For Immediate Release: Senate Bringing College Mental Health to Focus

PRESS RELEASE
LEGISLATION SUPPORT ADVISORY

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2018

Contact: Heather Schroeder
(877) 569-MIND(6463)

Support of Bill To Improve Access To Mental Health Services in Higher Education

On June 23, 2018 The Student Mental Health Policy Alliance voted to support a Senate Bill by Bob Casey(D PA) aimed toward improving access to mental health services for students at college campuses across America. The Higher Education Mental Health Commission Act would establish a national commission focused on mental health conditions facing students at colleges and universities across the country.

Between 2010 and 2015, enrollment in colleges and universities increased by only 5 percent, yet the number of students using mental health services increased by 30 to 40 percent. Students seeking help are increasingly likely to have attempted suicide or engaged in self-harm, the same study found. More than 50 percent of students between the ages of 18 and 24 reported having a severe psychological problem or experiencing feelings of hopelessness. This bill would help address the lack of resources to support students with mental health issues.

Highly publicized campus suicides and research showing an alarming prevalence of mental illness on campuses have heightened the sense of urgency. The reality of rampant mental illness on campus shatters the notion of college as a carefree time when the biggest worries are passing finals and finding a date. For many students, dark shadows shroud the sheltered nest of academe.

More than 40 percent of US students become so depressed during their four years in college that they have trouble functioning, while 15 percent suffer clinical depression, according to a 2004 survey of 47,202 students by the American College Health Association. Suicide remains the second-leading cause of death among college students, claiming about 1,100 lives a year.

“Today, campuses are plagued with an unprecedented demand for counseling services,” said Jacob Griffin, a former on-campus advocate—disturbed by campus administrators’ lack of responsiveness in addressing these issues; pivotal to student success and retention. “It is not uncommon for a university counseling center to have a 6 to 8 week wait…with mental health—symptoms intensify quickly,” Griffin continued.
Jacob launched a national non-profit in 2016 strategically focused on helping campus counseling centers address the influx by lobbying campus leaders to increase staffing and budgetary allotments. He has said that budgets in nearly 95% of Public University centers’ in the past 10 years have not changed to match increases in enrollment numbers, let alone the increases in demand. His research has found 7 out of 10 Campus Counseling Center Directors have resigned or retired within the last several years; citing lack of administrative support and over-extension of resources as key factors.

Specialists in the field have long known that the onset of mental illness often comes during adolescence or early adulthood. Living away from home, often for the first time, compounds stress and anxiety. So, too, does pressure to succeed in an increasingly competitive climate on campus.

As the stigma of having a diagnosed mental illness subsides, demand for counseling will presumably continue to rise. Criticizing Millennials as seemingly less resilient is the most popular diatribe, but it shouldn’t be, Griffin emphasized. In fact, it undermines a decade’s worth of work by counselors, psychologists, and student advocates who have strived to not only bring mental health to the forefront of discussion, but to reassure students that there is no shame in struggling—that experiencing mental distress is actually common and not a sign of weakness. “The distinct proof of concept and need,” Griffin said, “is what compels me to continue to advocate: the fact that I’ve had boots-on-the-ground experience…having witnessed and experienced the adversity has led me to continue bringing awareness to these issues” The result of normalizing mental health in higher education is that peers, faculty and bystanders, have intentionally led sufferers to the centers that promise to help them. “There is absolutely,” Griffin, “a lack of follow-through on that commitment.”

About The Student Mental Health Policy Alliance
A subsidiary of the 501c3 charity: Griffin Ambitions Limited, The nations leading voice on increasing campus mental health services too improve the lives of millions of Students affected by mental illness. We are committed to advocating for campus support, while reviewing and improving current trends in college mental health and highlighting promising practices that contribute to student success. We employ various strategic approaches too improve mental wellbeing on campuses. We take an active role in identifying initiatives consistent with our priorities, seeking out Higher Education Institutions’ that can advance these initiatives and work alongside administrators and stakeholders. We aim to effect change at grassroots and systemic levels. Since Founder Jacob Griffin’s mental health advocacy beyond his campus began in 2015, we have distinctly established ourselves through dedication, commitment and an unceasing belief in our mission to strengthen and improve how college Counseling Centers address their influx. Through our united support for education, advocacy and awareness efforts, the Student Mental Health Policy Alliance is at the forefront of increasing campus provisions, and is a distinctly recognized force in urging new ideas and solutions to improve educational outcomes.

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Mental Health in Higher Education Starts With Griffin Ambitions and the Student Mental Health Policy Alliance

 

II

115TH CONGRESS

2D SESSION S. 3106

To authorize the Secretary of Education to establish an Advisory Commission

on Serving and Supporting Students with Mental Health Disabilities

in Institutions of Higher Education, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

JUNE 21, 2018

Mr. CASEY (for himself, Mr. KAINE, Mr. NELSON, Ms. HASSAN, Ms. SMITH,

Mr. BLUMENTHAL, and Ms. KLOBUCHAR) introduced the following bill;

which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education,

Labor, and Pensions

A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of Education to establish an

Advisory Commission on Serving and Supporting Students

with Mental Health Disabilities in Institutions of

Higher Education, and for other purposes.

1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Higher Education

5 Mental Health Act of 2018’’.

6 SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

7 (a) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following:

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2

S 3106 IS

1 (1) More than 75 percent of mental health con2

ditions begin before the age of 24.

3 (2) More than 25 percent of students between

4 the ages of 18 and 24 reported a mental health con5

cern.

6 (3) More than 50 percent of students between

7 the ages of 18 and 24 reported having a severe psy8

chological problem.

9 (4) More than 50 percent of students between

10 the ages of 18 and 24 reported feelings of hopeless11

ness.

12 (5) Higher education counseling centers are de13

voting more time to rapid-response treatment with

14 more than 25 percent of students who sought help

15 reporting they had intentionally hurt themselves.

16 (6) Over a 5-year period, counseling center uti17

lization increased by an average of 30 to 40 percent,

18 while enrollment increased by only 5 percent, forcing

19 institutions to stretch mental health services to more

20 students without increasing resources.

21 (b) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this Act are the fol22

lowing:

23 (1) To ensure States and institutions of higher

24 education are provided with accurate information on

25 the mental health concerns facing students.

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S 3106 IS

1 (2) To provide detailed recommendations that

2 institutions of higher education, States, and the

3 Federal Government can take to improve the mental

4 health services available to students and properly

5 treat the rising number of students with mental

6 health issues.

7 SEC. 3. ADVISORY COMMISSION ON SERVING AND SUP8

PORTING STUDENTS WITH MENTAL HEALTH

9 DISABILITIES IN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER

10 EDUCATION.

11 (a) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Education shall

12 establish a commission to be known as the Advisory Com13

mission on Serving and Supporting Students with Mental

14 Health Disabilities in Institutions of Higher Education

15 (referred to in this section as the ‘‘Commission’’).

16 (b) MEMBERSHIP.—

17 (1) TOTAL NUMBER OF MEMBERS.—The Com18

mission shall include not more than 19 members,

19 who shall be appointed by the Secretary of Edu20

cation in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

21 (2) MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION.—The

22 Commission shall include 1 representative from each

23 of the following:

24 (A) The Office of Postsecondary Education

25 of the Department of Education.

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S 3106 IS

1 (B) The Office of Special Education and

2 Rehabilitation Services of the Department of

3 Education.

4 (C) The Office of Civil Rights of the De5

partment of Education.

6 (D) The Office of Civil Rights of the De7

partment of Justice.

8 (E) The National Council on Disability.

9 (F) A membership association for adminis10

trative and personnel professionals focused on

11 creating an inclusive higher education environ12

ment for individuals with disabilities, as deter13

mined by the Secretary.

14 (G) An organization that represents the

15 Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with

16 Mental Illness program, as determined by the

17 Secretary.

18 (H) An organization operated by and rep19

resenting secondary and postsecondary edu20

cation students with mental health disabilities

21 advocating for mental health services and sui22

cide prevention, as determined by the Secretary.

23 (3) ADDITIONAL MEMBERS OF THE COMMIS24

SION.—In addition to the members included under

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5

S 3106 IS

1 paragraph (2), the Commission shall include the fol2

lowing:

3 (A) Four members from leadership of in4

stitutions of higher education who have dem5

onstrated experience in successfully supporting

6 the retention and graduation of students with

7 mental health disabilities. With respect to such

8 4 members, 1 member shall be a staff member

9 of a 2-year degree-granting institution of higher

10 education, 1 member shall be a staff member

11 from a 4-year degree granting institution of

12 higher education, 1 member shall be a member

13 of campus law enforcement, and 1 member

14 shall serve as a general counsel. Such 4 mem15

bers shall represent institutions of differing

16 sizes.

17 (B) Three members from family members

18 of individuals who are—

19 (i) enrolled in an institution of higher

20 education on the date such family member

21 is appointed to the Commission; or

22 (ii) former students with a mental

23 health disability.

24 (C) Four members from individuals with

25 mental health disabilities, including not less

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S 3106 IS

1 than 2 individuals enrolled in an institution of

2 higher education on the date of appointment to

3 the Commission. Any remaining member shall

4 be an individual with a mental health disability

5 who has attended an institution of higher edu6

cation.

7 (4) TIMING.—The Secretary of Education shall

8 establish the Commission and appoint the members

9 of the Commission not later than 60 days after the

10 date of enactment of this Act.

11 (c) CHAIRPERSON AND VICE CHAIRPERSON.—The

12 Commission shall select a chairperson and vice chair13

person from among the members of the Commission. Ei14

ther the chairperson or the vice chairperson shall be a stu15

dent or former student with a mental health disability.

16 (d) MEETINGS.—

17 (1) IN GENERAL.—The Commission shall meet

18 at the call of the chairperson, but not more often

19 than 8 times.

20 (2) FIRST MEETING.—Not later than 60 days

21 after the appointment of the members of the Com22

mission under subsection (b), the Commission shall

23 hold the Commission’s first meeting.

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S 3106 IS

1 (e) DUTIES.—The Commission shall conduct a study

2 and prepare a report for the Secretary of Education that

3 includes the following:

4 (1) Findings from stakeholders, including

5 through solicitation of public testimony, related to

6 the challenges faced by students with mental health

7 disabilities in institutions of higher education, in8

cluding—

9 (A) the services available to students with

10 mental health disabilities in institutions of high11

er education and their effectiveness in sup12

porting these students;

13 (B) the impact of policies and procedures

14 that help or hinder the goal of providing equal

15 opportunity for students with mental health dis16

abilities, such as reasonable accommodation

17 policies, mandatory and voluntary leave policies,

18 and disciplinary policies;

19 (C) the use of protected health information

20 of students with mental health disabilities by

21 institutions of higher education, including the

22 extent to which campus-based mental health

23 providers share this information with college or

24 university officials without student consent; and

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S 3106 IS

1 (D) the impact of providing mental health

2 services on a student’s academic performance,

3 well-being, and ability to complete college.

4 (2) Conclusions on the major challenges facing

5 students with mental health disabilities in institu6

tions of higher education.

