ERIC Number: EJ771410
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Jun-29
Reference Count: N/A
Higher Education Called to Account: Colleges and the Law after Virginia Tech
Lake, Peter F.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v53 n43 pB6 Jun 2007
As a professor of law and higher education, Lake compares the April 2007 shootings to those at Kent State nearly 40 years earlier. The mishandling of the Kent State crisis brought heavy criticism of higher education, and a culture of rules, procedures, and policies arose to replace old patterns of using force and violence to manage conflicts. Four decades of changes in laws governing campus security, decisions that ended legal insularity and protectionism based on academe's status, and have mainstreamed higher-education law under principles of general business-liability law are reviewed. The writer's analysis concludes that the changes in college-safety law have been essentially changes in accountability, a trend that will accelerate in light of Virginia Tech. Higher-education law is moving to consolidate around paradigms of reasonableness and foreseeability -- which focus much more on conduct, choices, and information-- and away from a concept of colleges' special status and their disengagement from students to avoid risk. What happened at Virginia Tech, writes Lake, will also change higher-education law significantly and permanently, likely accelerating a continuing trend to apply general principles of business-liability law to colleges.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio; Virginia