grading of each assignment is based on the percentages in the Northcentral Grading Rubric: 70% content and 30% presentation. The percentage is calculated by dividing the actual points earned by the total number of points possible for an activity, with the resulting percentage determining the letter grade for the activity or course. View the Northcentral Grading Rubric. 

Exceptions to the Rubric:

Certain courses/activities do not warrant a written product. Examples include math courses involving solving equations or courses that contain multiple choice exams. In these cases, the writing portion of the rubric does not apply. Scoring for these courses will be based on how many items were answered correctly out of the total number of items possible.

Course Overview

Section 1: Introduction
Activity 1:   Week 1: The Basis of Higher Education Law—How it Developed and How it is Enforced   (10 Points)
Section 2: Students’ Relationships with Colleges and Universities, Institutional Relationships, State Action and Substantive Due Process
Activity 2:   Week 2: Separation of Church and State OR State Action   (10 Points)
Section 3: Concept of Procedural Due Process, Application of Due Process, Student Conduct, and Academic Integrity
Activity 3:   Week 3: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 OR Affirmative Action in Admissions    (10 Points)
Section 4: Housing and Alcohol Issues, Concept of Free Speech, Student Protest, and Student Press
Activity 4:   Week 4: Student Rights OR Student Rights in Academic Dismissal   (10 Points)
Section 5: Recognition and Regulation of Student Organizations, and Liability
Activity 5:   Week 5: Viability of Student Organizations OR Institutional Liability    (10 Points)
Section 6: The Employment Rights of Faculty
Activity 6:   Week 6: Faculty Rights and Collective Bargaining    (10 Points)
Section 7: Academic Freedom and the Faculty
Activity 7:   Week 7: The Legal Basis of Academic Freedom    (10 Points)
Section 8: Course Project
Activity 8:   Week 8: Signature Assignment - The Case of Hartley University    (30 Points)
Section 1: Introduction

The set of institutions presented in the reading material contain a curious mix of institutions with varying degrees of public funding. Higher education institutions are unlike any other organization. Colleges and universities are responsible for overseeing the life of students during a time when they are just entering adulthood. They are also typically governed under centuries old traditions.

In this Section, we will begin to define higher education law as distinct from that which is right or proper within the context of the college or university. We will talk about how laws and regulations develop, how disputes are adjudicated, and how this affects the management and governance of higher education.

Required Reading:
Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2007): Pages 1-108.

Activity 1:   Week 1: The Basis of Higher Education Law—How it Developed and How it is Enforced   (10 Points)
4 Gender Equity in Campus Athletics

Consider the question of gender equity in campus athletics. Develop a 5-7 page paper that discusses the background of the law, the issues addressed, how it came to find its way into law, and how it has been interpreted in regulations developed by the Department of Education and the various states.

Length: 5-7 pages (app. 350 words per page). Cite appropriate regulations and cases and at least 5 scholarly articles in your presentation.

Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

Learning Outcomes: 3, 4, 5
  • Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Evaluate judicial decisions, their origin in legislative acts, and their effect on the administration of colleges and universities.
  • Explain basic parameters of the legal liability of postsecondary administrators.

  • Section 2: Students’ Relationships with Colleges and Universities, Institutional Relationships, State Action and Substantive Due Process

    The laws presence on campus and its impact on the daily affairs of postsecondary institutions is pervasive and inescapable. Litigation and government regulations expose colleges and universities to:

    Court cases in the Required Readings can be found by searching the websites listed in Supplemental Resources.

    Required Reading:
    Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2007): Pages 1-79, 278-289, 363-383

    Constitution of the USA - especially 1st, 4th, 14th Amendments: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html or http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html

    Activity 2:   Week 2: Separation of Church and State OR State Action   (10 Points)
    4 Separation of Church and State or State Action

    Prepare a 5-7 page paper on the topic of Separation of Church and State OR State Action. If helpful, you may use the following questions to shape your perspective.

