ERIC Number: ED435311
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Due Process and Higher Education: A Systemic Approach to Fair Decision Making. ERIC Digest.
University officials and faculty are frequently required to make decisions based on interpretations of disputed facts. By applying the concept of due process within the context of higher education, they can meet legal challenges of contract and constitutional law and the pedagogical demand for justice. To guide their efforts, decision makers can consult a body of case law that has evolved over half a century. The Constitution requires that federal and state governments provide citizens with substantive fairness and certain procedures or "process" before depriving them of life, liberty, or property interests. Courts have intentionally retained flexibility in interpreting these requirements in higher education, and no exact formula exists. The courts have granted tremendous deference to the decisions of administrators and professors. Both public and private schools are legally obligated to fairly and reasonably carry out the requirements of their written and implied contracts with students and faculty, which may parallel the requirements of constitutional due process. A university should promote system-wide respect for these principles by ensuring all official inquiries are predictable and dignified, all stakeholders have proper notice and meaningful opportunity to respond and present evidence, and decisions are made by unbiased officials. (Contains 6 references.) (MSE)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, Washington, DC.; George Washington Univ., Washington, DC. Graduate School of Education and Human Development.