1. College Catalogs: Avoid Mistakes and Legal Claims

College Catalogs: Avoid Mistakes and Legal Claims

Event ID: 71322
Session ID: 16178
Duration: Scheduled for 90 minutes including question and answer period.
Presenter(s): Dr. James Ottavio Castagnera, Esq., managing director of K&C HR Enterprises and legal counsel at Rider University
Credits: Certificate of Attendance


College Catalogs: Avoid Mistakes and Legal Claims

Every college and university in America has at least one catalog. Many have more than one… a grad and an undergrad version… or perhaps one for each school and college under the university’s umbrella. Are these catalogs binding contracts? Some schools consciously attempt to disclaim contractual significance, but if the catalog isn’t the contract with our students, then what is? And, frankly, why wouldn’t your institution want to have an unambiguous repository of the terms and conditions under which students attend?

The catalog as contract, of course, is a two-way relationship. Regardless of disclaimers, the matriculant reasonably may expect that such catalog features as the degree requirements for her chosen major will remain essentially unaltered across her four years of study. That said, a disclaimer or reservation of rights may be appropriate for other aspects of your catalogs.

Please join Dr. Jim Castagnera, Esq., who brings more than 30 years of experience as a university administrator and legal counsel, to this exploration of the legal and practical aspects of a document too many of us often take for granted.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • When and why is a college catalog a binding contract
  • When and how to effectively use disclaimers and reservations of rights in your catalogs
  • The potential consequences of inaccuracies in your catalogs: breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and unfair trade practice claims
  • Legal implications of replacing a hard-copy catalog with an online version
  • The lessons to be drawn from recent federal and state court cases pronouncing on the college catalog’s legal significance
  • What should be included and what should be excluded from the catalog
  • Which other publications and documents may also be a part of your institution’s contractual relationship with its students
  • What damages and remedies are available to students who successfully sue on the basis of an inaccurate college catalog

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