Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


College of DuPage Faces Federal Investigation, Too

The College of DuPage, a community college in Illinois whose spending and other decisions have recently come under scrutiny from DuPage County prosecutors and state education officials, now faces a federal inquiry, too, the Chicago Tribune reports. A federal grand jury issued subpoenas this week that seek documents related to spending and other matters at the college.

The subpoenas follow a Tribune investigation that raised questions about a number of decisions at the college, including a $763,…


Judge Declines to Stop the Closure of Sweet Briar College

A state judge in Virginia on Wednesday declined to stop the closure of Sweet Briar College, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. Considering a suit brought by the Amherst County attorney, Judge James W. Updike Jr. of Bedford Circuit Court imposed a 60-day injunction prohibiting the college from using charitable contributions on the closure. But it may continue shutting down.

At issue in Wednesday’s arguments was the question of whether the college had violated Virginia’s charitable-solicitation…


Over Va. Attorney General’s Objection, Judge Rules Sweet Briar Lawsuit May Proceed

A lawsuit seeking to stop Sweet Briar College from shutting its doors will be allowed to proceed, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. A Virginia judge ruled on Tuesday that Ellen Bowyer, the Amherst County attorney, has standing under the state’s charitable-solicitation law — but not its Uniform Trust Code — to contest the closure of the college. The ruling comes just days after Virginia’s attorney general, Mark R. Herring, filed a brief asserting that Ms. Bowyer lacks standing entirely.

Ms. Bo…


Adjunct’s Due-Process Rights Extend Beyond Contract’s Life, Court Holds

A New York State judge has ordered Barnard College to grant due-process rights to a former adjunct instructor even though she is no longer under contract there.

The longtime Barnard instructor’s grievance rights as a member of the college’s faculty did not cease with the end of her contractual appointment to teach there, the judge, Alexander W. Hunter Jr., ruled last week in upholding her right to challenge Barnard’s decision not to reappoint her.

The decision in the case of Georgette Fleischer,…


Ex-Professor at Yale School of Medicine Faces Accusations of Sex Harassment

A former professor of nephrology at Yale University’s medical school has been accused of sexual harassment while he was medical director of a dialysis clinic where physicians treat patients, The New York Times reports.

The professor, Rex L. Mahnensmith, worked at Yale for more than two decades. He was removed from practice at the university clinic in January 2014, the newspaper says, and forced from the faculty that April. Two federal lawsuits assert that he has a history of sexual misconduct.



Former Chief of Herguan U. Pleads Guilty to Visa Fraud

The former chief executive of Herguan University, an unaccredited for-profit institution in California, has pleaded guilty to charges of visa fraud, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Jerry Wang, who was indicted on the fraud charges three years ago, pleaded guilty to submitting false documents to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He agreed to forfeit $700,000 and serve from three months to two years in prison, according to the newspaper. Herguan was one of the institutions featured in a…


Consultant Who Promised Ivy League Admission Is Convicted of Fraud

An educational consultant has been found guilty of defrauding a couple in Hong Kong by taking more than $2 million from them in exchange for promises to get their son admitted to Ivy League colleges, The Boston Globe reports.

The consultant, Mark Zimny, was convicted in federal court of five counts of wire fraud, five counts of unlawful monetary transactions, two counts of false tax returns, and one count of bank fraud. He was acquitted of a second count of bank fraud.

A former lecturer and visi…


Cooper Union’s Board Offers Not to Renew President’s Contract

The Board of Trustees of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art has offered not to renew the contract of the institution’s president in the hope that such a move would help end litigation and an investigation by the New York State attorney general’s office, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The president, Jamshed Bharucha, took office in 2011 when concerns were already growing about the prestigious arts and engineering school’s finances. It was running deficits despite owning …


Virginia Attorney General Disputes Suit to Keep Sweet Briar Open

Virginia’s attorney general has weighed in on a lawsuit seeking to stop the closure of Sweet Briar College, writing in a brief filed Wednesday that the Amherst County attorney “lacks any authority” to file the complaint on the Commonwealth’s behalf.

The county attorney, Ellen Bowyer, filed the lawsuit last month, claiming that Sweet Briar violated Virginia’s charitable-solicitation law and its Uniform Trust Code by closing. But in a friend-of-the-court brief, Attorney General Mark R. Herring wro…


College Settles Long-Running Fight That Had Roots in Palm-Tree Controversy

MiraCosta College, a two-year institution in Oceanside, Calif., and three of its former trustees have settled a long-running dispute with a former president of the college that was prompted in part by a palm-tree scandal on the campus, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

In 2007, MiraCosta’s Board of Trustees bought out the contract of Victoria Muñoz Richart, the college’s president at the time, amid fallout from a controversy over the illegal sale of thousands of palm trees.

The scandal promp…