Triangulating Information for Data-Driven Academic and Non-Academic Decisions: The Legal Perspective
Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the legal implications of academic and non-academic decisions for student retention, remediation, and dismissal. There are long-standing legal foundations supporting academic and non-academic decision-making of faculty in higher education, and especially those in professional education programs. However, it appears that many faculty are not aware of their roles, rights, and responsibilities (Guerrasio et al., 2014; Kalet, 2017). Therefore this presentation will assist faculty in navigating the decision-making process within these legal guidelines that have been established through case law. Methods/Description: During this presentation, landmark legal cases will be presented to guide decision-making processes for faculty. In addition, guidance on triangulation of information from the student, faculty, clinical education faculty, and other constituents will be outlined. Further, step-by-step procedures that align with legal holdings from case law will be provided. Results/Outcomes: Attendees will understand their rights as faculty in higher education with the dual role as faculty within the professional field of physical therapy. Faculty will be able to translate this information to their home institutions to best enact the appropriate actions within their professional programs. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: This session will highlight the essential role of communication with all constituents in a manner that aligns with legal holdings from case law and contemporary expectations. These difficult conversations by faculty with all constituents will serve to collect appropriate data to justify decisions to ensure protection of student rights while also preserving academic freedom for professional faculty.