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Students Design New Devices to Improve People's Lives

Students recently tested how people interact with all sorts of devices, from car radios to phone applications in a course in the Information Architecture and Knowledge Management program.

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Legal Brief: New Resource for Deans, Directors and Chairs

Posted Jan. 24, 2011

"Legal Briefs" appears in e-Insidemonthly to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. An archive of past "Legal Briefs" is available online.

Academic department chairs, directors and college deans face a multitude of potential legal issues in their respective roles. The issues may range from a contract with a new vendor, a situation with an employee or a student complaint about a faculty member or a class. Whatever the legal issue, knowing how to identify the problem and deal with it is the best way to quickly resolve the issue.

The Office of General Counsel has a new resource to assist academic leaders, particularly those who are new to the university and/or their role as a dean, director or chair. Navigating the Legal Landscape for Deans, Chairs and Directors is available on the General Counsel website.

The document provides a brief overview of many issues that may come before an academic administrator, with information on the university resources available to assist you in resolving it. Topics covered in the guide include:

  • State, federal and university regulations that impact the university;
  • The role of the Office of General Counsel and when to contact a university attorney (e.g., public records requests, subpoenas);
  • Liability issues for the department chair and dean;
  • Administrative duties including handling faculty and staff issues, performance evaluations and adhering to university policies and procedures;
  • Employment issues including hiring, promotion and tenure and termination;
  • The procedure to follow for discrimination and harassment complaints; and
  • Student and employee privacy.

Other legal resources are also available on the General Counsel website at www.kent.edu/universitycounsel. Once there, click on the Legal Resources link.

If you have questions about a topic listed in the guide, or an area that is not covered, contact Michael Pfahl, associate counsel, at mpfahl@kent.edu or 330-672-2982.