About one new due process lawsuit per week was filed last year against a college by a student who had been found guilty of sexual assault by a campus tribunal, despite what the lawsuits claim is strong evidence of innocence. The strongest federal appellate win for an accused student was issued unanimously by an all-Democratic-appointed panel. And the biggest appellate loss for an accused came a few months later, from a unanimous panel that included two George W. Bush appointees. Those two decisions are bookends for the diverse approaches that different judges have taken to the civil liberties of accused students, mostly males, whose fates are decided by campus authorities.
washingtonpost.com By Johnson and Taylor
Monthly Archives: June 2017
Professors dispute negative tenure decisions all the time, but rarely do their cases end up in court. That’s because pursuing a legal case against an institution is time-consuming and costly and, most importantly, courts nearly always defer to colleges’ and universities’ initial judgments.
Not so though with an ongoing case at Cornell University. A state judge in November ruled that the university had so bungled a tenure review that he vacated the original decision against the professor in question and ordered a new one. Judge Rich blasted Cornell for ignoring its own rules and acting “capriciously… “The professor was entitled to due process. Cornell speaks of a level playing field but keeping the allegations secret from Vengalattore while having those allegations sour his tenure review creates anything but a level playing field and was arbitrary and capricious,”
The lawsuit filed by Northwestern Title IX accuser “Nola Hartley” against best-selling author Laura Kipnis (Unwanted Advances) has attracted substantial attention. The Kipnis book looks primarily at four cases, and the second case which involved Ludlow and a graduate student in his department prompted the Title IX complaint against Kipnis and is also the subject of the lawsuit…Beyond the exaggerated claims, the baseline premise of the lawsuit is a chilling one: that while the Ph.D. student purportedly “takes no issue with [Kipnis’] choice to write on this topic,” Hartley, as a Title IX accuser, some of whose claims Northwestern accepted, should have a veto power over which “facts” Kipnis can present. This argument should raise grave concerns.
mindingthecampus.org By KC Johnson
I enrolled in the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, which is affiliated with Kent State University. One of our classes involved training on deadly force, which covers the protective procedures utilized when an officer is under attack. For purposes of this training exercise, I was the designated “perpetrator” and a female student in the class the designated “officer.”…At the next class, I was called out of the room and escorted to the administrator’s office. I was accused of “inappropriate contact” with the female cadet during the training demonstration. Three days later the Investigator sent me a text message informing me that I was being terminated from the school.
saveservices.org By Jack Hunter
There is a growing trend of false accusations against men on college campuses helping to perpetuate the false narrative of the so-called “Rape Culture.“…the stats that are cited by the crowd clamoring about “Rape Culture” are completely false. The most comprehensive look at sexual assault comes from a Department of Justice study between 1995 and 2013. These numbers show that in fact the campus setting may not be the most dangerous place for women.
nj1015.com By Bill Spadea
The student, identified as John Doe in the lawsuit he filed in late 2014, was expelled after an investigation in which he was not allowed legal representation or cross examination…John and the university have “compromised and settled all matters in controversy,” according to new documents filed in the case.
washingtonexaminer.com By Ashe Schow
San Diego State University has agreed to pay $10,000 and take other steps to settle a lawsuit filed by a former student who said he was suspended and wrongly accused of sexual assault. Besides the monetary award, the settlement states three employees would be sent to a Civil Rights Investigator Training and Certification course. Attorney Lombardo, who represented Sousa in his first lawsuit against SDSU, said the request for training was an attempt to prevent others from being wrongly accused. “If they’re going to identify an offender, they need to do it in a measured, thoughtful and methodical way,” he said. Sousa said he did not seek a large monetary settlement because he did not want taxpayers burdened with the cost. “No amount of money can compensate for what I went through,” he said. “My main objective was to vindicate my name.”
More than 150 lawsuits brought by students accused of sexual misconduct who allege they were denied basic fairness in campus proceedings have been filed since 2011. Two recent rulings illustrate how malleable and susceptible to varying interpretations the law in this area is, leading to a mixed bag of results for plaintiffs. Some judges are deeply reluctant to interfere in universities’ internal disciplinary systems and will defer to universities even when the circumstances would likely strike most people as outrageous. Other judges are more willing to allow accused students’ lawsuits to move forward, at least beyond the initial pleadings and into the discovery phase. Today, we will look at one of each of those cases.
www.thefire.org Samantha Harris
An administrative review has upheld UNC-Chapel Hill’s investigative finding that there was no violation by a suspended UNC football player accused of sexual assault. In a short statement Friday, Kerry Sutton, the attorney who represents Allen Artis, said the university’s original finding had been affirmed by Gena Carter, an administrative reviewer chosen by the university.
newsobserver.com By Jane Stancill
A federal court says a public university in Virginia violated a student’s right to due process by punishing him severely after exonerating him of rape allegations. The university’s five-and-a-half year suspension of Doe only happened after his accuser, “Jane Roe,” appealed a finding in his favor. The U.S. Constitution does not allow an accused person to be tried again after exoneration, known as double jeopardy, but the practice was forced on colleges by the Department of Education’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter.
thecollegefix.com By Kayla Schierbecker