    1. What limitations are there on the exercise of religion in institutions that accept government funds?
    2. To what extent may government be involved with higher education institutions affiliated with religious organizations?
    3. What does the First Amendment "free exercise clause" mandate?
    4. What does the First Amendment "establishment clause" mandate?
    5. How can these two clauses be reconciled?
    6. What differences between private and church-related institutions are mandated in state-private sector relations?
    7. When does a private institution become public? 
    8. When does the Fourteenth Amendment it apply to private institutions?
    9. What happens when the relationship involves the federal government or is there "federal action"?
    Length: 5-7 pages (app. 350 words per page). Cite appropriate regulations and cases and at least 5 scholarly articles in your presentation.

    Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

    Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3
  • Differentiate between public and private institutions.
  • Analyze the jurisdiction of the courts and the implications of judicial opinions for postsecondary administrators.
  • Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.

  • Section 3: Concept of Procedural Due Process, Application of Due Process, Student Conduct, and Academic Integrity

    First Amendment Rights for Employees

    Whether they are employed by public or private institutions of higher education, faculty members as citizens are protected by the First Amendment from governmental censorship and other governmental actions that infringe their freedoms of speech, press, and association.

    Court cases in the text can be found by searching the websites listed in Supplemental Resources.

    Required Reading:
    Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2007): Pages 407-421, 458-470

    Constitution of USA - especially 1st, 4th, 14th Amendments: http://www.usconstitution.net/const.htmlor http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.htm

    Activity 3:   Week 3: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 OR Affirmative Action in Admissions    (10 Points)
    4 Equity in the Admissions Process

    Develop a 5-7 page paper on Equity in the admission process as laid out in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 OR affirmative action programs. If helpful, you may use the following questions to shape your perspective.

    1. What criteria should be used in the admission process?
    2. What is the difference between the meaning of equity or that of equality?
    3. What are the goals to be achieved in disestablishing the Dual System of Higher Education?
    4. Are historically black institutions unconstitutional?
    5. What conclusions can be drawn about federal policy on compliance with title VI after reading the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
    6. Must the admission process be free of any constitutionally prohibited criteria, "color blind"
    7. What are the constitutionally prohibited criteria?
    8. Can advantage be given to a select group based on past disadvantages?
    9. Can race, ethnic origin, or gender be considered as a criteria for admissions?
    10. Can targets or quotas be used to achieve equality and how do the two differ?
    Length: 5-7 pages (app. 350 words per page). Cite appropriate regulations and cases and at least 5 scholarly articles in your presentation.

    Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

    Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Differentiate between public and private institutions.
  • Analyze the jurisdiction of the courts and the implications of judicial opinions for postsecondary administrators.
  • Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Evaluate judicial decisions, their origin in legislative acts, and their effect on the administration of colleges and universities.

  • Section 4: Housing and Alcohol Issues, Concept of Free Speech, Student Protest, and Student Press

    Applicable Laws in Lifestyle Choices

    Postsecondary institutions with residential campuses usually have policies specifying which students may, and which students must live in campus housing. Such regulations sometimes apply only to certain groups of students using classifications based on the student’s class standing, age, sex, class, or marital status.

    Select and read a few of the court cases cited on pages 407-421 or 458-470 in the text. (Court cases cited in the text can be found by searching the websites listed in Supplemental Resources.)

    Required Reading:
    Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2007): Pages 407-421, 458-470

    Activity 4:   Week 4: Student Rights OR Student Rights in Academic Dismissal   (10 Points)
    4 Student Rights

    Prepare a 5-7 page paper on the topic of student rights OR student rights in academic dismissal. If helpful, you may use answers to the following questions to shape your perspective. 

      1. What student rights must be protected? 
      2. What process is required in academic dismissal?
      3. Should some questions be viewed as non-justifiable as they involve educational policy?
      4. How has the Bill of Rights been applied to public higher education?
      5. What are Students' Rights in:

        a. Discipline
        b. Freedom of Speech
        c. Freedom of the Press
        d. Privacy (search and seizure) 
      6. What issues relating to students’ rights are involved in emerging areas like:
        a. Freedom of speech, religion and student fee
        b. Voting rights
        c. Organization recognition. Hate speech codes
        d. Gay rights
        e. Sexual harassment
        f. Commercial speech
      7. What are the implications of FERPA as they relate to the handling of student records?
      8. Are academic issues non-justiciable?
      9. What institutional rights are involved?