7 (3) Recommendations to improve the overall

8 education, and retention and graduation, of students

9 with mental health disabilities in institutions of

10 higher education, with the goal of helping these stu11

dents access educational opportunities equal to those

12 of their non-disabled peers.

13 (f) COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS.—

14 (1) TRAVEL EXPENSES.—The members of the

15 Commission shall not receive compensation for the

16 performance of services for the Commission, but

17 shall be allowed reasonable travel expenses, including

18 per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized

19 for employees of agencies under subchapter I of

20 chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while

21 away from their homes or regular places of business

22 in the performance of services for the Commission.

23 Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, United

24 States Code, the Secretary of Education may accept

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S 3106 IS

1 the voluntary and uncompensated services of mem2

bers of the Commission.

3 (2) STAFF.—The Secretary of Education may

4 designate such personnel as may be necessary to en5

able the Commission to perform its duties.

6 (3) DETAIL OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.—

7 Any Federal Government employee, with the ap8

proval of the head of the appropriate Federal agen9

cy, may be detailed to the Commission without reim10

bursement, and such detail shall be without inter11

ruption of loss of civil service status or privilege.

12 (4) FACILITIES, EQUIPMENT, AND SERVICES.—

13 The Secretary of Education shall make available to

14 the Commission, under such arrangements as may

15 be appropriate, necessary equipment, supplies, and

16 services.

17 (g) REPORTS.—

18 (1) INTERIM AND FINAL REPORTS.—The Com19

mission shall prepare and submit to the Secretary of

20 Education, as well as the Committee on Health,

21 Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and

22 the Committee on Education and the Workforce of

23 the House of Representatives—

24 (A) an interim report that summarizes the

25 progress of the Commission, along with any in-

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S 3106 IS

1 terim findings, conclusions, and recommenda2

tion as described in subsection (e); and

3 (B) a final report that states final find4

ings, conclusions, and recommendations as de5

scribed in subsection (e).

6 (2) PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION.—The re7

ports described in paragraph (1) shall be prepared

8 and submitted—

9 (A) in the case of the interim report, not

10 later than 1 year after the date on which all the

11 members of the Commission are appointed; and

12 (B) in the case of the final report, not

13 later than 2 years after the date on which all

14 the members of the Commission are appointed.

15 (h) TERMINATION.—The Commission shall terminate

16 on the day after the date on which the Commission sub17

mits the final report under subsection (g).

Æ

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‘Grasping at straws’: Farm advocates concur more resources needed to combat high suicide rates

Psychologist Michael Rosmann said that whenever he is home at his family’s farm in western Iowa he is taking calls or answering emails from farmers asking for help or counseling.

He specializes in behavioral health for farmers and said he has received more requests for assistance in recent months than the last three decades.

“My phone and my email have just been completely filled for the last six months. I work virtually seven days a week if I’m around the phone is always going email is always coming,” he told ABC News.

The calls are part of a critical issue faced by farmers, their profession faces the highest overall rate of suicide in the nation — much higher than the number of suicides in the general population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PHOTO: Debbie Weingarten and Michael Rosmann during a visit to his farm in Harlan, Iowa, September 2017. Audra Mulkern/Female Farmer Project
Debbie Weingarten and Michael Rosmann during a visit to his farm in Harlan, Iowa, September 2017.

Debbie Weingarten reached out for help four years ago when she was running a vegetable farm in Arizona. She was a first-generation farmer and said that even without the pressure of maintaining a family farm she felt depressed and anxious about the possibility that they would lose money or crops.

“I felt like the risk that farmers undertake to produce food for eaters is not spread out fairly across the food system, so that’s squarely on the backs of farmers,” she told ABC News.

She said couldn’t find anyone to talk to online who understood her situation until she found a program run by Rosmann. The website said it lost funding a few years before but she called anyway.

“I was grasping at straws,” she said.

Rosmann picked up the phone.

Weingarten said she left farming in 2014 but still writes about agriculture. She spent five years researching and reporting a story about the suicide rate among farmers that was published in The Guardian last year.

Farmers in industries that have faced falling commodity prices and international trade disputes have faced additional economic pressure in recent years and farming experts and industry leaders say the uncertainty around the nearly $400 billion dollar Farm Bill adds additional stress for farmers and their families.

“Farmers were going through a very stressful winter weather-wise, a cold and tough winter, and on top of that we are into our fourth year of low milk prices, below the cost of production, and that has been creating a lot of stress,” Robert Wellington, a senior vice president of Agri-Mark Dairy Farmer cooperative, told ABC News on the phone Thursday.

PHOTO: Dairy cows on a Iowa farm are pictured in this undated stock photo.STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
Dairy cows on a Iowa farm are pictured in this undated stock photo.

On average, Wellington estimated, small and medium dairy farmers have struggled through four years of milk prices that are 10 to 30 percent below the cost of production.

His group sent a letter to members in January forecasting yet another year of low milk prices. In the letter, they included phone numbers for people dealing with financial and emotional stress and a suicide hotline.

The farm bill has traditionally been bipartisan legislation to maintain subsidies, crop insurance programs, and livestock disaster programs but there has been dramatic debate and delays in this year’s bill due to proposals to cut funding from food stamp programs that make up a huge portion of the money allocated by the bill every five years.

This draft of this year’s farm bill in the House would have also provided funding for crisis hotlines and other programs to provide mental health help to farmers.

“Our farmers who feed the world are feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders,” one of the sponsors of that bipartisan provision Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn. said on the House floor ahead of the Farm Bill vote.

The House rejected the proposed bill.

In a 2016 report, the Centers for Disease Control found that about 84 out of every 100,000 people in the farming, fishing and forestry industries died by suicide in 2012, the most recent data available. The suicide rate for the general population was about 12 out of every 100,000 people that year, according to CDC data.

PHOTO: A farm in Iowa is pictured in this undated stock photo. STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
A farm in Iowa is pictured in this undated stock photo.

That study included data from 17 states but did not include data from states like Iowa, Texas, or California where agriculture is a major part of the economy.

The report said that the high rate among farmers could be due to the potential to lose money in the business, as well as social isolation, lack of mental health services, or access to lethal means.

Rosmann is a psychologist and adjunct professor at the University of Iowa who specializes in behavioral health for farmers. He said farming is physically and emotionally stressful but that the current health system does not deal with all of the physical and mental risks for farmers.

“The bigger picture is that we have not attended to the behavioral well being of the agricultural population the way we have to the general population’s need for behavioral health,” Rosmann told ABC News.

He said that farmers have a unique psychology that drives them to work hard but that some factors are out of their control, like policy, weather, or commodity prices, resulting in a very stressful situation, adding that there has been increased economic stress on farmers in recent years and that they think they’re being economically marginalized.

Rosmann said farmers have a strong bond to their land and their farming operation and that on a psychological scale the stress of a life event like losing a family’s farm can be just as traumatic as losing a child.

“It’s almost always because of the loss of livelihood that people do such dramatic things as taking their lives,” he said.

Rosmann said he strongly supports a provision in the farm bill sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., to provide more money for states to provide mental health services like crisis hotlines for farmers and ranchers.

He said that some states offer resources like a crisis hotline but they need a stronger network of resources and a national center to help with the problem. In Minnesota the state employs one rural mental health counselor to help roughly 100,000 farmers, according to MinnPost.com.

Earlier in May the president of the National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson, wrote to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to proactively address what he called “the farmer suicide crisis.”

PHOTO: The U.S. House of Representatives votes down a farm bill, 198-213, on May 18, 2018.C-SPAN
The U.S. House of Representatives votes down a farm bill, 198-213, on May 18, 2018.

“Farming is a high-stress occupation,” Johnson wrote in his letter. “Due to the prolonged downturn in the farm economy, many farmers are facing even greater stress. USDA’s national reach uniquely positions the Department to assist farmers and ranchers during times of crisis. We urge you to leverage your vision for collaboration across USDA and the entire federal government to develop a response to the farm suicide crisis.”

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, introduced a bipartisan bill on the issue of farmer suicide that would mandate more spending on mental health resources in rural areas. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., also introduced a bipartisan bill earlier this year to provide mental health services for farmers and ranchers.

Emmer’s bill was included in the version of the farm bill that was voted down in the House. The Senate’s farm bill has not yet been released.

The current farm bill is set to expire in September the most recent Farm Bill failed 198-213.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7 free, confidential support. The organization Farm Aid also offers a hotline for farmers in need of emergency help and a directory of local resources.

ART: When Is an Artist’s Mental Health Your Business?

What does an understanding of an artist’s life story bring to bear on their work? It’s an old question, and of course, one that doesn’t have an easy answer. Biographical information can enrich our understanding of a practice, but it can also narrow a viewer’s focus, forcing critical interpretations through a distorting lens.

We certainly don’t need to know everything about an artist to appreciate her output—whether she smoked or drank; slept with men, or women, or both; was ever arrested, or took LSD, or loved cats—but a hunger for such details is understandable. We are, after all, a curious species.
In the case of so-called outsider art, or art made by those distant from the “art world” (often with mental health complications), it’s an even thornier issue. Curators, and those charged with translating and presenting the story of art to a wider public, have difficult choices to make. What details are relevant, rather than just salacious? Where is the dividing line between honest explication and exploitation?
In conversations with several figures, various aspects of this dilemma come into focus. First, and perhaps most obvious, is that there is no blanket statement or best practice to follow when resolving art’s relationship to mental health. Each artist’s situation is unique, and should be approached as such. Secondly, this is still a dialogue that is in flux, and one in which the foundational vocabulary—including basic terms like “outsider”—are very much contested. The lack of a shared language is itself uncomfortable.

Breaking Down Boundaries

It’s no surprise that

or outsider art—we can perhaps agree to drop the quotation marks and “so-called” qualifiers—are still wrapped up in questions of mental health. Outsider art’s founding moments were with publications and collections that had their roots in psychiatric institutions, from Hans Prinzhorn’s 1920s volumes (including Artistry of the Mentally Ill) to the iconic

collection organized by the French painter

, now housed in Lausanne, Switzerland.

From the beginning, this was art that was both aesthetic and diagnostic. Its interest was partially as a record of psychic maladies, evidence of how differently wired brains might work. (These collections and archives simultaneously provided a fruitful cache of imagery that modern artists were happy to plunder.)
In the 21st century, we’ve started to slowly slough off categorical divisions, as institutions grow more comfortable showcasing outsider or folk art alongside that made by trained or professional artists. It’s a tendency closely associated with a curator like Massimiliano Gioni and key exhibitions that he oversaw or organized, including the 2013 Venice Biennale and 2016’s “The Keeper” at the New Museum.
Installation view of work by Hilma af Klint in “The Keeper” at New Museum, 2016. Photo by Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio. Courtesy New Museum, New York.

Installation view of work by Hilma af Klint in “The Keeper” at New Museum, 2016. Photo by Maris Hutchinson / EPW Studio. Courtesy New Museum, New York.

