In my Legal Issues in Higher Education course I got a thorough framework for understanding the two most broad areas of legal concern for colleges and universities: tort liability and freedom of speech rights. I did my legal memo on the potential ramifications of deconstructing a free speech zone on a college campus (it will be up shortly) and also completed two case briefings (RAV vs. St. Paul and Southworth v. The Board of Regents at the University of Wisconsin) that related to freedom of speech issues. During this time I was also able to go to two webinars hosted by the National Association of College and University Attorneys. One focused on the new FERPA regulations and the other on Civility Codes and Freedom of Speech Issues.
In order to display my understanding of tort liability I will be attaching the answer to an essay I had to do as part of our final exam. However, I think that the most important thing that I have learned from class has been that higher education administrators should be proactive in developing policies that signifcantly reduce the chances of foreseeable harm and take additional steps to publish and distribute information about how students and community members can take additional steps to be more safe.
Through my work in conduct, I have gained a thorough understanding of the concepts of due process, how Oregon Administrative Rules, Oregon Revised Statues, and other state laws dictate the matters that our office is involved in, and how federal laws like FERPA and freedom of speech affect my work. I have also gained an understanding of the concept of precedence and how it can greatly influence future decisions and actions that a university takes with regard to policy violations.