June 25, 2014

IT’S GOING TO MAKE SOME PLAINTIFF’S LAWYERS RICH: College Lawyers Confront a Thicket of Rules on Sexual Assault.

In conversations with lawyers here at the annual meeting of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, nearly all stressed that colleges want to protect students from sexual violence, and that it is the right thing to do. But even as colleges work to do so—and to meet the administrative and legal requirements that now entails—lawyers here expressed frustration that their institutions were being held to a different standard than even law-enforcement agencies and were being given increasingly complex rules that sometimes go well beyond their capacity.

That’s because colleges aren’t law-enforcement agencies. Student disciplinary procedures should be for things like plagiarism and cheating, not violent crimes — or made-up quasi-crimes. Meanwhile, reading about the administrative burdens (enormous) being placed on colleges by a policy that will exacerbate enrollment problems and male under-representation (which makes women less likely to attend) makes me wonder if this whole policy wasn’t formulated by someone sneakily trying to burst the higher education bubble.