There are still institutions, though, specifically dedicated to the appraisal and scholarship surrounding art made by extraordinary individuals in uncommon circumstances. But these institutions, focused on folk or outsider art, aren’t organizing exhibitions for didactic purposes; the goal isn’t to lamely exemplify, yet again, what schizophrenia or bipolar disorder looks like in visual terms. And so they’re in a difficult position: making a case for the artistic merit of the work itself, while also deciding what amount of background information is necessary to fully appreciate or comprehend it.

Context Is Key

To get a better handle on this dilemma, I met with Valérie Rousseau, the curator of 20th-century and contemporary art at the American Folk Art Museum in New York. At the time of my visit, two exhibitions were on view, showcasing the work of

and Eugen Gabritschevsky. Wall texts for both shows seem to perform a familiar elision, hinting at unavoidable biographical facts while refusing concrete details.

Carlo Zinelli, Untitled, San Giacomo Hospital, Verona, Italy 1960. Collection of Audrey B. Heckler. Photo by Visko Hatfield © Fondazione Culturale Carlo Zinelli. Courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

Carlo Zinelli, Untitled, San Giacomo Hospital, Verona, Italy 1960. Collection of Audrey B. Heckler. Photo by Visko Hatfield © Fondazione Culturale Carlo Zinelli. Courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

“We always caricature our fields by saying that we’re all about biographies, and the market builds mythologies around the artist,” she explains, sitting in a gallery full of Gabritschevsky’s fantastical gouache paintings. In the case of these dual exhibitions, Rousseau says, “I didn’t [include] anything specific about their mental illnesses, and everybody is asking me: ‘Oh, by the way, I know it’s not written on the walls—but can you tell me? What exactly was the diagnosis of Gabritschevsky?’ People are savvy and curious about this connection, and they want to know. But I question the validity of giving them the answer.”
Would a different sort of institution, she wonders, feel inclined to share wall-text information about an artist’s struggles with “addiction, hallucinations, social issues, or anorexia,” she wonders? “You have to be careful about what’s relevant. I’m driven by showing great artworks—fascinating artists, complex lives—and you do want to be verbal, and bring the visitors into something that is an exhibition experience.”
At the same time, she notes, what would providing diagnostic or clinical information really add to that exhibition experience? Audiences, weaned on Hollywood and pop-psychology, might fancy themselves experts—but what comprehension does the casual viewer actually have of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?

Audiences might fancy themselves experts—but what comprehension does the casual viewer actually have of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia?

That’s not to say that curators should sweep mental health context under the carpet entirely. Rather, it’s one thread of a larger narrative.
In the case of Zinelli, who was a patient at the San Giacomo del Tomba hospital beginning in the middle of the last century, his physical surroundings—the jam-packed institution, the pioneering series of studio classes he took part in there—are important, but so are other things, Rousseau stresses. His upbringing on a farm, appreciation of nature, and fond feelings for a beloved dog are also salient details. Likewise, with Gabritschevsky, the artist’s background as an esteemed biologist provides arguably much more context than the knowledge of the mental health struggles that derailed his career.
“I found it interesting,” Rousseau says, “to show the full range of influences that an artist, a creator, could have had.”
Rousseau brings up another vital point: The way we conceive of mental health and categorize patients has evolved drastically over the centuries. The foundational definitions of sanity and normalcy are constantly shifting. “Timeframe is important,” she says. “If you were in a Swiss hospital in 1945, that’s different than being in one here in New York in 2013. Mental illness has changed, along with its diagnostics and treatments.”
Eugen Gabritschevsky, Untitled, Haar, Germany 1947. Collection Chave, Vence, France, no. 1647. Photo by Galerie Chave © Estate of Eugen Gabritschevsky. Courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

Eugen Gabritschevsky, Untitled, Haar, Germany 1947. Collection Chave, Vence, France, no. 1647. Photo by Galerie Chave © Estate of Eugen Gabritschevsky. Courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

Carlo Zinelli, Untitled, San Giacomo Hospital, Verona, Italy 1967. Collection of Gordon W. Bailey. Photo by Adam Reich © American Folk Art Museum © Fondazione Culturale Carlo Zinelli. Courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

Carlo Zinelli, Untitled, San Giacomo Hospital, Verona, Italy 1967. Collection of Gordon W. Bailey. Photo by Adam Reich © American Folk Art Museum © Fondazione Culturale Carlo Zinelli. Courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

As a result, a curator who decides to play armchair psychiatrist, at great historical remove, would run the risk of being both inaccurate and unethical.
“I hope my shows refuse the pathologizing of the artist,” says Gioni, whose recent curatorial work has been instrumental in mingling mainstream and outsider practices. In his mind, part of our thrall to the latter has to do with “a certain romanticism, a desire for sincerity” that is lacking in the larger art world.
Take

, a recently lauded artist from the early 20th century who was influenced by spiritualist movements of the times. Catalog copy on the artist casually suggests that she had “visions”—but what does that even mean?

“These objects and stories help us understand that the rules and notions of conformity and eccentricity are historical, and relative,” Gioni says. “Af Klint had visions or hallucinations—I don’t know if they were pathological or not, but we have enough history under our belts to understand that the definition of pathology is relative, and historical, and cultural. And to be reminded of that might help us also have a healthier relationship with our fellow humans.”

Risky Choices

Despite the fact that boundaries between these types of artmaking are slowly dissolving, prejudices and anxieties remain—tied to both artistic legacies and markets.
Rousseau points to the case of

, the subject of the Antigua and Barbuda Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. Walter is an artist whose work I encountered there, and later wrote about, focusing on the more colorful and anecdotal elements of his backstory (and doing my own part to dance around mental health issues by including the problematic word “visionary” in my headline).

Installation view of “Frank Walter: The Last Universal Man 1926-2009” on view at the Pavilion of Antigua and Barbuda at the Venice Biennale, 2017.

Installation view of “Frank Walter: The Last Universal Man 1926-2009” on view at the Pavilion of Antigua and Barbuda at the Venice Biennale, 2017.

The Pavilion, and its hefty accompanying catalogue, is a fascinating case study regarding the choices curators can make in dealing with complicated artists. In Rousseau’s reckoning, the Pavilion organizers “really dig into all the possible biographical facts they could—they don’t have an art-historical approach for that publication, which surprised me.” At the same time, she says, “I think the tone was right. I think it was a point of view that was risky.”
But what’s next for an artist like Walter, after the Biennale? Will it be the Serpentine or the American Folk Art Museum? Rousseau somewhat wistfully notes that, once an artist’s work has been received in a particularly high-profile manner, it’s difficult to change course.
“It’s impossible or often misperceived to send them back, to associate them again to a niche, specialized presentation like in our museum,” she says. “It’s [as if]: ‘Oh, no, he doesn’t belong anymore in this category.’ I’ve seen that so many times. It’s interesting how this whole process of recognition in the art world is more like an irreversible path, from one step to another. And I think outsider or self-taught artists do not escape that program.”
In other words, the biographical drama of Walter’s life might act as a wedge to generate (justifiable) interest and intrigue. Meanwhile, the paintings themselves—divorced from those details—are indeed fascinating and adept. If we fast-forward three decades, perhaps Walter’s oeuvre might be assimilated into a larger art-historical narrative that doesn’t dwell too much on his personal eccentricities or mental health. That might all depend on the steps his estate takes, institutionally, as well as the decisions it makes in terms of how his work is packaged, exhibited, and contextualized.
It’s a process that Rousseau and Gioni both allude to, in the case of canonized artists from

to

,

, or even

: At first, the details of the individual life are tantalizing. But after we’re generally familiar with those details, we can somehow move on and appreciate the art on its own terms.

The Challenge of Living Artists

As if this conversation wasn’t complex enough, there’s another wrinkle: the considerations at play with living artists who may have mental health issues or, more specifically, developmental disabilities. Perhaps no New Yorker has been more involved in promoting work from such artists than Matthew Higgs, the director of White Columns, who has created a thriving network between his non-profit institutions and centers around the country, like Creative Growth in Oakland and and Visionaries + Voices in Cincinnati. For these practitioners, he stresses, one thing swiftly trumps the viewer’s curiosity about an artist’s background: the right to privacy.
“Certainly, with historical work, it now seems pretty accepted that the biographical narrative is part of the work of self-taught, outsider, and folk artists,” Higgs says. “But it’s much more complicated when showing the work of living artists with disabilities.”
Here, the balance is twofold: Not encroaching on an artist’s privacy rights—especially in the case of those who are “not in the position to articulate” them directly—while also highlighting the positive work being done by non-profit organizations. “When you go to the desk at White Columns,” Higgs says, “the press text will explain that this is an artist who is affiliated with a center that supports artists with disabilities. But we wouldn’t then go beyond that into establishing a narrative around their medical circumstances or mental health issues.”

What Do We Talk about When We Talk about Mental Health?

Eccentric. Visionary. Prophetic. It often seems like institutions, galleries, and the media have developed a series of lightly coded terminology with which to tip-toe around issues that can’t, or shouldn’t, be fully unpacked in the case of a wall text or short catalog essay.
Is the vocabulary we have, I wondered, lagging behind the rest of the field itself? If so, Gioni sees a silver lining, that “these artists, artworks, and objects are still putting our system in crisis to such an extent that there’s not yet a word for it. That’s the hopeful aspect.”

It often seems like there is a lightly coded terminology used to tip-toe around issues that can’t, or shouldn’t, be fully unpacked in the case of a wall text or short catalog essay.

Andrew Edlin, who runs an eponymous New York gallery and also helms the Outsider Art Fair, is less optimistic when I bring up the handful of phrases that seem to resurface so often within the field. “I don’t particularly like any of these words,” he says. “Visionary can be appropriate at times, but I tend to think of

. Eccentric seems like a euphemism to describe someone who’s a bit weird. There’s that well-known line: The difference between someone who is eccentric and crazy is how much money they have!”

And perhaps, he suggests, the repetition of rote or cliched phrases is simply the byproduct of a certain laziness. “I don’t think we are lacking in vocabulary at all,” Edlin says. “If a writer sticks to the idiosyncratic qualities of each artist, there shouldn’t be any problem in finding the right words to accurately talk about his or her work.”

What Difference Does It Make?

We generally want to know more about all the artists we love—whether or not those facts actually enhance our understanding of the work they make. We crave gossip and insider dirt, or at least a broader picture of a life. “That’s one of the reasons why the Calvin Tomkins [profiles] in the New Yorker are so fascinating,” Higgs says. “It’s one of the rare opportunities to get a glimpse into an artist’s background, what their parents did, how they grew up, what their circumstances are—all of which is useful information.”
But with outsider artists, it’s important not to indulge in sensationalism under the guise of scholarship. Rousseau does admit that, in certain cases, a deeper understanding of someone’s mental health or related background can be fruitful. She points to

, an artist who has Asperger’s Syndrome. “Because of his love for inventories and numbers, it’s not an un-useful fact to know,” she says. “He also has a photographic memory. It helps you understand a cause and effect. But that’s not often the case.”