    Length: 5-7 pages (app. 350 words per page). Cite appropriate regulations and cases and at least 5 scholarly articles in your presentation.

    Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

    Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Differentiate between public and private institutions.
  • Analyze the jurisdiction of the courts and the implications of judicial opinions for postsecondary administrators.
  • Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Evaluate judicial decisions, their origin in legislative acts, and their effect on the administration of colleges and universities.

  • Section 5: Recognition and Regulation of Student Organizations, and Liability

    Student organizations provide college students with the opportunity to learn leadership skills as they supplement their normal education with extracurricular academic programming. At the same time, they allow students relief from the grind while affording them the opportunity to explore nonacademic interests. As a result, there are good reasons for institutions to support and students to join student organizations. Students also have a legal right to organize and join campus groups of their choosing though institutions are afforded some opportunities to oversee student conduct within those the college sanctions and/or funds. Colleges also have some liability of student organizations that go beyond the bounds of reasonable conduct. While rights and responsibilities of public and private universities differ, as do the rights of their students, both have an interest in ensuring that these organizations are healthy and that their activities are safe and appropriate.

    Required Reading:
    Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2007): Pages 513-590.

    Activity 5:   Week 5: Viability of Student Organizations OR Institutional Liability    (10 Points)
    4 Viability of Student Organizations

    Prepare a 3-4 page paper on the topic of the viability of student organizations OR institutional liability. If helpful, you may use the following questions to shape your perspective.

    1. That criteria are valid for universities in reviewing the actions of fraternities and sororities.
    2. Can the university require codes of conduct for student organizations?
    3. What rights and nondiscrimination principles must a university protect in regards to student organizations?
    4. What liability does an institution incur for athletic injuries?
    5. What liability does an institution incur for wrongdoing by student organizations?
    Length: 3-4 pages (app. 350 words per page). Cite appropriate regulations and cases and at least 5 scholarly articles in your presentation.

    Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

    Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Differentiate between public and private institutions.
  • Analyze the jurisdiction of the courts and the implications of judicial opinions for postsecondary administrators.
  • Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Evaluate judicial decisions, their origin in legislative acts, and their effect on the administration of colleges and universities.

  • Section 6: The Employment Rights of Faculty

    Tenure and Other Conditions of Employment

    Much discussion has taken place in recent years on the value and importance of employment contract terms, tenure, and collective bargaining within higher education. Faculty argue that these are critical to preserving their rights along with the sense of collegiality and the quality of discourse on campus. Critics say that tenure simply impedes the capacity of these institutions to change. Much of this discussion centers around tradition and institutional values as it does to law. The legal system has increasingly been asked to address these issues.

    Court cases in the text can be found by searching the websites listed in Supplemental Resources.

    Required Reading:
    Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2007): Pages 185-235

    Activity 6:   Week 6: Faculty Rights and Collective Bargaining    (10 Points)
    4 Faculty Rights

    Prepare a 5-7 page paper on the topic of faculty employment rights in general with a discussion of collective bargaining as it applies to higher education. If helpful, you may use the following questions to shape your perspective.

    1. What is tenure?
    2. What institutional rights must be preserved?
    3. When may financial exigencies be applied in the removal of faculty?
    4. Equal pay/comparable worth
    5. Termination of tenured faculty for cause
    6. Due process in financial exigencies
    7. Part-time faculty rights
    8. Sexual harassment
    9. Are faculty employers or employees?
    10. What procedures are mandated in the collective bargaining process?
    Length: 5-7 pages (app. 350 words per page). Cite appropriate regulations and cases and at least 5 scholarly articles in your presentation.

    Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

    Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Differentiate between public and private institutions.
  • Analyze the jurisdiction of the courts and the implications of judicial opinions for postsecondary administrators.
  • Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Evaluate judicial decisions, their origin in legislative acts, and their effect on the administration of colleges and universities.
  • Explain basic parameters of the legal liability of postsecondary administrators.
  • Analyze higher education legal issues through research in peer-reviewed academic journal publications.

