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Higher Education Law Summit: Hot Topics for Colleges and Universities

Past Details

June 8, 2016
8:30 AM - 5:15 PM EST
National Collegiate Athletic Association
700 W. Washington Street
Christine Grant B
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Registration Fee: Complimentary

Jackson Lewis has a room block at The Westin Indianapolis. To reserve a room at the special $179 a night rate, click here or call 1.800.228.3000 and mention you are with the Jackson Lewis party. Reservations must be booked by end of day May 16, 2016.

Join Jackson Lewis and your higher education colleagues from across the country for a full day of educational sessions addressing the myriad of legal issues facing colleges and universities. This program includes two tracks to allow you to customize the event to reflect your interests and areas of responsibility.

Plenary Sessions

Title IX Compliance:  Managing Liability for Claims Brought by Students Accused of Sexual Misconduct
In this session, we will examine trends in litigation filed by students who claim wrongful discipline or discriminatory enforcement of campus sexual misconduct policies. Our discussion will include:

  • A brief overview of OCR enforcement initiatives.
  • A survey of claims brought by discharged students.
  • A discussion of strategies that can be employed to manage risk. 

Crisis (Opportunity) Management
Panelists will review several recent high-profile situations, including Title IX claims, racial harassment incidents and student protests, with a focus on strategies and best practices for avoiding, containing and managing crisis situations. Our discussion will include:

  • Proactive and reactive media management, including developing message points and public statements.
  • Responding to governmental inquiries and investigations, such as subpoenas or search warrants.
  • Communicating with various stakeholders, such as faculty, alumni and communities.

Conducting Effective Campus Investigations
Conducting effective campus investigations is the cornerstone to aggressively defending against legal claims brought against the institution.  This panel will discuss the best practices for conducting such investigations and how those investigations become critical in subsequent proceedings. Our discussion will include:

  • A best practices approach to effective investigations, from the initial plan, to execution, to the final report.
  • Navigating the world of privilege and the use of investigation reports, confidentiality and admissibility.
  • Conducting effective witness interviews with students, faculty and why it matters in subsequent proceedings.

Academic Freedom and Speech Issues
Taking lessons from recent campus speech and academic freedom controversies, this session will look at the following:

  • Institutional versus individual academic freedom.
  • Common misconceptions about academic freedom.
  • First Amendment rights of public university employees.
  • Conduct codes as alleged suppression of speech and academic freedom rights.

Student Track Breakout Sessions:

Athletics:  Compliance Structures, and Academic Integrity
This session will cover current intercollegiate athletics compliance issues. Discussion topics include:

  • Reporting lines for athletic compliance.
  • Communicating the institution’s compliance philosophy.
  • The difference between “it’s permissible” and “our institution finds it acceptable”.
  • Ensuring academic integrity in the experience of student-athletes.
  • Takeaways from academic misconduct cases involving “well-meaning“ faculty.

Social Media on Campus
This panel will discuss social media’s pervasive influence on campus and the various ways it has permanently changed how various constituencies – students, faculty, administration – communicate. Our discussion will include:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of conducting university business and messaging via social media.
  • Use of social media by student athletes, including upcoming changes to NCAA rules regarding communication with prospective athletes.
  • Implications of restricting faculty statements on social media, including academic freedom and NLRA concerns.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities
Our panelists will review Section 504, Title II ADA and Title III ADA obligations to accommodate students with disabilities and discuss strategies for responding to some of the more challenging accommodation requests that colleges and universities face. The discussion will include:

  • Anticipating accommodation requests including those involving student housing, campus life, modifying classroom policies and testing and auxiliary aides and services.
  • Strategies for requesting supporting medical documentation and seeking student and faculty cooperation in the accommodation process.
  • Other accommodations issues unique to higher education including managing the impact of faculty leaves of absence.

Employment Track Breakout Sessions:

FLSA Issues
Panelists will discuss the Fair Labor Standards Act as it relates to institutions of higher education, focusing on the proposed changes to the regulations and how those amendments may impact the classification of faculty, staff, and students. During this discussion, panelists will:

  • Identify departments and positions most susceptible to misclassification, including coaching staff, graduate assistants and student affairs employees.
  • Examine positions that will likely be impacted by implementation of the proposed regulations.
  • Explore avenues for rules compliance, including reclassification of individuals and alternative pay structures.

Faculty Organizing
This session will cover issues raised by adjunct and non-tenure track faculty organizing and collective bargaining.  Discussion topics include:

  • Strategies for facilitating faculty and administrator engagement on issues of concern to adjunct faculty.
  • Lessons learned from recent adjunct faculty organizing campaigns, including metro organizing efforts.
  • Institutional rights and responsibilities when addressing organizing efforts.
  • Strategies for negotiating adjunct and non-tenure track faculty collective bargaining agreements.

Negotiating Effective Coaching Contracts
The recent escalation in the length and dollar value of head and assistant coach employment contracts has made it critical to effectively negotiate and draft these employment agreements. Our discussion will include:

  • Avoiding a rush to judgment:  Using the proper process to hire the right coach for the school’s short and long term goals.
  • Negotiating the employment contract from strength, while obtaining key language to gain maximum protection.
  • Taking steps at the beginning of the relationship to ensure a more amicable termination.
  • Anticipating and addressing high-profile coaching staff misbehavior.