For this assignment, write a paper based upon the case study below, which is a hypothetical case of Hartley University:
Questions following the case will guide you in preparing your paper. In doing so, focus upon how the relevant facts that either support or reject the application of the legal theories on which you base your arguments. In other words, do not simply state a legal doctrine applies, but suggest what facts might cause it to apply. If there is a cause of action based upon Title IX, for example, simply asserting that the legal theory exists is not sufficient. You must suggest how facts are evidence of gender discrimination as the statute defines it and whether these facts are sufficient to meet the standards of the statute. Similarly, simply including facts in your arguments without relating them to a specific legal principal or standard is not an effective use of the limited space you have available.
Educational opportunities abound along Lake Shore Drive in Fort Dearborn. Just north of downtown is the campus of Hartley University. Hartley University enrolls 15,000 students in baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral programs in 100 fields of study. Hartley University was founded in 1878 with a gift from industrialist Robert Hartley. Many people outside of the Fort Dearborn region know Hartley University for its successful football team, the Bobcats. The Bobcats play their home games at Peterson Stadium, which seats 50,000 people. Tickets for home games are very difficult to obtain. In fact, due to the recent success of the football team, Hartley University now draws most of its students from outside of Fort Dearborn and tuition charges at Hartley have become among the highest in the nation, exceeding $20,000 per year. The football success has also attracted the attention of the city of Fort Dearborn, who has passed a 5 percent tax on all tickets sold for intercollegiate football games played within the city limits. The University has challenged the tax, citing a state law forbidding the taxation of the activities of either private or public postsecondary institutions that are related to any educational objective.
Harley University remains a private institution, although it receives substantial federal and state support through student loan programs and research grants and contracts. Several years ago, the institution entered into a contract with the state to offer a program in art history. The state felt that it was very important that the residents of Fort Dearborn be exposed to the fine arts and decided to fund the entire cost the program. The University has control over the program — who is hired to teach, what is taught, what tuition is charged — and the annual state appropriation is used to cover any shortfall in revenues. Recently, several untenured arts program faculty were dismissed without any notice or hearing by a new program director. They have sued the director and the University under the Fourteenth Amendment. The institution has responded that as a private entity, it is not subject to the terms of the U.S. Constitution and the court should grant its motion of a summary judgment.
Adjacent to the Hartley University campus is what the state hopes will become Borden State University. Borden was founded at the turn of the century as Borden Academy, a 2-year private college offering degrees in the new field of aviation. Over the years, the college grew, changed its name to Borden College, and began to offer baccalaureate degrees in several fields. From its founding, the Borden family remained in control of the institution. In the early 1990s, the need for a comprehensive public institution — one that would offer professional degrees at tuition priced to more affordable than at Hartley — became apparent to many in Fort Dearborn. In response, the state legislature approached Borden College, which was struggling financially at the time and risked bankruptcy, and suggested that the college merge into the existing state system of higher education, becoming Borden State University. Several members of the Borden College Board objected to the merger. They claimed that the merger violated the terms of the trust executed by Howard Borden, Sr., the founder of the Academy. The trust stated the Academy should always remain privately held — Borden, Sr. had a lifelong hatred for the government and was what we would term today a Libertarian — and that control of the board of trustees should always remain with the Borden family. Interestingly, the Borden family had never maintained a majority on the board since the founding of the college. The board voted 10-5 to join the state system and become Borden State College. What swayed the board was the strong evidence that Borden College could no longer remain viable as a private institution. The five dissenting board members have brought an action against the board and state to prevent the merger.
The state has also come to appreciate the need for public 2-year education in the Fort Dearborn area. The region was one of the only ones in the nation without a public community college. Kessler Junior College (Kessler JC) has operated for several years as a private 2-year institution. Recognizing the immediate need to establish a public community college in Fort Dearborn, the state entered into an agreement with Kessler JC, which like Borden College, had struggled during a general economic downturn in Fort Dearborn. The state agreed to fund Kessler JC, which would remain a private institution through local taxes. In exchange, the state would have authority over on what programs Kessler spent the money. The state would also obtain the right to set tuition rates, audit various accounts, and select one-third of the Kessler JC governing board. Kessler JC was founded by an order of Catholic nuns, who would retain a voting majority on the governing board of the college. A group calling itself Citizens for the Separation of Church and State has challenged the proposed arrangement in state court.