  • Section 7: Academic Freedom and the Faculty

    Some of the most common discussions that take place on college campuses relate directly to academic or intellectual freedom. Many have viewed the idea that a university is a community of scholars who bring their own views to their teaching and scholarship and that the scholarship or courseware produced belongs to that individual. However, as institutions invest more heavily in research and in the delivery of courseware, this view is being challenged.

    Court cases in the text can be found by searching the websites listed in Supplemental Resources.

    Required Reading:
    Kaplin, W. A. & Lee, B. A. (2007): Pages 239-290

    Activity 7:   Week 7: The Legal Basis of Academic Freedom    (10 Points)
    4 The Legal Basis of Academic Freedom

    Prepare a 5-7 page paper on the topic of academic and/or intellectual freedom. If helpful, you may use the following questions to shape your perspective.

    1. What is the difference between academic and intellectual freedom?
    2. How do these concepts apply to the classroom?
    3. How do they apply to courseware to be offered at distance?
    4. What are the limits to the instructors prerogatives in teaching?
    5. How do these concepts apply to research and its products?
    6. What rights do institutions have regarding products developed with institutional funding?
    7. What rights do institutions have to control the work of faculty serving as experts while employed by the university?
    Length: 5-7 pages (app. 350 words per page). Cite appropriate regulations and cases and at least 5 scholarly articles in your presentation.

    Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

    Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Analyze the jurisdiction of the courts and the implications of judicial opinions for postsecondary administrators.
  • Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Evaluate judicial decisions, their origin in legislative acts, and their effect on the administration of colleges and universities.
  • Explain basic parameters of the legal liability of postsecondary administrators.
  • Analyze higher education legal issues through research in peer-reviewed academic journal publications.

  • Section 8: Course Project

    Culminating Application of Knowledge

    A valuable skill in an educational setting is the ability to critically analyze and problem solve a situation. You have been introduced to many relevant topics in this general overview of school law. For a culminating assignment, you will explore a topic in depth through a case study presentation. This requires continued research in the NCU Library to broaden your knowledge so that you may analyze the topic in detail and offer justifiable solutions to the situation.

    Required Reading:
    Review all course readings and search out additional resources in the NCU Library as necessary.

    Activity 8:   Week 8: Signature Assignment - The Case of Hartley University    (30 Points)
    4 The Case of Hartley University

    The Case Study is a response that should be presented within 10 to 15 pages. The paper is relatively open with respect to organization and approach.

    Read the following Hypothetical Case of Hartley University. Write out answers to a few the questions. In doing so, focus upon how the relevant facts either support or do not support the application of the legal theories on which you base your arguments. In other words, do not simply state a legal doctrine applies but suggest what facts might cause it to apply. If there is a cause of action based upon Title IX, for example, simply asserting that the legal theory exists is not sufficient. You must suggest how specific facts are evidence of gender discrimination as the statute defines it and whether these facts are sufficient to meet the standards of the statute. Similarly, simply including facts in your arguments without relating them to a specific legal principal or standard is not an effective use of the limited space you have available.

    Educational opportunities abound along Lake Shore Drive in Fort Dearborn. Just north of downtown is the campus of Hartley University. Hartley U. enrolls 15,000 students in baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral programs in 100 fields of study. Hartley U. was founded in 1878 with a gift from industrialist Robert Hartley. Many people outside of the Fort Dearborn region know Hartley U. for its successful football team, the Bobcats. The Bobcats play their home games at Peterson Stadium, which seats 50,000 people. Tickets for home games are very difficult to obtain. In fact, due to the recent success of the football team, Hartley U. now draws most of its students from outside of Fort Dearborn and tuition charges at Hartley have become among the highest in the nation, exceeding $20,000 per year. The football success has also attracted the attention of the city of Fort Dearborn, who has passed a 5% tax on all tickets sold for “intercollegiate football games played within the city limits.” The university has challenged the tax, citing a state law forbidding the taxation of the activities of either private or public postsecondary institutions that are related to “any educational objective.”

