Higher Education Law and Policy Institute Starting premises  Higher education is experiencing explosive growth in litigation and regulation. The legal issues are increasingly complex, and involve making difficult choices among competing interests and values (like the freedoms to be accorded to college students as adults, contrasted with expanded concepts of duty and institutional liability).  Lawyers (especially lawyers new to higher education) need a comprehensive introduction to the specialized law and policy environment they encounter on campus. Attention needs to be paid to the long history of deference to institutional autonomy and academic decisionmaking at colleges and universities (reflected in the concept of academic freedom); the prominence given to collaborative and investigatory rather than adversarial processes; and the special role given to students and faculty members in campus governance.  College and university administrators (especially the regular influx of new staff members assigned to manage institutional policies regarding student conduct, or sexual harassment) need a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of the legal implications arising out the decisions they are asked to make. That understanding should encompass the limits as well as the requirements of the law, and the danger of relying exclusively on legal solutions to problems that also require social, political, economic and ethical analysis.  One of the major and most successful innovations in modern management is the concept of cross-functional collaboration between different units within the same institution or corporation. This is a technique that can produce many benefits in higher education, especially if used to foster greater understanding and cooperation between college and university lawyers and administrators. That collaboration and cooperation is most likely to occur if it is made deliberate, emphasized early, and experienced in practice. Law and Policy Institute  We propose an annual, year-long "Higher Education Law and Policy Institute" designed to introduce attorneys and administrators to the specialized legal environment on campus, particularly the need for cross-functional collaboration on law and policy issues. The Institute would aim to enroll approximately thirty students a year, divided equally among lawyers and administrators.  The Institute would consist of two tracks: one designed for lawyers; the other for administrators. Both tracks would interact with the other during periods of joint instruction, and through projects in which teams of lawyers and administrators would collaborate on case studies and other applied exercises.  The proposed structure of the Institute would be as follows: a. One-two days of intensive instruction by senior faculty at a pre-conference workshop just before one of the two national conferences on law and higher education (Vermont and Clearwater Beach); b. Assignment to Conference presentations pertinent to the Institute curriculum (see item 8, below); c. Designation of cross-functional teams of students (with at least two lawyers per team), perhaps geared to specialized topic interests (e.g. Internet law); d. Reading and team project assignments during the remainder of the year, guided by Institute practitioners/tutors; e. Submission and review of project reports prior to reassembly at the same national conference, one year later; f. Assignment to additional conference presentations, based on team interests and project reports; g. Participation in a short post-conference discussion, evaluation, and "graduation."  The general content of instruction for both lawyer/administrator tracks would be divided into the following components: a. The education law universe (public/private distinctions; the Constitution on campus; overview of state and federal regulatory power); b. Student life and student governance, including the nature of the student university relationship; c. The role and responsibility of faculty; d. Administration and campus governance; e. External governance f. Strategies for collaboration and teamwork between higher education attorneys and administrators.  Although each track (lawyers and administrators) would cover the same broad subject areas, Institute faculty members would tailor specific content to the needs and expertise of each group. The track for lawyers, for example, would cover an expanded range of legal issues in greater depth, including the nature and scope of possible preventive law programming. The track for administrators would provide less technical legal instruction, and give greater emphasis to the nature and limits of legal analysis, and techniques for working effectively with legal counsel. Methods of instruction  As outlined in item 7, the proposed Institute would contribute to and draw from the resources of two annual national conferences in law and higher education, conducted by the University of Vermont and the Stetson University College of Law. A core foundation of instruction--both jointly and in separate teams--would occur during pre- conference workshops at both conferences.  Students would be given additional instruction, available at conference presentations immediately after the pre-conference workshop. Students would choose an individualized "curriculum" of presentations--fitting their needs and interests--in collaboration with Institute faculty.  Post-conference Institute activities would entail dividing students into cross- functional teams of five or six participants, with at least two lawyer members. Individual team members would complete selected readings, collaborating (usually by electronic mail; perhaps linked to an instructional website managed by NACUA) on developing team answers to assigned case studies or projects (e.g., development of a campus disciplinary code).  Each Institute cross-functional team would be assigned an experienced practitioner (lawyer or administrator) as a tutor. The tutor would participate in team e-mail discussions, suggesting ideas and resources, and providing supplemental instruction, as needed. Assessment and certification  Institute participants would reassemble after one year, at one of the two designated law and higher education conferences. Tutors and Institute leaders would review completed projects and case studies (submitted in advance), assigning participants to additional conference presentations thereafter.  A brief "post conference" meeting would permit final evaluations and group discussion. Institute certification would then be awarded to participants who had been active and thoughtful participants in projects rated "satisfactory" or above. In some circumstances certification might be withheld until participants completed additional readings or assignments. Support and resources  We propose to ask several higher education professional associations (NACUA; NASPA; ACPA; ASJA) to appoint representatives who would serve as voting members on the Institute's board of directors (the Institute would be created as a not- for profit corporation). Additional voting seats on the board would be reserved for directors of the two national law and higher education conferences and for several distinguished "at large members."  Assuming thirty participants annually, Institute expenses should be approximately $43,000, including marketing and compensation for senior faculty and tutors. Senior faculty members (currently Pavela and Kaplin, who would deliver the bulk of pre-conference instruction) would be paid at a rate comparable to graduate faculty (about $7,000 per faculty member, assuming additional assigned duties related to on-going collaboration with tutors). Five tutors would be paid $1,000 each. Senior Faculty/tutor travel and lodging expenses (two conferences annually) would be approximately $14,000. Rental of teaching rooms would cost about $3000. Remaining expenses would be devoted to marketing.
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