In other instances, seeing beyond biographies and categorical distinctions seems to be a way out of the morass. “I’m led to believe that there is no difference between the ‘eccentric’ artist and the professional artist, when they’re dealing with matter and materials,” Gioni says. “In the moment they sit down to make, I ultimately don’t think there’s any difference in the knowledge they have of their hands meeting the material.”
Susanne Zander of Cologne-based Delmes & Zander echoes that sentiment. Her gallery represents the likes of

and

. “Essentially, we are not that interested in the mental history of the artist,” she says. “The selection of the artists in our program is based mainly on the quality of their work, irrespective of whether or not it was produced specifically for the art market. It’s important for us that the quality is on a par with established art production, and that the artists are judged not for any of their psychological problems—but rather for the quality, individuality, and autonomy of their artistic work.”

As for the basic phrase “outsider art,” Zander feels that it has lost its usefulness. “We feel that the term ‘outsider’ focuses too strongly on the personal situation of the artist and misleads the public, who neglect the actual work itself. We see each work not in reference to a classification or terminology, but for what it really is.”
“The most respectful way to talk about an artist with any condition or pathologies is to stick to the facts,” Edlin says. “If there are things that are unknown—but evidence that suggests certain possibilities—than that’s exactly how it should be put across. Focus on the work, and use the biographical info to help interpret the artmaking process.”
At the same time, Edlin recognizes that an exceptional background can add another dimension to the appreciation of the work. “One of the most interesting and exciting results of accurately explaining the details of the lives of outsider artists—or any artists who have overcome incredibly challenging circumstances—is that their art becomes even more transcendent and uplifting for the viewer,” he continues. “It’s important to remember that figures like

,

, and

were some of the most downtrodden artists we’ve ever known. Genius resides in some of the most unlikely of places.”

When Ignorance Is Bliss

Disko Girls (Anonymous), untitled, 1970s-1980s (archive-# 1). Courtesy Delmes & Zander, Cologne.

Disko Girls (Anonymous), untitled, 1970s-1980s (archive-# 1). Courtesy Delmes & Zander, Cologne.

Disko Girls (Anonymous), untitled, 1970s-1980s (archive-# 32). Courtesy Delmes & Zander, Cologne.

Disko Girls (Anonymous), untitled, 1970s-1980s (archive-# 32). Courtesy Delmes & Zander, Cologne.

“Despite thorough research it has not been possible to identify the artist behind these drawings, found in Germany in the late 1990s,” read the press statement for a group of 50 stunningly idiosyncratic colored-pencil drawings that Delmes & Zander showed at this year’s Independent art fair in New York. Based on its content, the series had been dubbed “Disko Girls,” a title that was “attributed to the work out of respect for the unnamed and unknown author.”
Here, finally, is a case study that happily short-circuits everything we’ve just discussed. For the moment, it’s possible to stand in front of these strange portraits—titillating, disturbing, campy, playful, raw—with absolutely zero baggage.
Perhaps art-historical sleuthing will turn up the artist’s identity in the next few years. Perhaps we’ll find out that he was an orthodontist in Cologne who drew on the weekends, or that she was a university student who copied designs from advertisements and pornographic magazines. Biography will become a magnifying glass used to zoom in on what was once peculiar, elusive, and magnificently foreign about the artist. With any luck, that day will never come.
By Scott Indrisek

Surging Demand for Mental Health Care Jams College Services

Students may wait weeks for a basic consultation; sometimes even longer to see a psychiatrist
-Jacob Griffin,Executive Director of Student Mental Health Policy Alliance

Colleges across the country are failing to keep up with a troubling spike in demand for mental health care — leaving students stuck on waiting lists for weeks, unable to get help.

STAT surveyed dozens of universities about their mental health services. From major public institutions to small elite colleges, a striking pattern emerged: Students often have to wait weeks just for an initial intake exam to review their symptoms. The wait to see a psychiatrist who can prescribe or adjust medication — often a part-time employee — may be longer still.

Students on many campuses are so frustrated that they launched a petition last month demanding expanded services. They plan to send it to 20 top universities, including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, and Columbia, where seven students have died this school year from suicide and suspected drug overdose.

“Students are turned away every day from receiving the treatment they need, and multiple suicide attempts and deaths go virtually ignored each semester,” the petition reads. More than 700 people have signed; many have left comments about their personal experiences trying to get counseling at college. “I’m signing because if a kid in crisis needs help they should not have to wait,” one wrote.

STAT requested information from 98 campuses across the country and received answers from 50 of those schools. Among the findings:

At Northwestern University, it can take up to three weeks to get a counseling appointment. At Washington University in St. Louis, the wait time runs nearly 13 days, on average, in the fall semester.

At the University of Washington in Seattle, delays in getting care are so routine, the wait time is posted online; it’s consistently hovered between two and three weeks in recent months. In Florida, where educators are pressing the state legislature for millions in new funding to hire counselors, the wait times at University of Florida campuses can stretch two weeks.

Smaller schools aren’t exempt, either: At Carleton College, a liberal arts campus in Northfield, Minn., the wait list can stretch up to 10 days.

A few weeks’ wait may not seem like much. After all, it often takes that long, or longer, for adults to land a medical appointment with a specialist. But such wait times can be brutal for college students — who may be away from home for the first time, without a support network, and up against more academic and peer pressure than ever before. Every class, every meal, every party can become a hurdle for students struggling with eating disorders, depression, and other issues.

Many counseling centers say that they are often overwhelmed during the most stressful times for students, such as midterms and finals. Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., for example, reports a wait time of up to a month during busy periods.

In most instances, STAT’s examination found, students who say that they are suicidal are seen at once, and suicide hotlines are available for after-hours emergencies. But some students are uncomfortable acknowledging an impulse to harm themselves, and thus get pushed to the end of the line, along with undergrads struggling with concerns ranging from acute anxiety to gender identity issues.

Campus counselors are acutely aware that they’re leaving students stranded but say they don’t have the resources to do better.

“You’re making sure people are safe in the moment,” said Ben Locke, who runs a national college counseling network and directs counseling services at Pennsylvania State University. “But you’re not treating the depression or the panic attacks or the eating disorders.”

‘I NEEDED TO SEE SOMEONE’

Constance Rodenbarger, now in her third year at Indiana University, first sought help at the counseling center in her second semester, as she struggled to deal with an abusive relationship on top of long-term depression. The next appointment was at least two weeks away.

“I was just looking at that date on the calendar and thinking, ‘If I can just make it one more day,’ but then it became just one more hour, and then one more minute,” she said.

“I just couldn’t hang on.”

The day before her appointment, on Nov. 17, 2014, she tried to kill herself.

Her roommate found her, and Rodenbarger was rushed to the hospital. She called the counseling center from the hospital to say she wouldn’t be able to make it in the next day.

“When I called that day and said, ‘I need to see someone,’ I needed to see someone,” she said.

Indiana University now says it connects with all students who seek counseling within two days. But that connection can involve simply setting up an appointment — for up to three weeks away.

“We, like centers across the country, are working on expanding our staff,” said Nancy Stockton, the director of Indiana University’s counseling center. “We certainly need more clinicians.”

Indiana University and several other large schools said they employ one counselor for roughly every 1,500 undergraduates. That’s at the high end of the range recommended by national experts. The numbers reported in an annual national survey are even more stark: In 2015, large campuses reported an average of one licensed mental health provider per 3,500 students.

When students do get in to campus counseling centers, most see therapists, social workers, or perhaps psychologists.

Just 6 in 10 college counseling centers have a psychiatrist available, even part-time, to prescribe or adjust medications, according to the annual survey, conducted by the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors. That’s a serious mismatch, given that about one-quarter of college students who seek mental health services take psychotropic medications.

There are other hurdles, too. While many schools tout free counseling, they often cap that benefit. Students at Brown University, for instance, get seven free sessions a year. At Indiana University, students get just two free sessions and then pay $30 per visit.

And it can be hard for students to develop a consistent relationship with a therapist when so many college mental health providers work limited hours. Wellesley College, for example, has a counseling staff which includes six therapists — but three of them are only on campus part-time.

While dozens of colleges provided STAT with detailed information about their mental health resources, the public relations staff at others, including Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, and Grinnell College, refused to provide information after repeated requests.

Others, such as Harvard and Yale, declined to provide specific staffing information. In some cases, such as with the US Merchant Marine Academy, media relations staff expressed discomfort about being compared to other colleges.

Columbia University told STAT it employs the equivalent of 41 full-time counselors for just over 6,000 students, which would be an enviable staffing level, far better than most other schools its size. Columbia said its wait time varies, but did not provide a specific range. All enrollment numbers come from U.S. News and World Report.

A SPIKE IN CRISIS CASES

Demand for counseling on college campuses has been rising steadily for several years.

And the latest data, released in January, show a recent spike in cases of students in acute crisis.

One in three students who sought counseling last year said they’d seriously considered suicide at some point in their lives, according to a report out last month from the Center for Collegiate Mental Health. That’s up from fewer than 1 in 4 students in 2010.

And those are just the students who admit they’re in crisis. Untold others don’t know how to respond when an employee at the counseling center asks if it’s an emergency. They may downplay their situation, telling themselves others are in more dire condition or it must not be a true crisis if they have the presence of mind to ask for help.

That’s what happened to Adrienne Baer during the fall of 2015, in her junior year at the University of Maryland. Both her grandparents had recently died. So had a high school friend.

“It was a lot to wrap my head around,” she said. With a push from friends, she decided to call the counseling center. “I didn’t exactly have an education on what their resources were, but I got one,” Baer said.

Baer said she was asked on the phone whether she was experiencing an emergency. She didn’t know how to answer that: No one gave her a definition. So she said no and was shunted to the end of the waiting list. It would be two weeks before she could see a counselor.

She dashed off an angry email to the counseling center the minute she hung up the phone:

“I am currently struggling with the issues I wanted to discuss with a therapist or counselor, but even I don’t know how I’ll be in 24 hours, let alone 2 weeks.…

I don’t know if all that constitutes an emergency or if I need to have a mental breakdown to be seen prior to a two week wait but I am seriously disappointed in the lack of availability in mental health resources.”

That got their attention. She was given a quick appointment for an initial assessment. But for continuing care, Baer was put back on the waiting list. It would be five weeks before she could see a psychiatrist who could prescribe medication.

“I had to wait. There was nothing I could do,” said Baer, now a senior. “It was just a roller coaster that I couldn’t control.”

Sharon Kirkland-Gordon, director of the University of Maryland’s counseling center, said she knows her staff can’t keep up with demand, though she said they’re “working overtime to meet the needs of students.”

Requests for appointments shot up 16 percent last year alone, she said.

Nationally, about six in 10 undergrads seeking counseling are women, and 5 percent are international students. There are roughly an equal numberof freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Kirkland-Gordon has started to bring on part-time seasonal staff to help handle the workload. Many campuses also use therapists who are still in training work one-on-one with students, as long as they report to licensed counselors.

“If we had a magic wand, I think you’d probably hear the same thing from all of us counseling directors,” said Kirkland-Gordon. Their wish list is simple: more resources.

No one is entirely sure why student demand for mental health services is rising; factors may include increased pressure from parents or peers on social media, or a difficult job market. Another possible reason: increased awareness about the risk of mental health conditions.