    Harley U. remains a private institution, although it receives substantial federal and state support through student loan programs and research grants and contracts. Several years ago, the institution entered into a contract with the state to offer a program in art history. The state felt that it was very important that the residents of Fort Dearborn be exposed to the fine arts and decided to fund the entire cost the program. The university has control over the program -- who is hired to teach, what is taught, what tuition is charged -- and the annual state appropriation is used to cover any shortfall in revenues. Recently, several untenured arts program faculty were dismissed without any notice or hearing by a new program director. They have sued the director and the university under the Fourteenth Amendment. The institution has responded that as a private institution they are not subject to the terms of the U.S. Constitution and the court should grant its motion of summary judgment.

    Adjacent to the Hartley University campus is what the state hopes will become Borden State University. Borden was founded at the turn of the century as Borden Academy, a two-year private college offering degrees in the new field of aviation. Over the years, the college grew, changed its name to Borden College, and began to offer baccalaureate degrees in several fields. From its founding, the Borden family remained in control of the institution. In the early 1990s, the need for a comprehensive public institution -- one that would offer professional degrees at tuition priced to more affordable than at Hartley -- became apparent to many in Fort Dearborn. In response, the state legislature approached Borden College, which was struggling financially at the time and risked bankruptcy, and suggested that the college merge into the existing state system of higher education, becoming Borden State University. Several members of the Borden College board objected to the merger. They claimed that the merger violated the terms of the trust executed by Howard Borden, Sr., the founder of the Academy. The trust stated the Academy should always remain privately held -- Borden, Sr. had a lifelong hatred for the government and was what we would term today a Libertarian -- and that control of the board of trustees should always remain with the Borden family. Interestingly, the Borden family had never maintained a majority on the board since the founding of the college. The board voted 10-5 to join the state system and become Borden State College. What swayed the board was the strong evidence that Borden College could no longer remain viable as a private institution. The five dissenting board members have brought an action against the board and state to prevent the merger.

    The state has also come to appreciate the need for public two-year education in the Fort Dearborn area. The region was one of the only ones in the nation without a public community college. Kessler Junior College had been operating for several years as a private two-year institution. Recognizing the immediate need for establishing a public community college in Fort Dearborn, the state entered into an agreement with Kessler JC, which like Borden College had struggled during a general economic downturn Fort Dearborn. The state agreed to fund Kessler JC -- which would remain a private institution -- through local taxes. In exchange, the state would have authority over on what programs Kessler spent the money. The state would also obtain the right to set tuition rates, audit various accounts, and select a one-third of the Kessler JC governing board. Kessler J.C. was founded by an order of Catholic nuns, who would retain a voting majority on the governing board of the college. A group calling itself “Citizens for the Separation of Church and State” has challenged the proposed arrangement in state court.

    Just beyond the Kessler JC campus, at the corner of Lake Shore and Tupperman Blvd. is Robinson Church. Pastor Jerry Robinson has built Robinson Church into an institution of great reach and influence in Fort Dearborn. The church attracts over 10,000 people to services each Sunday and services are televised across the nation on cable television. Affiliated with the church are successful elementary and secondary schools. Last year, Robinson announced plans to begin what he called the Robinson Institute to train “those called to spread the word of the Lord.” The Institute would not be a traditional postsecondary institution. It would offer certificates, baccalaureate degrees, and doctorates via airtime purchased on the television stations that carried the Sunday services. In order to receive their degrees, the baccalaureate students would be required to sign affidavits attesting to the fact that they watched each of the 30 hour-long sessions, paid careful attention, and were “profoundly moved by the experience.” Several hundred prospective students sent a $500 deposit to the Institute to secure their place in the first enrolling class.

    Upon hearing of Robinson’s plans, the state board of higher education -- the body charged with licensing postsecondary education institutions in the state -- brought an action in state court to enjoin Robinson Institute from offering baccalaureate and doctoral degrees. In response, Robinson applied for a license and was denied after a short hearing. The state did not include consideration of the religious affiliation in its decision. The court accepted the argument by the state that Robinson was offering degrees without meeting the conditions of the state higher education act. The act required that institutions offering baccalaureate degrees require “an amount of coursework, whether taken in residence or through other means, normally required by postsecondary institutions in the state generally.” A court in the state has never interpreted the “normally required” language in the statute, though one court in the jurisdiction suggested that residential programs were more likely to meet the definition of “coursework.” Robinson then proposed adding a residential component to the distance program. He began to raise money from the members of his church to build a dormitory to house the distance education program students during the one week each year that they would be required to be “on campus” in Fort Dearborn. Meanwhile, Robinson brought an action against the state board for violating the free exercise clause of the First Amendment and the due process provision of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when it denied the license.

