Assignment 2: LASA 2: Final Project: Legal or Policy Issues in a Postsecondary Setting
In this assignment, you will demonstrate an understanding of the major concepts learned in the course.
Read the following scenario and create contingency plans.
You are the new chief executive officer (CEO) of a deeply troubled postsecondary institution. You enter your first board meeting during your second week on the job, and the board of trustees reveals a large number of concerns and evidence to support them:
- A letter written by the vice president of academic affairs that lists sanctions for faculty and students who criticize the institution or staff in the student newspaper, classrooms, and electronic forums such as blogs and Facebook.
- An applicant’s letter that states that the admissions office has refused to accept her because she came to her admissions interview wearing a headscarf and refused to remove it when interviewed.
- An anonymous letter from an admissions counselor stating that he has been told to inform applicants that “this institution does not support students with learning disabilities.”
- A report on the number of admission exceptions submitted by the admissions office last semester in which the director of admissions waived entry requirements. More than 90% of all students who are accepted to the institution fall in the exceptions category.
- The registrar’s report waiving graduation requirements for 75% of those at this year’s commencement.
- One board member’s signed statement that contends he heard the registrar boast of sharing student athletes’ grades with recruiters who come to the campus “to give our boys an edge.”
- A three-month-old grade appeal that includes a student complaint stating that a faculty member had made unwanted sexual advances and threatened to lower her grades if she did not comply with the demands. The student reported the incident to the dean of student affairs, who told her to “just say no.” The student did so and earned an “F” in the course. No action has been taken on the grade appeal or the student complaint.
- A letter from the federal government citing the institution for noncompliance on financial aid reporting because the reports are routinely late.
- A report from student affairs that reveals that students have been caught using technology to bully others at the institution into doing what they want. No action has been taken, and no one seems to know who should review the incident.
Furthermore, you have noticed during your first week that stair treads and handrails are loose in many buildings and that broken light fixtures and burned-out bulbs have not been replaced in hallways and parking lots.
The board members are terribly worried about their own liability and have asked you to make it right. The chair of the board specifically asks that you create a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation for the next meeting to:
- Prioritize the issues in order of their level of legal and financial implications and provide a convincing rationale for the order of priority
- Choose the top three or four issues and present a convincing argument for the policies and procedures that need to be put in place to address them, with a rationale supported by law
- Outline the legal and financial implications of what might happen should the practices continue to take place
- Explain how you will create a more democratic and empowering environment that promotes understanding and respect for diversity
- Describe what needs to be done to establish ethical practices and to enhance the institution’s ability to provide a safe and productive environment
To ensure that you remember everything that you want to say to the board, you are to include detailed reader’s notes. To help the board understand the legal and ethical issues, you will cite and explain the legal cases and laws that need to be addressed and include appropriate APA references and internal citations.
You might want to address your recommendations to specific areas, such as financial aid, disability law/immigration law and equal access, tenure and academic freedom, campus safety, freedom of speech, Title IX, and copyright law, which can be clustered together as follows:
- Expressional rights in postsecondary education (speech, association, religion, press, academic freedom, etc.)
- Privacy rights in postsecondary education (student records, search policy and practice, technology issues, invasion of privacy, slander/libel, etc.)
- Student or faculty due process rights in postsecondary education (judicial procedures, academic misconduct, social misconduct, termination of faculty employment, tenure, etc.)
- Civil rights issues and topics in postsecondary education (discrimination and harassment based on race, ethnicity, disability, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, etc.; desegregation of postsecondary education; affirmative action in admission; etc.)
- Tort liability issues and topics (campus liability issues, negligence for criminal acts, campus safety, hazing, alcohol abuse, etc.)
- Contract rights in postsecondary education (student contract rights, faculty or student collective bargaining rights, faculty or student contract liability, financial exigency rights and liability, etc.)
- Financial aid/higher education access in postsecondary education (governmental legislation and major developments in financial aid, postsecondary access, etc.)
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