UNT to host Texas Higher Education Law Conference

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What: The Twelfth Annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference -- A conference at the University of North Texas to provide college and university administrators, faculty and staff members and attorneys who advise them with the most current information on legal issues in higher education.

When: March 31-April 1 (Monday-Tuesday)

Where: UNT Gateway Center, located on North Texas Boulevard between Eagle Drive and Highland Street (801 North Texas Blvd.), UNT campus

Featured Topics: "Section 504 and Higher Education" on March 31 by Dr. Charles Russo, Joseph Panzer Chair in Education in the University of Dayton School of Education and Allied Professions; "FERPA after Virginia Tech" on April 1 by LeRoy Rooker, director of the U.S. Department of Education's Family Policy Compliance Office; and "School Security and Lessons Learned from Virginia Tech" on April 1 by Lynn Rossi Scott, attorney with Brackett & Ellis, P.C. in Fort Worth.

Conference Fees: $175 for either March 31 or April 1 and $250 for both days through March 18 (Tuesday); $225 for one day or $295 for both days through March 30 (Sunday).

On-site registration on March 31 will be $250 for one day or $325 for both days. College and university students will pay $60 for one day or $100 for both days.   

Contact: Call (940) 369-7875 for registration information, or register online at http://www.unt.edu/administration/2008RegistrationForm.doc.

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Several recent incidents of violence on college campuses --including a shooting last week at Northern Illinois University that left five students dead -- have resulted in college and university officials throughout the nation debating about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, known as FERPA.

During the University of North Texas' Twelfth Annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference, LeRoy Rooker, director of the U.S. Department of Education's Family Compliance Office, will discuss the latest changes to the law and court cases arising from it since the mass shooting at Virginia Tech University on April 16, 2007. 

College and university administrators, faculty, and staff, and attorneys who advise them, will receive the latest information about other legal topics in higher education during the conference, which is scheduled from 8:45 p.m. to about 4:30 p.m. March 31 and April 1 (Monday-Tuesday) at UNT's Gateway Center. The Gateway Center is located on North Texas Boulevard between Eagle Drive and Highland Street.

Dr. Richard Rafes, president of East Central University in Ada, Okla., founded the conference in 1996. Rafes, who served UNT and the UNT System for more than 20 years as legal counsel and senior vice president for administration, will give the conference's opening address.

The conference is sponsored by the UNT College of Education; UNT Center for Education Law, Administration and Policy; UNT Department of Counseling and Higher Education; North Texas Community Consortium; Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators; and PublicIDentity, Inc. It is expected to attract 300 to 500 representatives from colleges and universities in Texas and surrounding states.

Registration fees are $250 for both days and $175 for one day through March 18 (Tuesday). On March 19 (Wednesday), the fees will increase to $295 for both days and $225 for one day. On-site registration will be available on March 31 (Monday) for $325 for both days and $250 for one day.

Fees for full-time college and university students are $100 for both days and $60 for one day and will not increase after March 18. Call (940) 369-7875 for registration information, or register online at http://www.unt.edu/administration/2008RegistrationForm.doc.

Conference participants will choose from 18 general and breakout sessions during the two days.

Rooker's presentation, "FERPA after Virginia Tech," begins at 8:45 a.m. April 1 (Tuesday). Dr. Charles Russo, the Joseph Panzer Chair in Education in the University of Dayton School of Education and Allied Professions, will discuss "Section 504 and Higher Education" during the conference's first session at 9 a.m. March 31 (Monday). Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance, including colleges and universities. Russo is a former president of the Education Law Association. 

Another featured speaker is Lynn Rossi Scott, an attorney with Brackett & Ellis, P.C., in Fort Worth. Scott's practice consists of school law and public law, involving general representation of public school districts, independent and private schools, junior colleges, and universities. Scott will discuss "School Security and Lessons Learned from Virginia Tech" at 1:15 p.m. April 1 (Tuesday).

For a brochure with a complete list of conference sessions, go to http://www.unt.edu/administration/A000309I_LawConference.pdf.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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