The 21st Century has heralded dramatic changes in higher education. Among them is the transformation of students and their parents into savvy consumers. They are buying a product - a diploma, a certification, a license to practice a profession - and they have many more options in the marketplace than ever before. The product you offer is expensive and your consumers demand that you deliver. Otherwise, at best they’ll go to another institution. At worst, they’ll sue you. Somewhere in the middle, your disciplinary actions may just be subject to challenge, but, even in this situation, without a well written and defensible student handbook in place your institution may find it difficult to defend its student disciplinary decisions.
This new business environment colleges and universities find themselves in demands that the institution’s handbook be a carefully crafted document, designed to deal with the multitude of unpredictable, but inevitable, issues that arise within a community comprised of bright but mostly young clientele.
The student handbook is a crucial piece of the contractual relationship between the institution and its students. As such, it can be a trap that ensnares the institution in a costly legal net. Or it can be a shield, protecting the school and its trustees, officers and employees from lawsuits, as well as publicity debacles. It all depends upon how thoughtfully and effectively the document is crafted - how well the institution’s faculty and staff are trained to use it - and how thoroughly it is integrated into the campus culture. Please join Dr. James Ottavio Castagnera for a review of both the risks and protections which student handbooks are intended to provide and a review of the policies which your student handbook should include.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
Just a sampling of the many practical tips you’ll take away:
- Review student disciplinary rules and regulations
- Understand the role of residence life in enforcing the rules
- Know the role of security/public safety in enforcing policies
- Discuss the student judicial process: from initial investigation of the charges to appeal of the discipline imposed
- Discuss special, highly sensitive topics: harassment, bullying and sexual assault
- Understand how academic standards and standing come into play
- Discuss academic integrity and honor systems
- Consider students’ roles in university governance
- Find out how student organizations and activities come into play
- Understand how financial obligations and financial aid issues may be affected
- AND MUCH MORE!
YOUR CONFERENCE LEADER
Your conference leader for “Student Handbook: A Crucial Higher Education Risk Management Tool” is Dr. James Castegnera. Dr. Castegnera holds a law degree and a Ph.D. in American studies from Case Western Reserve University. Jim brings nearly three decades of experience in higher education to this webinar. Prior to law school he served Case Western Reserve as director of university communication. He went on to teach at the University of Texas-Austin, the Widener University Law School, and at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton Business School. Currently, and for nearly the past 18 years, he has been Rider University’s associate provost and legal counsel. His diverse duties include risk management, regulatory matters, faculty and student disciplinary cases, litigation management, governance and institutional policies.
He is the author of 19 books, including the Handbook for Student Law for Higher Education Administrators (Peter Lang, 2010, revised edition 2014).
His teaching experience includes continuing legal education courses, webinars and presentations at numerous national forums, such as the Annual Conference of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Annual Homeland Defense and Security Higher Education Summit sponsored by the Naval Postgraduate School.
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