New Cases and Developments

NACUA's Legal Resources staff summarizes current higher education cases and developments and provides the full text of selected cases to members. New cases and developments are archived here for up to 12 months.  Cases provided by Fastcase, Inc.

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Financial Aid; Students; Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Research; Research

Letter from Higher Education Associations on Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations (Apr. 5, 2017)

Letter to congressional leaders from thirty-five higher education associations urging members to bundle the remaining appropriations bills with the defense funding bill that the House of Representatives has passed. These appropriations bills include measures related to student financial aid and scientific research. Bundling the remaining bills, the letter explains, will help Congress finalize work on the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations process “in the most expedient and least disruptive way” possible. The associations warn that uncertainty and further delay in the process will force millions of students to find additional funding for their education or forego it entirely, and could lead to the abandonment of promising research efforts at institutions. 

Practice of Higher Education Law; Contract Administration; Research; Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Research

Emrit v. University of Arkansas (W.D. Ark. Feb. 13, 2017)

Order granting defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.  The University of Arkansas dismissed the plaintiff from a master’s program because he failed out.  Plaintiff alleged that his dismissal amounted to a breach of contract and gave rise to various tort claims.  Because the State was immune from suit in federal court under the Eleventh Amendment, the Court dismissed the action. 

Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Research; Tenure; Research; Faculty & Staff

In re Monaco v. New York University (N.Y. App. Div. Dec. 15, 2016)

Two tenured faculty members at the New York University School of Medicine sued the University and the medical school for breach of contract and promissory estoppel after their salaries were reduced. The state trial court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss, and Plaintiffs appealed. The appeals court reversed, holding that the faculty members sufficiently alleged that the University’s faculty handbook had the force of contract, that they had a mutual understanding with the University that tenured faculty members’ salaries could not be reduced involuntarily, and that they relied on administrators’ verbal representations that their salaries would not be reduced. 

Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Research

Notice on Student Support Services Annual Performance Report

Notice published by the U.S. Department of Education requesting comments on the Student Support Services (SSS) program Annual Performance Report. The Performance Reports are used to evaluate grantees' performance for substantial progress, respond to Government Performance and Results Act requirements, and award prior experience points at the end of each project period. Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 27, 2016.

Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Research

Comments on New Safeguarding Requirements in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations System

Comments submitted by the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Council on Governmental Relgations (COGR) On new safeguarding requirements in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations System (DFARS). The DFARS modifications would implement requirements by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to expand safeguards on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). In their comments, AAU and COGR note an apparent contradiction between the revised 7008 and 7012 clauses on notification requirement and suggest that the Department of Defense clarify its intent. Additionally, AAU and COGR urge the Department to include a provision stating that projects determined to be fundamental research do not involve covered defense information subject to the safeguarding requirements.