In the past decade, the federal government has given out tens of millions in grants to suicide prevention programs that raised awareness of risk factors. A generation of students trained by such programs is now in college — and seeking help when they feel warning signs. But not every college got a bump in funding to meet the surge in demand.

“If you want a perfect recipe to generate reduced availability of treatment, that would be it,” said Locke, of Penn State, who also serves as director of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health, a national network.

Locke notes that college health centers would never require a student with strep throat to wait two weeks for an appointment. Yet that’s what’s happening to many students with anxiety, depression, and other serious mental health concerns. “It puts the student’s academic career, and potentially their life, at risk,” he said.

As for Baer, she said she made it through that stressful semester by leaning on friends at school and family back in Pennsylvania. She wonders what would’ve happened to an international student or to a freshman without a reliable support network.

“I do feel like I fell through the cracks,” she said, “but I feel like I fell onto a safety net that other people might not have.”

A COLLEGE PRESIDENT SOUNDS THE ALARM

In an era when colleges are ranked by the number of their professors and the quality of their food — or whether their gyms house rock-climbing walls — it can be tough for the counseling centers to make a case for more resources.

Some turn to quick fixes, touting “stress-busting” programs like bringing in puppies for students to pet during midterms or handing out free cookies in the library during finals.

Others are making a concerted effort to respond to the surging demand.

The wait times at Ohio State University were so alarming to Dr. Michael Drake — a physician who stepped into the president’s office in 2014 — that he hired more than a dozen new counselors. That pushed the school’s ratio down to one provider for roughly every 1,100 undergraduates.

“We were doing it to really smooth the pathway of success for students,” Drake said. National data suggest the additional providers will help; 7 in 10 students who seek counseling say the mental health care improved their academic performance.

The University of California system moved to update counseling services in 2014, as wait lists grew and students with acute needs sought care. It took another year to get a dedicated funding stream to hire more counselors, in the form of increased student fees.

“Things start to back up like a traffic jam,” said Gary Dunn, director of counseling and psychological services for the University of California, Santa Cruz. “A lot can happen in four or five weeks during a quarter in college. It really wasn’t OK to have that delay in place.”

Students who have lived through mental health crises welcome more staff. But they also urge better training so that everyone on campus knows to treat mental health concerns as seriously, and with as much empathy, as a physical injury.

Nick, who asked that his last name not be used, was diagnosed with depression before college and had a difficult transition to his freshman year at Ithaca College in upstate New York. “I had no idea how to cope with all of it and I floundered a bit,” he said in an interview.

He sought help early on — during orientation — because he knew he’d likely need it. But he said he was bounced between two counselors and had difficulty getting appointments that fit into his schedule. In the end, he had to pay for a private mental health specialist off campus.

Ithaca did not respond to requests for information on its mental health services, saying its counseling center staff was busy. At the time he sought care, Nick said there were just two counselors for the school’s 7,000 students.

“I was so badly handled. Not by any fault of their own, they were just woefully underprepared,” he said.

This year, by contrast, he had to take time off for a surgery. Getting help with a physical injury was a breeze, he said.

“The administration and professors have been much more understanding and willing to help when it’s something tangible and physical,” he said, “when the doctors can say, ‘Here’s what’s wrong with you and here’s how you can fix it.’”

DRAWING LESSONS FROM TRAUMA

Rodenbarger, the Indiana University student, is still feeling the echoes of her struggles to get mental health help on campus. Her suicide attempt cost her both her job and her off-campus apartment. The medication she was put on cost her a pilot’s license.

But she is recovering — with the help of a mental health provider off campus. She’s easing off the medication. She’s on track to graduate in the summer of 2018 with two degrees, a fine arts degree in printmaking and another in astronautics.

She’s also excited to have seen the school expand its walk-in services for students in need of urgent mental health care. It’s a step forward — and she wants to see more like it.

“Had I gotten help when I reached out for it,” she said, “it would never have gotten to the level that it did.”

College Faculty: Are You Being Rigorous or Just Intolerant?

I always took pride in being “a hard teacher.” I was rigorous but fair; my students

…didn’t need to be geniuses to succeed, they just needed to be “good students.” A good student attends class, sits attentively, participates in discussions, and meet deadlines. But after more than a decade of teaching, I realized that my idea of the good student was standing in the way of good teaching.

My awakening began one day in my required composition course, when three students sat in class wearing ear buds. Trying to stifle my annoyance, I grumbled to myself: “How could they think this was appropriate classroom behavior?” A week later, another student got up and walked out of class in the middle of a writing exercise. One of her peers later told me she had deemed the work “unproductive.” Hearing that I felt the familiar heat of anger: “Why come to college if you don’t want to learn?”

  • I’ve learned to push past those initial flashes of frustration, thanks to fresh data on the mental health of college students and to recent research on teaching. One concept in particular that has changed my interactions with students is the “ladder of inference,” presented in Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization. The ladder of inference reveals the steps we take to create our beliefs about the world. The first five rungs of the ladder are:
  • (1) observing a person’s behavior; (2) selecting data from what we observe; (3) interpreting that data through the lens of previous experience; (4) making assumptions; and (5) drawing conclusions about that person.

We tend to run up that ladder so fast that we unconsciously draw conclusions based on scant data. To make matters worse, once we’ve drawn our conclusions, we only entertain data that confirm them. If a student is late, we might assume he doesn’t respect our time, and every time he is late, our judgment is confirmed. But if we gather more data, we might discover that the latecomer has OCD and struggles to get out of the house. Of course, the student could just be inconsiderate or a slacker, but we don’t know unless we seek out more information.

I decided to take the information-seeking route. “So, tell me about the ear buds,” I asked one day, and the story of this 18-year-old’s struggles emerged: He had been in multiple car accidents; he is on pain medication but has trouble sleeping and staying focused; the background noise of the music helps him to concentrate. People with ADHD confirm this: They need something in the background to crystallize their attention on the foreground.

As for the student who walked out midclass, I invited her to my office where I learned that she had left because of a panic attack. After a short conversation, I was satisfied that she had the necessary mental-health support, but when I asked about her other courses, she told me she was at risk of failing due to excessive absences. “Easy solution,” I said. “Communicate with these professors.”

But that was not an easy solution. The last time she had divulged to an instructor that she suffered from anxiety, the instructor’s response was, “Yes, we all have anxiety.” In the student’s words, this teacher “shut me down.”

According to data from the 2013 National College Health Assessment, nearly half of 123,078 respondents from 53 colleges and universities across the country felt overwhelming anxiety over the previous year and a third had problems functioning because of depression.

‘Thou shalt not’ directives do not work, and when we fill our classrooms with them, we are not treating students as adults. Still, we hold up the syllabus on the first day of class

like a crucifix to ward off the ‘students from hell.’

While some students arrive with diagnoses and legal accommodations, many begin experiencing mental-health problems during college; the average age of onset of depression and anxiety is 18 to 24. Whether these conditions are permanent or temporary, they are usually accompanied by learning challenges, such as impaired memory and decreased ability to focus and make connections, inhibited curiosity, diminished creativity, and limited flexibility.

To be clear, I have known students with psychiatric conditions who perform the role of the good student, but for others, conforming to that script can be impossible at times.

Despite our students’ struggles, many of us to continue to teach the way we were taught. We continue to lecture and produce syllabi that have the threatening tone of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not eat in class, thou shalt not be late, thou shalt not use cellphones. These rigid documents reflect good intentions. We want our students to learn how to behave professionally so that they succeed in the “real world.”

But there are a few problems with that approach: It doesn’t work. Banning cellphones, for example, doesn’t stop students from using them. And in the real world, successful people sit in meetings texting and eating food, or are routinely late. When we fill our classrooms with “don’t” directives, we are not treating students as adults.

Still, we hold up the syllabus on the first day of class like a crucifix to ward off the “students from hell.” In his classic The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life, Parker Palmer draws the veil from the “student from hell” to reveal a student “full of fear.” According to Palmer, teachers are also driven by fear: “We collaborate with the structures of separation because they promise to protect us against one of the deepest fears at the heart of being human — the fear of having a live encounter with alien ‘otherness,’ whether the other is a student, a colleague, a subject, or a self-dissenting voice within.”

That resonates with me. As a writing instructor I rarely lecture, but I do have a tendency to choreograph every step of class, leaving little space for “live encounters.” If, as Palmer suggests, we are protecting ourselves, it makes sense that our syllabi are stringent. It also makes sense that we are more likely to rely on stereotypes of students rather than seek more data about them — because when we gather more information, what we find can be unsettling. They are not whom we envisioned. Rather thanknowledge-thirsty, carefree adolescents, our students are complex people with complicated lives.

It is tempting to say, “We should leave mental health to the experts.” I have said that myself. But now I recognize that asking students to leave their mental-health issues at the door is not only unreasonable, it’s unjust. It’s akin to asking students to leave their race or gender at the door. Of course, we should direct students to the experts when they are in crisis, but there’s much we can do without positioning ourselves as therapists or saviors.

The work of promoting mental health shouldn’t always be outsourced to the counseling center; it must be part of the fabric of our institutions, including our classrooms. Too often when faculty discuss students with mental-health conditions, the conversation ends in the same place: Either we establish rigorous standards or we coddle students. But that is a false binary.

 

The student who left in the middle of my class told me she felt comfortable talking about her personal struggles with me because in my class we had read an article about mental health. She is smart and hardworking, but she was at risk of failing due to excessive absences. During our 15-minute conference, I gave her my computer to email her other professors and spell out the problem. She needed a nudge to trust that this was her best shot at succeeding at college.

  • Admittedly this is harder to do in a large-sized class. But even in such classes, we can acknowledge mental health by being open to “live encounters,” by ditching rules that don’t enhance learning, by responding to students with flexibility and caring, and by being informed about how mental illness affects learning and behavior.

    Outside of the classroom, even something as simple as organizing a panel where faculty and staff members discuss how they manage their psychiatric conditions can be helpful. Such an event had a profound effect on one of my students who had been diagnosed with depression in high school. Hearing the stories of these successful professors and staffers in her first semester, she said, made her think, “I can do this. I’m going to make it.”

    Reconsidering my notion of “the good student” has improved my pedagogy and my well-being. I spend more time getting to know my students and less time being frustrated. My courses are rigorous, and I have created a space for young adults with complicated lives. In this space, a diversity of perspectives and experiences allows us to learn together and from one another.

    Author, Catherine Savini is an associate professor of English.

