Topic: Higher Education

Half-Baked: Phillips Exeter, Sexual Assault, And A Recipe For Disaster

Considered one of the country’s most elite prep schools, Phillips Exeter Academy has recently joined the queue of prestigious private schools who have been accused of having ignored, suppressed, or minimized claims of sexual assault. A recent investigation by The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team focused particular attention on a case in which a female student…

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Out of Bounds: Title IX, Off-Campus Conduct, and Yeasin V. University of Kansas

The Kansas Court of Appeals’ decision in Yeasin v. University of Kansas, stands for the proposition that educational institutions must act with both precision and foresight when delineating their disciplinary authority. Of greater interest, Yeasin addresses, at least implicitly, the question of whether Title IX requires colleges and universities to address gender discrimination that occurs…

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Making Bad Choices: TITLE IX, TITLE VII AND LUDLOW V. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY

A prior post  considered the case of Ha v. Northwestern University, in which the plaintiff claimed that Northwestern had violated Title IX by insufficiently disciplining one of its professors, Peter Ludlow, despite concluding that he had gotten Ha, a freshman, too intoxicated to offer “meaningful consent” and had then made inappropriate sexual advances.  Surprisingly, despite…

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Property Tax Exemption for Residential Properties Revoked for Many Connecticut Colleges and Universities

During the recently concluded special session, the Connecticut General Assembly approved, and the Governor subsequently signed into law, Section 244 of Public Act No. 15-5 (June Special Session) that revokes the property tax exemption long enjoyed by private colleges and universities on certain of their residential properties.  Effective October 1, 2015, any residential real property…

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The Aftermath: Developments From The 2015 Session of The Connecticut General Assembly Affecting Schools

The 2015 session of the Connecticut General Assembly has just concluded.  A comprehensive summary and discussion of laws that were passed during the 2015 session will be forthcoming from this firm after the Governor has acted upon all of the relevant bills, and after the conclusion of the upcoming “special session.”  In the meantime, we…

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The Importance Of A Title IX Coordinator

On April 24, 2015, the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued a new “Dear Colleague” letter concerning Title IX, along with a separate letter to Title IX coordinators and a Title IX Resource Guide.  These documents will be of interest to all school districts, colleges and universities receiving federal funds and…

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The NLRB Appears To Clear The Path Toward Greater Unionization Of Private Colleges And Universities

In a decision notable for not just one, but two revisions to established National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) analytical framework, the Board appears to open the door toward increased unionization of private institutions of higher learning.  In Pacific Lutheran University and SEIU Local 925, the Board exercised jurisdiction under the National Labor Relations Act…

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The Ends Justify The Means: Ha v. Northwestern University and Responding to Sexual Harassment Under Title IX

The recent decision in Ha v. Northwestern University,   reiterates the leeway educational institutions have under Title IX when crafting a response to claims of sexual harassment.  The plaintiff in Ha alleged that in February 2012, when she was a freshman, a professor, Peter Ludlow, sexually assaulted her at his off-campus apartment after he had “caused her…

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2014 Legislative Update

At the start of every school-year, Pullman & Comley’s School Law section attorneys publish a summary of new Connecticut legislation impacting Connecticut schools and public-sector employers.  Our 2014 legislative summary, which we released in August is available here for your convenience.  While in comparison to recent years 2014 was relatively modest in terms of education-law…

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Discipline as Defamation: Title IX, Disciplinary Panels, and The Risks of Righteousness in The Wake of Wells V. Xavier and Harris V. St. Joseph’s

Two recent court rulings illustrate some of the perils facing university administrators when handling internal disciplinary complaints against students who have been alleged to have committed on-campus sexual assaults. These risks were previously discussed in the context of the plaintiff, Dez Wells’ Title IX claims in Wells v. Xavier University.  Of perhaps equal significance, however,…

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