Just beyond the Kessler JC campus, at the corner of Lake Shore and Tupperman Boulevard, is Robinson Church. Pastor Jerry Robinson has built Robinson Church into an institution of great reach and influence in Fort Dearborn. The church attracts over 10,000 people to services each Sunday and services are televised across the nation on cable television. Affiliated with the church are successful elementary and secondary schools. Last year, Robinson announced plans to begin what he called the Robinson Institute to train those called to spread the word of the Lord. The Institute would not be a traditional postsecondary institution. It would offer certificates, baccalaureate degrees, and doctorates via airtime purchased on the television stations that carried the Sunday services. In order to receive their degrees, the baccalaureate students would be required to sign affidavits attesting to the fact that they watched each of the 30 hour-long sessions, paid careful attention, and were profoundly moved by the experience. Several hundred prospective students sent a $500 deposit to the Institute to secure their place in the first enrolling class.
Upon hearing of Robinson’s plans, the state board of higher education — the body charged with licensing postsecondary education institutions in the state — brought an action in state court to enjoin Robinson Institute from offering baccalaureate and doctoral degrees. In response, Robinson applied for a license and was denied after a short hearing. The state did not include consideration of the religious affiliation in its decision. The court accepted the argument by the state that Robinson offered degrees without meeting the conditions of the state higher education act. The act required that institutions offering baccalaureate degrees require an amount of coursework, whether taken in residence or through other means, normally required by postsecondary institutions in the state. A court in the state has never interpreted the normally required language in the statute, though one court in the jurisdiction suggested that residential programs were more likely to meet the definition of coursework. Robinson then proposed adding a residential component to the distance program. He began to raise money from the members of his church to build a dormitory to house the distance education program students during the one week each year that they would be required to be on campus in Fort Dearborn. Meanwhile, Robinson brought an action against the state board for violating the free exercise clause of the First Amendment and the due process provision of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution when it denied the license.
To further complicate matters, when it became clear to the residents of the Tupperman neighborhood that Robinson was ready to build the dormitory, the city of Fort Dearborn secured an injunction to prevent any construction. The building would violate the Fort Dearborn zoning rules written in the 1960s intended to prevent large groups of unrelated adults from taking residence within the city. The intention behind the ordinance was to prevent hippies or cults from moving into large houses in the Lake Shore district. The ordinance has been upheld when applied to a religious cult similar to the Heaven’s Gate group, but has not been held to apply to fraternity houses, group homes, or bed and breakfasts. Robinson challenged the city’s ordinance under the same First and Fourteenth Amendments’ grounds. Finally, not trusting that Robinson would adhere to the injunction, the Tupperman Neighborhood Association began to hold sit-ins at the construction site, preventing the construction workers from doing any work on the site. Robinson sued the Neighborhood Association under the First and Fourteenth Amendments and for tortuous interference with business.
All of the attention that Robinson Institute has received has brought to public attention the rule at the church against non-U.S. citizens being members of the church. By extension, non-citizens would be prohibited from attending Robinson Institute, which includes church membership within its admission criteria. The Internal Revenue Service is considering rejecting the application Robinson Institute recently submitted for Section 501(c)(3) status.
Finally, word of a secret agreement among all of the institutions in Fort Dearborn to limit the number of programs that they offer — and therefore increase student demand and the tuition that they can charge — has come to the public’s attention. The Justice Department is considering taking action under the antitrust laws.
Use the following statements and questions as a basis to prepare your paper.
· Explore the chances of the dissenting Borden board members preventing the merger between Borden College and the state system.
· Determine if the situation would be any different if the trustees had based their decision on the fact that they were late for dinner and wanted the meeting where the decision was made to end quickly.
· Explain why the state board was justified in denying Robinson Institute a license to operate as a higher education institution. Is there case law that might support his position?
· Indicate if the Robinson case would have been any different if it were a private accreditation agency denying accreditation, instead of a state agency denying a license.
· Determine if Robinson might be more successful against the city ordinance.
· Consider if the suit by Robinson against the Neighborhood Association would survive a motion for summary a motion for summary judgment.
· Indicate how you would advise the IRS to decide on the Robinson 501(c)(3) application.
· Determine if the court should grant the motion for summary judgment by Harley University in response to the action by the dismissed faculty members.
· Discuss the merits of the challenge by the Citizens for the Separation of Church and State against the Kessler J.C. plan.
· Support Hartley’s contention against the city of Fort Dearborn in the football game taxation issue.
· Outline the case the Justice Department might make against the plan by the Fort Dearborn colleges and universities to limit programs in order to raise tuition.
Length: 10 pages, not including title and reference pages
References: Minimum of five scholarly resources