Legal Issue in Higher Education
Many academic lawyers act as “generalists” and deal with issues in multiple areas of law. Academic lawyers may seek support from outside lawyers in areas of specialization, while some universities hire “specialists” to focus on specific areas of law. In their interaction with institutional clients, academic lawyers advise on a variety of topics that encompass many areas of legal expertise. College lawyers may also need to familiarize themselves with a number of federal laws and regulations that are specific to higher education. Some of the types of legal problems an academic lawyer may encounter include: This problem leads John to wonder if the political sphere plays a role in this. Former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos changed the law and turned away from the sexual harassment law created by the Obama administration, with universities expressing concern that Secretary DeVos` standards made it harder for students to file complaints against alleged violators. Keith Edwards:I I want to try to get us to some of the questions that come up before Jessica and John, anything you want to add to Ryan`s voice here. A code of conduct serves as a guide for the expected behavior of employees. Unfortunately, college and university boards cannot necessarily rely on professors and professionals to follow it.
Moral standards exist in higher education, but they are not always clear. Boards of directors must be aware of the reputational risk of their behaviour and address behavioural problems as they arise. Large universities are essentially huge companies with massive infrastructure and many employees. These are large apartments, food, sports teams and healthcare providers and are involved in construction projects. All public and private roles within universities that receive federal funding are subject to state regulation with the same staffing issues as regular societies. Legal issues besiege many universities; Unlike companies accustomed to a regulatory environment, universities are often not well equipped or staffed to deal with the myriad of legal issues they currently face. The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) represents the American University and its representatives in connection with its employment or institutional representation. The resources listed here are designed to guide you through some common legal issues that may arise in the performance of your duties.
These resources are provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. John Wesley Lowery: So contracts are important to everybody. They are particularly important for private institutions. And I think we rightly spend a lot of time on tort issues, both tort and liability for us as individuals and our institutions. These are often the cases that make headlines when you see these massive results for institutions from the start. So I, and for us, more often than not, where we look are cases that involve allegations of negligence or defamation. And then the last area I want to highlight is the courts, and the courts in part of their role is to interpret all the things that I have justified. And I think, especially with those who don`t have a solid background in legal matters, one of the things you have to understand is who turns their backs on this idea of control, is it a court that has rendered a judgment that really has jurisdiction over you? Ryan C. Holmes: Well, first of all, I want to thank you, Keith, for inviting me to be in this room.
You know, every time I get the chance to share space with John and Jessica, I mean, it`s simply, just wonderful. Ryan Holmes, my current position is now Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at the University of Miami in Florida. The areas in which I currently supervise myself are student behavior and conflict resolution, crisis response of Greek students, alcohol and other drug education, veterans` services, pastoral association for religious life. Previously, I also supervised the accommodation office and the advice centre. So, pretty much anything that can cause you legal problems. You know, I think I had some supervision or work there. And so I`ve been in higher education for 18 years now, just happy to be here. And I`m also from Shreveport, Louisiana, I`ve lived in Pennsylvania, in the DC area of Texas, and now I`m here in Florida.