Higher Education and the Courts: Legal Issues Involving Faculty, Students, and Immigrants

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Pomona - Rose Hills Theatre
Event Type
John Rodriguez
CGU School of Educational Studies

Although much has been written about U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving higher education, little has been said about the foundational case law and litigation patterns emerging from the lower courts. As universities become increasingly legislated, regulated, and litigious, campuses have become testing grounds for a host of constitutional challenges, from faculty and student free speech to race- or religion-based admissions policies.

In the 30th Annual Howard R. Bowen Lecture, University of Houston Law Center Professor Michael A. Olivas will consider higher education litigation in the latter half of the twentieth century and the rise of "purposive organizations," such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Alliance Defense Fund (now known as the Alliance Defending Freedom), that exist to advance litigation. In his newest book, Suing Alma Mater, he reviews more than 120 college cases brought before the Supreme Court in the past fifty years and then discusses six key cases that did not advance to the Supreme Court in depth. He will use two of these cases (Abrams v. Baylor College of Medicine and Axson-Flynn v. Johnson) as examples of the vexing legal issues facing colleges today. In addition, drawing upon his extensive scholarship on college immigration issues, he will review current higher education and citizenship developments.

Michael A. Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Houston, and author of fifteen books, including Suing Alma Mater: Higher Education and the CourtsNo Undocumented Child Left Behind: Plyler v. Doe and the Education of Undocumented Children; and The Law and Higher Education: Cases and Materials on Colleges in Court. He served two terms as General Counsel of the AAUP, and in 2011, served as President of the Association of American Law Schools. His PhD is from The Ohio State University, and his J.D. is from Georgetown University Law Center.

CGU Professor Emeritus Jack Schuster, a friend and colleague of Professors Bowen and Olivas, will serve as a respondent to the lecture.

The Howard R. Bowen Lecture is sponsored by the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University, which gratefully acknowledges the support of Pomona College and the staff of the Smith Campus Center for hosting this event. 

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