Eligible Colleges and Universities of Intervention in America

 

 

 Listing of Membership-eligible institutions for the Student Mental Health Policy Alliance
– A –
Abilene Christian University
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College 
Academy of Art University 
Adams State College 
Adelphi University 
Adrian College 
Agnes Scott College 
Air Force Institute of Technology 
Air University 
Alabama A&M University
Alabama State University 
Alaska Bible College 
Alaska Pacific University 
Albany State University 
Albertson College of Idaho 
Albertus Magnus College 
Albion College 
Albright College 
Alcorn State University 
Alderson-Broaddus College 
Alexandria University 
Alfred State College, State University of New York College of Technology 
Alfred University 
Allegheny College 
Allen College 
Allen University 
Allentown College 
Alliant International University 
Alma College 
Alvernia College 
Alverno College 
Amberton University 
American Bible College and Seminary 
American Coastline University 
The American College 
American Global University 
American Graduate School of International Management 
American Institute for Computer Sciences 
American InterContinental University 
American International College 
American Military University 
American Public University 
American Schools of Professional Psychology 
American University 
American University of Hawaii 
Amherst College 
Anderson College 
Anderson University 
Andrew Jackson University 
Andrews University 
Angelo State University 
Anna Maria College 
Antioch College 
Antioch New England Graduate School 
Antioch University Los Angeles 
Antioch University Santa Barbara 
Antioch University Seattle 
Antioch University Yellow Springs OH 
Apache University 
Appalachian School of Law 
Appalachian State University 
Aquinas College 
Arcadia University 
Arizona International College 
Arizona State University 
Arizona State University West 
Arkansas State University 
Arkansas Tech University 
Arlington Baptist College 
Armstrong State University 
Art Center College of Design 
The Art Institute of Phoenix 
The Art Institute of Southern California 
The Art Institute of Washington 
Asbury College 
Ashland University 
Assumption College 
Athena University 
Athens State College 
Atlantic Union College 
Auburn University 
Auburn University, Montgomery 
Audrey Cohen College 
Augsburg College 
Augusta State University 
Augustana College, Rock Island Illinois 
Augustana College, Sioux Falls South Dakota 
Aurora University 
Austin College 
Austin Peay State University 
Averett College 
Avila College 
Azusa Pacific University
– B –
Babson College 
Baker College 
Baker University 
Baldwin-Wallace College 
Ball State University 
Baltimore Hebrew University 
Bank Street College of Education 
Baptist Bible College and Seminary 
The Baptist College of Florida 
Bard College 
Barclay College 
Barnard College 
Barrington University 
Barry University 
Barton College 
Bastyr University 
Bates College 
Bay Path College 
Baylor College of Dentistry 
Baylor College of Medicine 
Baylor University 
Belhaven College 
Bellarmine College 
Bellevue University 
Belmont Abbey College 
Belmont University 
Beloit College 
Bemidji State Univeristy 
Benedict College 
Benedictine College 
Benedictine University 
Bennett College 
Bennington College 
Bentley College 
Berea College 
Berkeley College 
Berklee College of Music 
Berry College 
Bethany Bible College 
Bethany College, West Virginia 
Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS 
Bethany College, Scotts Valley, CA 
Bethany Lutheran College 
Bethel College and Seminary, Saint Paul Minnesota 
Bethel College, McKenzie, Tennessee 
Bethel College, Mishawaka, Indiana 
Bethel College, Newton, Kansas 
Bethune-Cookman College 
Bienville University 
Biola University 
Birmingham-Southern College 
Black Hills State University 
Blackburn College 
Bloomfield College 
Bloomsburg University 
Bluefield College 
Bluefield State College 
Bluffton College 
Bob Jones University 
Boise State University 
The Boston Architectural Center 
Boston College 
Boston Conservatory 
Boston University 
Bowdoin College 
Bowie State University 
Bowling Green State University 
Bradford College 
Bradley University 
Brandeis University 
Brenau University 
Brewton-Parker College 
Briar Cliff University 
Bridgewater College 
Bridgewater State College 
Brigham Young University 
Brigham Young University Hawaii 
Brigham Young University Idaho 
Brooklyn College 
Brooklyn Law School 
Brown University 
Bryant College 
Bryn Mawr College 
Bucknell University 
Buena Vista University 
Buffalo State 
Butler University
– C –
C. R. Drew University of Medicine and Science 
Caldwell College 
California Baptist University 
California Coast University 
California College of Arts and Crafts 
California College for Health Sciences 
California College of Podiatric Medicine 
California Institute of the Arts 
California Institute for Human Science 
California Institute of Integral Studies 
California Institute of Technology 
California Lutheran University 
The California Maritime Academy 
California National University for Advanced Studies 
California Pacific University 
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 
California State University, Bakersfield 
California State University, Channel Islands 
California State University, Chico 
California State University, Dominguez Hills 
California State University, Fresno 
California State University, Fullerton 
California State University, Hayward 
California State University, Long Beach 
California State University, Los Angeles 
California State University, Monterey 
California State University, Northridge 
California State University, Sacramento 
California State University, San Bernardino 
California State University, San Marcos 
California State University, Stanislaus 
California University of Pennsylvania 
Calumet College of St. Joseph 
Calvin College 
Cambridge College 
Cameron University 
Campbell University 
Campbellsville University 
Canisius College 
Canyon College 
Capella University 
Capital University 
Cardinal Stritch University 
Carleton College 
Carlow College 
Carnegie Institution of Washington 
Carnegie Mellon University 
Carroll College, Helena, MT 
Carroll College, Waukesha, WI 
Carson-Newman College 
Carthage College 
Case Western Reserve University 
Castleton State College 
Catawba College 
The Catholic University of America 
Cazenovia College 
Cedar Crest College 
Cedarville University 
Centenary College of Louisiana 
Centenary College of New Jersey 
Center for Creative Studies College of Art and Design 
Central College 
Central Connecticut State University 
Central Methodist College 
Central Michigan University 
Central Missouri State University 
Central State University 
Central Washington University 
Centre College, Danville Kentucky 
Century University 
Chadron State College 
Chadwick University 
Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii 
Champlain College 
Chapman University 
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science 
Charleston Southern University 
Charter Oak State College 
Chatham College 
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania 
Chicago-Kent College of Law 
Chicago School of Professional Psychology 
Chicago State University 
Chowan College 
Christendom College 
Christian Bible College and Seminary 
Christian Brothers University 
Christopher Newport University 
Circleville Bible College 
The Citadel 
City Colleges of Chicago 
City University, Bellevue Washington 
City University of Los Angeles 
City University of New York 
Claflin College 
Claremont Graduate University 
Claremont McKenna College 
Clarion University 
Clark Atlanta University 
Clark College 
Clark University 
Clarke College 
Clarkson University 
Clayton College and State University 
Clayton College of Natural Health 
Clemson University 
Clear Creek Baptist Bible College 
Cleary College 
Cleveland Chiropractic College 
Cleveland Institute of Art 
Cleveland Institute of Music 
Cleveland State University 
Clinch Valley College 
Coastal Carolina University 
Coe College 
Cogswell Polytechnical College 
Coker College 
Colby College 
Colby-Sawyer College 
Colgate University 
Coleman College 
College of Aeronautics 
College of the Atlantic 
College of Charleston 
College of Eastern Utah 
College of the Holy Cross 
The College of Insurance 
College for Lifelong Learning 
The College of Metaphysical Studies 
College Misericordia 
College of Mount Saint Joseph 
The College of New Jersey 
College of New Rochelle 
College of Notre Dame of Maryland 
College of the Ozarks 
College of Saint Benedict 
College of Saint Catherine 
College of Saint Elizabeth 
College of Saint Mary 
College of Saint Scholastica 
The College of Saint Thomas More 
The College of Saint Rose 
The College of Santa Fe 
College of the Southwest 
College of William and Mary 
The College of Wooster 
Colorado Christian University 
Colorado College 
Colorado School of Mines 
Colorado State University 
Colorado Technical University 
Columbia College 
Columbia College of Missouri 
Columbia International University 
Columbia Southern University 
Columbia Union College 
Columbia University 
Columbus State University 
Concord College 
Concordia College, Ann Arbor Michigan 
Concordia College, Austin Texas 
Concordia College, Bronxville, New York 
Concordia College, Moorhead Minnesota 
Concordia College, Saint Paul Minnesota 
Concordia College, Selma Alabama 
Concordia College, Seward Nebraska 
Concordia University, Irvine California 
Concordia University, Mequon Wisconsin 
Concordia University, Portland Oregon 
Concordia University, River Forest Illinois 
Connecticut College 
Converse College 
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art 
Coppin State College 
Cornell College, Iowa 
Corcoran College of Art + Design 
Cornell University 
Cornerstone University 
Cornish College of the Arts 
Cottey College 
Covenant College 
Creighton University 
Crichton College 
Crown College 
Culver-Stockton College 
Cumberland College 
Cumberland University 
Curry College 
Cypress College
– D –
Daemen College 
Dakota State University 
Dakota Wesleyan University 
Dallas Baptist University 
Dallas Theological Seminary 
Dana College 
Daniel Webster College 
Dartmouth College 
Davenport College 
Davidson College 
Davis and Elkins College 
Dawson College 
Dean College 
Deep Springs College 
Defiance College 
Delaware State University 
Delaware Valley College 
Delta College 
Delta State University 
Denison University 
Denver Seminary 
DePaul University 
DePauw University 
DeSales University 
DeVry University 
DeVry University, Columbus 
Diablo Valley College 
Dickinson College 
Dickinson State University 
Dillard University 
Dixie State College 
Doane College 
Dominican College 
Dominican University 
Dominican University of California 
Dordt College 
Dowling College 
Drake University 
Drew University 
Drexel University 
Drury University 
Duke University 
Duquesne University 
D’Youville College
– E –
Earlham College 
East Carolina University 
East Central University, Ada Oklahoma 
East Stroudsburg State University 
East Tennessee State University 
East Texas Baptist University 
East-West University 
Eastern College 
Eastern Connecticut State University 
Eastern Illinois University 
Eastern Kentucky University 
Eastern Mennonite University 
Eastern Michigan University 
Eastern Nazarene College 
Eastern New Mexico University 
Eastern Oregon University 
Eastern Washington University 
Eckerd College 
Edgewood College 
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 
Edward Waters College 
Elizabeth City State University 
Elizabethtown College 
Elmhurst College 
Elmira College 
Elms College 
Elon University 
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 
Emerson College 
Emmanuel College 
Emmaus Bible College 
Emory University 
Emory & Henry College 
Empire State College 
Emporia State University 
Endicott College 
Erskine College 
Eureka College 
Evangel University 
Everglades College 
Evergreen State College 
Excelsior College
– F –
Fairfield University 
Fairleigh Dickinson University 
Fairmont State College 
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary 
Faulkner University 
Fayetteville State University 
Felician College 
Ferris State University 
Ferrum College 
Fielding Graduate Institute 
Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School 
Fisk University 
Fitchburg State College 
Flagler College 
Florida A & M University 
Florida Atlantic University 
Florida Christian College 
Florida Gulf Coast University 
Florida Institute of Technology 
Florida International University 
Florida Memorial College 
Florida Metropolitan University 
Florida Southern College 
Florida State University 
Fontbonne College 
Fordham University 
Forest Institute of Professional Psychology 
Fort Hays State University 
Fort Lewis College 
Fort Valley State University 
Framingham State College 
Francis Marion University 
