ERIC Number: ED410849
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Reference Count: N/A
Defamation Issues in Higher Education.
Bazluke, Francine Tilewick
This monograph reviews the law applying to defamation issues, cites various judicial decisions that affect colleges and universities, and offers guidance for minimizing the risk of defamation liability. It defines the two subclasses of defamatory statements: first, libel, which is a recorded or printed statement, and second, slander, which is spoken or oral. It then discusses the four elements that make a statement defamatory in relation to current case law: (1) a false statement of fact concerning a person; (2) publication or the unprivileged communication of the false statement to a third party; (3) a degree of fault on the part of the person communicating the statement; and (4) privilege or harm to the reputation of the person defamed. In reviewing and discussing the types of university personnel actions that create the potential for defamation claims, it lists situations such as performance evaluations and terminations for cause, and also provides a list of policy guidelines for providing employment references. Defamation issues that involve students and liability for student commentary are also discussed, with the suggestion that college and university administration be cognizant of First Amendment freedoms for the student press. Fifty one notes provide extensive citations. (Contains 14 references.) (CH)
Descriptors: Administrative Policy, Civil Liberties, College Administration, Compliance (Legal), Constitutional Law, Court Litigation, Dismissal (Personnel), Due Process, Employment Qualifications, Evidence (Legal), Freedom of Speech, Higher Education, Laws, Legal Problems, Legal Responsibility, Libel and Slander, Personnel Evaluation, Policy Formation, School Newspapers, Student Publications, Student Rights, Teacher Dismissal, Teacher Evaluation
National Association of College and University Attorneys, One Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 620, Washington, DC 20036; phone: 202-833-8390; fax: 202-296-8379 ($6.50).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Association of Coll. and Univ. Attorneys, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment