ERIC Number: ED207652
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Sep-24
Reference Count: 0
Trustee Liability and Legal Responsibility.
Davies, Alton L.
Litigation over actions and policies in higher education is becoming increasingly common, and college trustees can expect to be touched by it, as they are legally and ultimately responsible for what transpires on campus. Trustees must work as a team with college presidents in the development of institutional policies, as they will share the same vulnerability to legal action. To lessen this vulnerability and to increase chances of success, several strategies can be followed. First, an attorney who is current in state and federal statutes affecting education should be hired to advise in operational and hiring policies. Second, the board of trustees must provide complete support to the president in carrying out institutional policies. Third, thorough and ongoing documentation should be maintained for all actions that might lead to a suit, in areas such as interviewing and hiring practices, employer/employee grievance actions, performance evaluations, student complaints, and terminations and dismissals. Finally, policies should be written, policy implementation should be consistent, and precedents should be relied upon whenever possible. A review of some of the legal actions in which the Board of Trustees of Kansas City Community College has been involved demonstrates the importance of documentation and warns of the time-consuming and costly nature of suits. (The paper provides descriptions of the causes and outcomes of several suits.) (KL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Kansas City Kansas Community College
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Association of Community College Trustees (12th, Boston, MA, September 22-26, 1981).