Franciscan University of Steubenville 
Franklin and Marshall College 
Franklin College 
Franklin Pierce College 
Franklin Pierce Law Center 
Franklin University 
Freed-Hardeman University 
Freewill Baptist Bible College 
Fresno Pacific University 
Friends University 
Frostburg State University 
Fuller Theological Seminary 
Fullerton College 
Furman University
– G –
Gallaudet University 
Gannon University 
Gardner-Webb University 
Geneva College 
George Fox University 
George Mason University 
George Washington University 
Georgetown College 
Georgetown University 
Georgian Court College 
Georgia College and State University 
Georgia Institute of Technology 
Georgia Perimeter College 
Georgia Southern University 
Georgia Southwestern State University 
Georgia State University 
Georgian Court College 
Gettysburg College 
Glenville State College 
Globe Institute of Technology 
Goddard College 
Golden Gate University 
Golden State Baptist College 
Goldey-Beacom College 
Gonzaga University 
Gooding Institute of Nurse Anesthesia 
Gordon College 
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary 
Goshen College 
Goucher College 
Governors State University 
Grace College 
Grace University 
Graceland University 
The Graduate Center, City University of New York 
Grambling State University 
Grand Canyon University 
Grand Valley State University 
Grand View College 
Grantham University 
Green Mountain College 
Greenleaf University 
Greensboro College 
Greenville College 
Greenwich University 
Grinnell College 
Grove City College 
Guilford College 
Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minnesota 
Gwynedd-Mercy College
– H –
Hamilton College 
Hamilton University 
Hamline University 
Hampden-Sydney College 
Hampshire College 
Hampton University 
Hannibal-LaGrange College 
Hanover College 
Hardin-Simmons University 
Harding University 
Harris-Stowe State College 
Hartwick College 
Harvard University 
Harvey Mudd College 
Hastings College 
Haverford College 
Hawaii Pacific University 
Hebrew College 
Heidelberg College 
Henderson State Univerisity 
Hendrix College 
Henry Cogswell College 
Heritage College 
Hesser College 
Hesston College 
High Point University 
Hilbert College 
Hillsdale College 
Hillsdale Freewill Baptist College 
Hiram College 
Hobart and William Smith Colleges 
Hofstra University 
Hollins University 
Holy Cross College, Notre Dame Indiana 
Holy Family College 
Hood College 
Hope College 
Houghton College 
Houston Baptist University 
Howard Payne University 
Howard University 
Humboldt State University 
Hunter College 
Huntingdon College 
Huntington College 
Huron University 
Husson College 
Huston-Tillotson College
– I –
Idaho State University 
Illinois College 
Illinois Institute of Technology 
Illinois State University 
Illinois Wesleyan University 
Immaculata College 
Indiana Institute Technologyy 
Indiana State University 
Indiana Wesleyan University 
Indiana University 
Indiana University Northwest 
Indiana University of Pennsylvania 
Indiana University at South Bend 
Indiana University Southeast 
Indiana University – Purdue University, Columbus 
Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne 
Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis 
Institute for Christian Works 
Institute of Computer Technology 
Institute of Paper Science and Technology 
Institute for Transpersonal Psychology 
Inter American University of Puerto Rico 
International College 
International Fine Arts College 
International Institue of the Americas 
International Reform University 
Iona College 
Iowa State University 
Iowa Wesleyan College 
Ithaca College
– J –
Jackson State University 
Jacksonville State University 
Jacksonville University 
James Madison University 
Jamestown College 
Jarvis Christian College 
Jewish Theological Seminary 
John Brown University 
John Carroll University 
John F. Kennedy University 
John Jay College of Criminal Justice 
The Johns Hopkins University 
Johnson Bible College 
Johnson and Wales University 
Johnson C. Smith University 
Joint Military Intelligence College 
Jones College 
Jones International University 
Judson College, Marion AL 
Judson College, Elgin IL 
The Julliard School 
Juniata College
– K –
Kalamazoo College 
Kansas City Art Institute 
Kansas Newman College 
Kansas State University 
Kansas Wesleyan University 
Kean University 
Keck Graduate Institute 
Keene State College 
Keiser College 
Kennedy-Western University 
Kennesaw State University 
Kent State University 
Kentucky Christian College 
Kentucky State University 
Kentucky Wesleyan College 
Kenyon College 
Kettering University 
Keuka College 
King College 
King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, PA 
The King’s College, New York City, NY 
Knox College 
Knox Theological Seminary 
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
– L –
La Roche College 
La Salle University 
La Sierra University 
Lafayette College 
LaGrange College 
Lake Erie College 
Lake Forest College 
Lake Superior State University 
Lakeland College 
Lamar University 
Lambuth University 
Lancaster Bible College 
Lancaster Theological Seminary 
Lander University 
Landmark College 
Langston University 
Lane College 
Lasell College 
Lawrence Technological University 
Lawrence University 
Le Moyne College 
Lebanon Valley College 
Lee College 
Lee University 
Lees-McRae College 
Lehigh Univervsity 
LeMoyne-Owen College 
Lenoir-Rhyne College 
Lenox Institute of Water Technology 
Lesley University 
LeTourneau University 
Lewis & Clark College 
Lewis-Clark State College 
Lewis University 
Liberty University 
Life University 
Limestone College 
Lincoln Christian College and Seminary 
Lincoln College 
Lincoln Memorial University 
Lincoln University, Jefferson City Missouri 
Lincoln University, San Francisco California 
Lincoln University of Pennsylvania 
Lindenwood College 
Lindsey Wilson College 
Linfield College 
Lipscomb University 
Lock Haven University 
Logan College of Chiropractic 
Loma Linda University 
Long Island University 
Longwood College 
Loras College 
Louisburg College 
Louisiana Baptist Universty 
Louisiana College 
Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge 
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans 
Louisiana State University at Shreveport 
Louisiana Tech University 
Loyola College, Baltimore 
Loyola Marymount University 
Loyola University, Chicago 
Loyola University, New Orleans 
Lubbock Christian University 
Luther College 
Luther Seminary 
Lutheran Bible Institute 
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg 
Lycoming College 
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts 
Lynchburg College 
Lyndon State College 
Lynn University 
Lyon College
– M –
Macalester College 
MacMurray College 
Madonna University 
Maharishi University of Management 
Maine College of Art 
Maine Maritime Academy 
Malone College 
Manchester College 
Manhattan College 
Manhattanville College 
Mansfield University 
Maranatha Baptist Bible College 
Marian College 
Marietta College 
Marlboro College 
Marist College 
Marquette University 
Mars Hill College 
Marshall University 
Mary Baldwin College 
Mary Washington College 
Maryland Institute, College of Art 
Marylhurst University 
Marymount College 
Marymount Manhattan College 
Marymount University 
Maryville College 
Maryville University of Saint Louis 
Marywood University 
Massachusetts College of Art 
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Massachusetts Maritime Academy 
Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology 
The Master’s College 
The Mayo Foundation 
Mayville State University 
The McGregor School of Antioch University 
McKendree College 
McMurry University 
McNeese State University 
MCP Hahnemann University 
McPherson College 
Medaille College 
Medical College of Georgia 
Medical College of Ohio 
Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University 
Medical College of Wisconsin 
Medical University of South Carolina 
Meharry Medical College 
Menlo College 
Mercer University 
Mercy College 
Mercy College of Health Sciences 
Mercyhurst College 
Meredith College 
Merrimack College 
Mesa State College 
Messiah College 
Methodist College 
Methodist Theological School in Ohio 
Metropolitan College 
Metropolitan State College of Denver 
Metropolitan State University 
Miami Christian University 
Miami University of Ohio 
Michigan State University 
Michigan Technological University 
Mid-America Nazarene University 
Middle Georgia College 
Middle Tennessee State University 
Middlebury College 
Midwestern Baptist College 
Midwestern State University 
Miles College 
Millersville University 
Milligan College 
Millikin University 
Mills College 
Millsaps College 
Milwaukee School of Engineering 
Minneapolis College of Art and Design 
Minnesota State University Mankato 
Minnesota State University Moorhead 
Minot State University 
Minot State University–Bottineau 
Mississippi College 
Mississippi State University 
Mississippi University for Women 
Mississippi Valley State University 
Missouri Baptist College 
Missouri Southern State College 
Missouri Tech 
Missouri Valley College 
Missouri Western State College 
Mitchell College 
Molloy College 
Monmouth College, Monmouth Illinois 
Monmouth University, West Long Branch New Jersey 
Monroe College 
Montana State University-Billings 
Montana State University-Bozeman 
Montana State University College of Technology, Great Falls 
Montana State University-Northern Havre 
Montana Tech 
Montclair State University 
Monterey College of Law 
Monterey Institute of International Studies 
Montreat College 
Moravian College 
Morehead State University 
Morehouse College 
Morehouse School of Medicine 
Morgan State University 
Morningside College 
Morris Brown College 
Morris College 
Mount Aloysius College 
Mount Holyoke College 
Mount Ida College 
Mount Marty College 
Mount Mary College 
Mount Mercy College 
Mount Olive College 
Mount St. Clare College 
Mount St. Mary’s College and Seminary, Emmitsburg Maryland 
Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles California 
Mount Senario College 
Mt. Sierra College 
Mount Union College 
Mount Vernon Nazarene College 
Mountain State University 
Muhlenberg College 
Murray State University 
Muskingum College
– N –
Naropa University 
National American University 
National Defense University 
The National Graduate School 
National-Louis University 
National Technological University 
National University 
The Naval Postgraduate School 
Nazarene Bible College 
Nazareth College 
Nebraska Methodist College 
Nebraska Wesleyan University 
Neumann College 
New Brunswick Theological Seminary 
New College of Florida 
New England College of Optometry 
New England Conservatory of Music 
New England Institute of Technology 
New England School of Communications 
New Jersey City University 
New Jersey Institute of Technology 
New Mexico Highlands University 
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology 
New Mexico State University 
New School University 
New World School of the Arts 
New York Academy of Art 
New York Institute of Technology 
New York Law School 
New York University 
Newberry College 
Newport University 
Niagara University 
Nicholls State University 
Nichols College 
Norfolk State University 
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University 
North Carolina Central University 
North Carolina School of the Arts 
North Carolina State University 
North Carolina Wesleyan College 
North Central College 
North Central University 
North Dakota State University–Fargo 
North Georgia College and State University, the Military College of Georgia 
North Greenville College 
North Park University 
Northeastern Illinois University 
Northeastern University 
Northeastern State University 
Northern Arizona University 
Northern Illinois University 
Northern Kentucky University 
Northern Michigan University 
Northern State University 
Northland College 
Northwest Christian College 
Northwest College 
Northwest College of Art 
Northwest Missouri State University 
Northwest Nazarene University 
Northwestern Oklahoma State University 
Northwestern State University, Louisiana 
Northwestern College, Iowa 
Northwestern College, Saint Paul, MN 
Northwestern Michigan College 
Northwestern University 
Northwood University 
Norwich University 
Notre Dame College of Ohio 
Notre Dame de Namur University 
Nova Southeastern University 
Nyack College
– O –
Oakland University 
Oakwood College 
Oberlin College 
Occidental College 
Oglethorpe University 
Ohio Dominican College 
Ohio Northern University 
The Ohio State University 
Ohio University 
Ohio Valley College 
Ohio Wesleyan University 
Oklahoma Baptist University 
Oklahoma Christian University 
Oklahoma City University 
Oklahoma Panhandle State University 
Oklahoma State University 
Oklahoma State University Tulsa 
Oklahoma Wesleyan University 
Old Dominion University 
Olin College of Engineering 
Olivet College 
Olivet Nazarene University 
