A court's review of a college’s or university’s disciplinary action against a student limited to whether it complied with its own rules in the process
Matter of Hyman v Cornell Univ., 2011 NY Slip Op 01548, Appellate Division, Third Department
A Cornell faculty member alleged that a graduate student exchanged a series of e-mails. The faculty member told the student she should not contact him after the student suggested that they have a sexual affair.
When the student continued to send the faculty member e-mails, he told her that he that he would take formal action against petitioner if she persisted in communicating with him. Although the student agreed to discontinue communication, she subsequently e-mailed Cornell’s president, copying the faculty member, alleging that her "institutional rights" had been repeatedly violated by Department faculty.
The faculty member instituted proceedings against the graduate student and ultimately filed a complaint accusing her of harassment in violation of Cornell’s Code of Conduct.*
The graduate student than filed a complaint against the faculty member, accusing him of sexual harassment and retaliation. Ultimately the Cornell’s Hearing Board sent the student a written reprimand and issued a “no-contact order.”
The student sued, but Supreme Court dismissed her Article 78 petition. Subsequently the Appellate Division dismissed the student’s appeal of the Supreme Court’s ruling, stating that:
It is well settled that in reviewing a college’s or university's disciplinary determinations, "court[s] must determine 'whether the university substantially adhered to its own published rules and guidelines for disciplinary proceedings," citing Matter of Warner v Elmira Coll., 59 AD3d 909.
The court explained that only in the event the college or university “has not substantially complied with its own guidelines or its determination is not rationally based upon the evidence, the determination will be annulled as arbitrary and capricious.”
* Cornell’s Code of Conduct makes it a violation "[t]o intentionally harass another person by . . . acting toward that person in a manner [that] is . . . severely annoying . . . and beyond the scope of free speech."
The decision is posted on the Internet at:
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS NOT USED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN THE SUMMARIES OF JUDICIAL AND QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISIONS PREPARED BY NYPPL
Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.
THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. AGAIN, CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE, OR CORRESPONDENCE CONCERNING SUCH MATERIAL, DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.
New York Public Personnel Law Blog Editor Harvey Randall served as Principal Attorney, New York State Department of Civil Service; Director of Personnel, SUNY Central Administration; Director of Research, Governor’s Office of Employee Relations; and Staff Judge Advocate General, New York Guard. Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material posted to this blog is presented with the understanding that neither the publisher nor NYPPL and, or, its staff and contributors are providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader is urged to seek such advice from a knowledgeable professional.
Copyright 2009-2023 - Public Employment Law Press. Email: email@example.com.