Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

General Counsel Presentation

1,235 views

Published on

General Counsel Presentation

Published in: Education
  • Hello! I can recommend a site that has helped me. It's called HelpWriting.net So make sure to check it out!
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Be the first to like this

General Counsel Presentation

  1. 1. 1 Office of the General Counsel University of Houston System New Faculty Orientation Dona H. Cornell August 18, 2015
  2. 2. 2 Duties of the General Counsel  Represent BOR, the System and its components  Serves as Ethics Advisor for entire System  Responsible for all legal services  Handle and resolve lawsuits  Prosecution and settlement of claims  Retain and manage outside counsel  Liaison with the Office of the Attorney General, State of Texas  Administer the Office of Equal Opportunity Services and the Office of Contracts Administration
  3. 3. 3 Range of Legal Services  Contracts and Conveyances  Student/Faculty Matters  Information Requests  Intellectual Property (e.g. Copyrights, patents, etc.)  Employment Matters  Immigration Matters  Real Estate  Tax and Gifts  Acquisitions  Legislation  and more
  4. 4. Common Legal Classroom Issues 4  Disruptive Students  Discrimination allegations  Disability in the Classroom  Grade Appeals  Academic Dishonesty
  5. 5. General Legal Issues 5  FERPA  Public Information Act  Ethics
  6. 6. 6 Privacy Issues FERPA  The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, 20 USC 1232g, also known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment provides rights of inspection and prohibits unauthorized dissemination of educational information.
  7. 7. 7 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Three basic rights of students: To review & inspect records. To seek amendments to records. To have control over the disclosure of the records.
  8. 8. Educational Records What is an educational record?  Personal information  Enrollment records  Grades  Schedules  Records directly related to a student and maintained by the university 8
  9. 9. 9 General Rules  No Disclosure without Written Consent.  Release may be allowed with the student’s written consent or if otherwise provided by statute.
  10. 10. 10 FERPA Practical Application  Do not discuss or release a student’s record without authorization.  Do not release information to parents unless student is a dependant for IRS purposes.  Allow student to review their documents.  Be careful what you document.  If you receive a request to release information, refer individual to Registrar’s office.
  11. 11. 11 The public posting of grades either by the student’s name, or by all or part of their social security number without the student’s written permission is a violation of FERPA. This includes the posting of grades to a class website and any public posting of grades by paper or electronic means. Practice Point – Faculty
  12. 12. 12 Letters of Recommendation  The writer of letters of recommendation is required to obtain a signed written release from the student.
  13. 13. 13 Use a students Social Security Number to post grades in a public place or link the name of a student with his/her student number in any public manner Leave graded tests in a stack for students to sort through to find their test Circulate a printed class list with student name and social security number or grades as an attendance roster Practice Point – Faculty Do Not
  14. 14. Student Requests for Accommodation  Requests for accommodation are processed through the Center for Students with DisAbilities.  Recommendations for accommodations are made by the Academic Accommodations Evaluation Committee.  Faculty are presented with an Academic Adjustment/Auxiliary Aids Form seting out the AAEC’s recommendations; the faculty member notes his/her decision to accept, reject or modify the recommendation on the form. 14
  15. 15. Disruptive and/or Distressed Students  University has established the Conduct Assessment and Response Team (CART) in order to provide a proactive, multidisciplinary, and collaborative approach to assessing and responding to students who exhibit threatening and/or concerning behaviors.  Immediate Threat- Dial 911  If not immediate Complete an Incident Report Form submitting this will initiate an assessment of the behavior of concern. http://www.uh.edu/cart/ 15
  16. 16. Campus Carry 16  Beginning August 2016  State law permitting licensed gun owners, who are at least 21 years of age, to carry concealed handguns at state universities, subject to certain exemptions.  University presidents can establish reasonable rules regarding this law, including designating areas where handguns may not be carried on campus.  Work groups on each UHS campus will develop campus carry policies ensuring the safety of our campus communities.
  17. 17. 17 Important Higher Education Laws- Overview Federal –  Title VII-race, color, national origin, gender (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), or religion  Title IX-gender  If receive information in confidence, faculty must still act  ADA-disability  ADEA-age  Equal Pay Act-equal pay for equal work  GINA-genetic information
  18. 18. Overview-continued U.S. Constitutional Claims  First Amendment  Due Process  Equal Protection State –  Texas Commission on Human Rights Act- anti-discrimination law  Texas Whistleblower Act—no retaliation for “blowing the whistle” 18
  19. 19. 19 What do I do if I am sued or if I receive a subpoena? Call the OGC IMMEDIATELY. Main OGC contact information: Phone (713) 743.0949 Fax (713) 743.9179
  20. 20. 20 Conflict of Interest “Conflict of Interest is the use of one’s University of Houston System employment to obtain unauthorized privileges, benefits, or things of value for oneself or others.” UHS Administrative Memorandum 02.A.09 § 2.1
  21. 21. Ethics  No faculty or staff member shall accept or solicit any privilege, benefit or thing of value for the exercise of his or her discretion, influence or powers as an employee.  Other related policies can be found at: See: Ethical Conduct of Employees UHS Administrative Memorandum 02.A.29 See: Consulting and Paid Professional Service UHS Administrative Memorandum 02.A.08 21
  22. 22. 22 Open Records  The Public Information Act presumes all information created by University faculty, staff is public, including personnel files, emails, calendars, committee notes etc.  Exceptions to the PIA. Example: student records  What should you do when you receive a request for information?  Send it to our public information office at: publicinfo@uh.edu
  23. 23. 23 Email- Legal Issues  Email messages sent and received in the course of conducting official university business are open to the public even when sent from or to personal email accounts (e.g. hotmail, yahoo, etc.).  Email messages sent and received in the course of conducting official business are university records and must be retained in accordance with the record retention schedule.
  24. 24. Email- Legal Issues  Emails are often a source of embarrassment and have been used as key evidence in lawsuits.  An Email is a document. Do not put in an e- mail something you would not sign as a letter or memo. 24
  25. 25. 25 Email reminders  Your words last forever.  Never assume any remark is truly private.  Lead by example.  Do not use if you think your message might be misunderstood for some reason.  It is not always the best way to deliver bad news.  Use security precautions.
  26. 26. 26 How Do I Get a Legal Opinion From the Office of General Counsel? Requests for legal services should be written. Follow the chain of command. UHS Administrative Memorandum 01.D.01 § 2.4
  27. 27. 27 Resources  Faculty Handbook  Student Handbook  Includes academic honesty policy  Includes student code of conduct  Manual of Administrative Policies and Procedures –MAPP  System Administrative Memorandum – SAM  Board of Regent Policies

×