Higher Education Law: The Faculty

Higher Education Law: The Faculty

Steven G. Poskanzer

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 0801867495

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"Do we need to talk to our lawyers about this?"

"What do the attorneys say?"

"Why didn't you get the lawyers involved before now?"

Just about every department chair and dean, certainly every provost and president, and an ever-increasing number of faculty find themselves asking―or being asked―such questions. Dealing with issues ranging from academic freedom to job security and faculty discipline, lawyers, legal requirements, and lawsuits has become an established part of the apparatus of American higher education.

Higher Education Law was written to help faculty and administrators navigate critical legal issues and avoid potential legal pitfalls. Drawing on his experience as university counsel, administrator, and teacher at a number of institutions, Steven G. Poskanzer explains the law as it pertains to faculty activities both inside and outside the academy, including faculty roles as scholars, teachers, and members of institutional communities, as well as employees and public citizens. In each of these areas, he expands his discussion of cases and decisions to set out his own views both on the current status of the law and how it is likely to evolve.

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assignment of copyright to them before printing a manuscript.105 This presents no problem when the faculty member is the copyright holder, but it raises a dilemma if the employer institution claims copyright but has not been involved in the publication process. Publishers often attempt to shift legal responsibility for such problems to the author. They may require the author to formally warrant that he or she is the copyright owner and to agree to hold the pub- scholarship 47 lisher harmless

work of individual scholars and institutions by financial conflicts of interest, the potential damage from the mere appearance of impropriety must also be noted. As highly visible (and inevitably controversial) charitable institutions, colleges, universities, and their denizens must pay careful attention to public perceptions of their activities. Even if no monetary gain actually results from a conflict situation, external audiences will all too readily assume that funding sources or the lure of

bureaucratic limits on faculty behavior in the classroom that we have examined in the preceding pages cross into more contested turf when they involve efforts to monitor or improve the quality of faculty teaching (and ultimately student learning). Should faculty be able to select and use whatever pedagogical methods they are comfortable with and believe will be effective? Decisions about how best to engage students’ minds and present information to them are deeply intellectual and draw upon

anthology business altogether.129 But that still left less cautious— and less prominent—local copy shop owners. So, fresh on the heels of the Kinko’s decision, another collection of publishers sued a small, independent operator in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who had ostentatiously refused to seek prior authorization in preparing course packs. Once again, judicial authorities (this time a federal court of appeals) found infringement, with particular reference to an increasingly well established market to

Cornell University’s noncompliance with an applicable (but clearly outdated) zoning ordinance, refused to issue building permits to Cornell in an attempt to gain leverage in a long-running dispute over payments in lieu of taxes.16 Localities also frequently establish legal rights or obligations that extend beyond the sweep of federal and state law. Many large cities, for example, have banned discrimination on the basis of the lay of the land 9 sexual orientation, even though this is not a

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