Higher Education Law and Policy Institute by owc23796


									                       Higher Education Law and Policy Institute

Starting premises

[1] 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

[2] 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.

[3] 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.

[4] 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

[5] 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

[6] 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.

[7] 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

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."
[8] 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.

[9] 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

[10] 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.
[11] 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.

[12] 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).

[13] 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

Assessment and certification

[14] 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.

[15] 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

[16] 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."
[17] 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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