    To add a further complication, when it became clear to the residents of the Tupperman neighborhood that Robinson was ready to build the dormitory, the city of Fort Dearborn secured an injunction to prevent any construction. The building would violate the Fort Dearborn zoning rules written in the 1960s intended to prevent “large groups of unrelated adults from taking residence within the city.” The intention behind the ordinance was to prevent “hippies” or “cults” from moving into large houses in the Lake Shore district. The ordinance has been upheld when applied to a religious cult similar to the Heaven’s Gate group, but has not been held to apply to fraternity houses, group homes, or bed and breakfasts. Robinson challenged the city’s ordinance under the same First and Fourteenth Amendment grounds. Finally, not trusting that Robinson would adhere to the injunction, the Tupperman Neighborhood Association began to hold sit-ins at the construction site, preventing the construction workers for doing any work on the site. Robinson sued the Neighborhood Association under the First and Fourteenth Amendments and for tortuous interference with business.

    All of the attention that Robinson Institute has received has brought to public attention the rule at the church against non-U.S. citizens being members of the church. By extension, non-citizens would be expressly prohibited from attending Robinson Institute, which includes church membership within its admission criteria. The Internal Revenue Service is considering rejecting the application Robinson Institute recently submitted for Section 501(c)(3) status.

    Finally, word of a secret agreement among all of the institutions in Fort Dearborn to limit the number of programs that they offer -- and therefore increase student demand and the tuition that they can charge -- has come to public attention. The Justice Department is considering taking action under the antitrust laws.

    Use the following statements and questions as a basis for your answer.

    1. Explore the chances of the dissenting Borden board members of preventing the merger between Borden College and the state system.
    2. Would the situation be any different if the trustees had based their decision on the fact that they were late for dinner and wanted the meeting where the decision was made to end quickly?
    3. Why was the state board justified in denying Robinson Institute a license to operate as a higher education institution? Is there case law that might support his position?
    4. Would the Robinson case have been any different if it was a private accreditation agency denying accreditation, instead of a state agency denying a license?
    5. Might Robinson be more successful against the city ordinance?
    6. Will the suit by Robinson against the Neighborhood Association survive a motion for summary a motion for summary judgment?
    7. How would you advise the IRS to decide on the Robinson 501(c)(3) application?
    8. Should the court grant the motion for summary judgment by Harley U. in response to the action by the dismissed faculty members?
    9. Discuss the merits of the challenge by “Citizens for the Separation of Church and State” against the Kessler J.C. plan.
    10. Support Hartley’s contention against the city of Fort Dearborn in the football game taxation issue.
    11. Outline the case the Justice Department might make against the plan by the Fort Dearborn colleges and universities to limit programs in order to raise tuition.
    Length: 10-15 pages (app. 350 words per page)
     
    Your essay should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

    Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

    Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Differentiate between public and private institutions.
  • Analyze the jurisdiction of the courts and the implications of judicial opinions for postsecondary administrators.
  • Assess legal issues related to postsecondary students, faculty, and administrators.
  • Evaluate judicial decisions, their origin in legislative acts, and their effect on the administration of colleges and universities.
  • Explain basic parameters of the legal liability of postsecondary administrators.
  • Analyze higher education legal issues through research in peer-reviewed academic journal publications.

  • Post Course Survey:
    Complete the Post Course Survey after submitting your final assignment. The Post Course Survey goes directly to the University and provides information used in both course and Mentor evaluation and assessment. The Post Course Survey is located in the Course Review section of the Learner web site. THE RESPONSES ARE ANONYMOUS.

    Receiving Your Final Grade:
    The final grade should be posted by your Mentor within one week following the course end date. The registrar will send an e-mail notifying you of your grade, and the grade will appear under the Course Review section on your Learner site.
    Syllabus Effective Date: 11/30/2010
    Syllabus Details