ERIC Number: ED233490
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
A Fair Tribunal: Governing Board Bias and the Power to Decide.
Uerling, Donald F.
This paper presents examples of judicial reasoning in conflicts involving governing board bias and the power to decide in higher education and in various public school settings. Two cases, "Simard v. Board of Education" and "Hortonville Joint School District No. 1 v. Hortonville Education Association," provide the general principle of leaving employment decisions to educational governing boards unless actual bias is shown to exist. "Withrow v. Larkin" sets forth the basic proposition that mere exposure to evidence is not enough to overcome the presumption of administrative fairness. Two cases involving terminations in higher education follow these general principles. Five other cases illustrate the allowable extent of local school board involvement in initiating termination proceedings against a teacher and the kind of showing required to establish a charge of board bias. Three further cases illustrate judicial reasoning in conflicts between superintendents and boards of education regarding the initiation of termination proceedings and the inherent biases of unsatisfactory superintendent/board relationships. Although courts are generally reluctant to disquality governing boards from acting, the paper concludes that cases are adjudicated on their own merits. Thus boards of education and administrators should strive to provide fair procedures that promote reasonable decisions. (PB)
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A