The Open University 
Oral Roberts University 
Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology 
Oregon Health Sciences University 
Oregon Institute of Technology 
Oregon State University 
Otterbein College 
Ottawa University 
Ouachita Baptist University 
Our Lady of the Lake University 
Our Lady of Holy Cross College
– P –
Pace University 
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine 
Pacific Lutheran University 
Pacific Northwest College of Art 
Pacific States University 
Pacific Union College 
Pacific University 
Paine College 
Palm Beach Atlantic College 
Palmer College of Chiropractic 
Park University 
Parsons School of Design 
Patten College 
Patrick Henry College 
Paul Quinn College 
Paul Smith’s College 
Peace College 
Pennsylvania College of Technology 
The Pennsylvania State University 
Pennsylvania State University at Altoona 
Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley 
Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg 
Pennsylvania State University, Worthington Scranton 
Pensacola Christian College 
Pepperdine University 
Peru State College 
Pfeiffer University 
Pickering University 
Piedmont College 
Pine Manor College 
Pittsburg State University 
Philadelphia Biblical University 
Philadelphia University 
Philander Smith College 
Phillips University 
Pitzer College 
Plymouth State University, Plymouth New Hampshire 
Point Loma Nazarene College 
Point Park College 
Polytechnic University of New York 
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico 
Pomona College 
Portland State University 
Potomac College 
Prairie View A & M University 
Pratt Institute 
Presbyterian College 
Prescott College 
Preston University 
Princeton University 
Principia College 
Providence College 
Purdue University
– Q –
Queens College 
Quincy University 
Quinnipiac College
– R –
Radford University 
Ramapo College of New Jersey 
Randolph-Macon College 
Randolph-Macon Woman’s College 
Reed College 
Regent University 
Regis College 
Regis University 
Reinhardt College 
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
Rhode Island College 
Rhode Island School of Design 
Rhodes College 
Rice University 
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey 
Rider University 
Ringling School of Art and Design 
Ripon College 
Rivier College 
Roanoke College 
Robert Morris College, Illinois 
Robert Morris College, Pittsburgh, PA 
Roberts Wesleyan College 
Rochester Institute of Technology 
Rochester College 
The Rockefeller University 
Rockford College 
Rockhurst University 
Rocky Mountain College 
Roger Williams University 
Rogers State University 
Rollins College 
Roosevelt University 
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology 
Rosemont College 
Rowan University 
Rush University 
Russell Sage College 
Rust College 
Rutgers University 
Rutgers University-Camden 
Rutgers University-Newark 
Ryokan College
– S –
Sacred Heart University 
Sacred Heart University, Puerto Rico 
The Sage Colleges 
Saginaw Valley State University 
Saint Ambrose University 
Saint Andrews Presbyterian College 
Saint Anselm College 
Saint Anthony College of Nursing 
Saint Augustine’s College 
Saint Bonaventure University 
Saint Cloud State University 
Saint Edwards University 
Saint Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, New York 
Saint Francis College, Fort Wayne, Indiana 
Saint Francis College, Loretto, Pennsylvania 
St. Gregory’s University 
Saint John Fisher College 
Saint John’s College 
Saint John’s University, Collegeville Minnesota 
Saint John’s University, Jamaica New York 
Saint Joseph College 
Saint Joseph’s College 
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine 
Saint Joseph’s University 
Saint Lawrence University 
Saint Leo University 
Saint Louis University 
Saint Martin’s College 
Saint Mary College 
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College 
Saint Mary’s College 
Saint Mary’s College of California 
Saint Mary’s College of Maryland 
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota 
Saint Mary’s University of San Antonio 
Saint Meinrad’s School of Theology 
Saint Michael’s College 
Saint Norbert College 
Saint Olaf College 
Saint Paul’s College 
Saint Peter’s College 
Saint Rose College 
Saint Thomas Aquinas College 
Saint Thomas University 
Saint Vincent College 
Saint Xavier University 
Salem College 
Salem International University 
Salem State College 
Salisbury State University 
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies 
Salve Regina University 
Sam Houston State University 
Samford University 
Samuel Merritt College 
San Diego State University 
San Francisco Art Institute 
San Francisco Law School 
San Francisco State University 
San Joaquin College of Law 
San Jose Christian College 
San Jose State University 
Santa Clara University 
Sarah Lawrence College 
Saratoga University School of Law 
Sarah Lawrence College 
Savannah College of Art and Design 
Savannah State University 
Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center 
Schiller International University 
School for International Training 
School of the Art Institute of Chicago 
School of Islamic and Social Sciences 
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 
School of the Visual Arts 
Schreiner College 
Scripps College 
The Scripps Research Institute 
Seattle Pacific University 
Seattle University 
Seton Hall University 
Seton Hill College 
Shasta Bible College 
Shawnee State University 
Shaw University 
Sheffield School of Interior Design 
Sheldon Jackson College 
Shenandoah University 
Shepherd College 
Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic 
Shimer College 
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania 
Shorter College 
Siena College 
Siena Heights University 
Silver Lake College 
Simmons College 
Simon’s Rock College 
Simpson College, Redding California 
Simpson College, Indianola Iowa 
Skidmore College 
Slippery Rock University 
Smith Chapel Bible College 
Smith College 
Soka University of America 
Sonoma State University 
South Carolina State University 
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 
South Dakota State University 
South Pacific University 
South Texas College of Law 
Southampton College 
Southeast College of Technology 
Southeast Missouri State University 
Southeastern College 
Southeastern Louisiana University 
Southeastern Oklahoma State University 
Southeastern University 
Southern Adventist University 
Southern Arkansas University 
Southern California University of Health Sciences 
Southern California University of Professional Studies 
Southern Connecticut State University 
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale 
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville 
Southern Illinois University Medical School at Springsfield 
Southern Methodist University 
Southern Nazarene University 
Southern New Hampshire University 
Southern Oregon State College 
Southern Polytechnic State Univerisity 
Southern Vermont College 
Southern Virginia University 
Southern Wesleyan University 
Southern University, Baton Rouge 
Southern University, New Orleans 
Southern University, Shreveport-Bossier City 
Southern Utah University 
Southwest Baptist University 
Southwest Bible College and Seminary 
Southwest Missouri State University 
Southwest State University 
Southwest Texas State University 
Southwestern Adventist University 
Southwestern Assemblies of God University 
Southwestern College 
Southwestern Oklahoma State University 
Southwestern University 
Southwestern University School of Law 
Spalding University 
Spartanburg Methodist College 
Spelman College 
Spertus College 
Spring Arbor College 
Spring Hill College 
Springfield College 
Stamford International College 
Stanford University 
State University of New York at Albany 
State University of New York at Binghamton 
State University of New York at Buffalo 
State University of New York at Oswego 
State University of New York at Stony Brook 
State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology, Cobleskill 
State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology, Morrisville 
State University of New York College at Brockport 
State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State College) 
State University of New York College at Cortland 
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry 
State University of New York College at Farmingdale 
State University of New York College at Fredonia 
State University of New York College at Geneseo 
State University of New York College Maritime College at Fort Schuyler 
State University of New York College at New Paltz 
State University of New York College at Old Westbury 
State University of New York College at Oneonta 
State University of New York College at Oswego 
State University of New York College at Plattsburgh 
State University of New York College at Potsdam 
State University of New York College at Purchase 
State University of New York Institute of Technology at Canton 
State University of New York Institute of Technology at Delhi 
State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome 
State University of West Georgia 
The Stefan University 
Stephen F. Austin State University 
Stephens College 
Sterling College, Sterling Kansas 
Sterling College, Kansas 
Sterling College, Vermont 
Stetson University 
Stevens-Henager College 
Stevens Institute of Technology 
Stillman College 
Stonehill College 
Strayer University 
Suffolk University 
Sul Ross State University 
Summit University of Louisiana 
Susquehanna University 
Swarthmore College 
Sweet Briar College 
Syracuse University
– T –
Tabor College 
Talladega College 
Tarleton State University 
Taylor University 
Teachers College 
Teikyo Marycrest University 
Teikyo Post University 
Temple University 
Tennessee State University 
Tennessee Technological University 
Tennessee Temple University 
Tennessee Wesleyan College 
Texas A&M International University 
Texas A&M University 
Texas A&M University, Commerce 
Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi 
Texas A&M University, Galveston 
Texas A&M University, Kingsville 
Texas A&M University, Texarkana 
Texas Christian University 
Texas Lutheran University 
Texas Southern University 
Texas Tech University 
Texas Wesleyan University 
Texas Woman’s University 
Thiel College 
Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula CA 
Thomas Edison State College 
Thomas College 
Thomas Cooley Law School 
Thomas More College 
Thomas Jefferson University 
Toccoa Falls College 
Tougaloo College 
Touro College 
Towson University 
The Transworld University 
Transylvania University 
Trevecca Nazarene University 
Trinity Baptist College 
Trinity Christian College 
Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut 
Trinity College of Florida 
Trinity College, Washington DC 
Trinity College of Vermont 
Trinity International University 
Trinity University 
Tri-State University 
Troy State University 
Troy State University – Dothan 
Truman State University 
Tufts University 
Tulane University 
Tusculum College 
Tuskegee University
– U –
Uniformed Services Universty of the Health Sciences 
Union College, Barbourville KY 
Union College 
Union Theological Seminary 
Union University 
The Union Institute 
United States Air Force Academy 
United States Coast Guard Academy 
United States Merchant Marine Academy 
United States Military Academy 
United States Naval Academy 
United States Open University 
United States Sports Academy 
Unity College 
University of Action Learning at Boulder 
University of Advancing Technology 
University of Akron 
University of Alabama 
University of Alabama, Birmingham 
University of Alabama, Huntsville 
University of Alaska, Anchorage 
University of Alaska, Fairbanks 
University of Alaska, Southeast 
University of Arizona 
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 
University of Arkansas at Little Rock 
University of Arkansas at Monticello 
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff 
University of the Arts 
University of Baltimore 
University of Bridgeport 
University of California, Berkeley 
University of California, Davis 
University of California, Hastings College of Law 
University of California, Irvine 
University of California, Los Angeles 
University of California, Merced 
University of California, Riverside 
University of California, San Diego 
University of California, San Francisco 
University of California, Santa Barbara 
University of California, Santa Cruz 
University of Central Arkansas 
University of Central Florida 
University of Central Oklahoma 
University of Charleston 
University of Chicago 
University of Cincinnati 
University of Colorado 
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs 
University of Colorado, Denver 
University of Connecticut 
University of Dallas 
University of Dayton 
University of Delaware 
University of Denver 
University of Detroit Mercy 
University of the District of Columbia 
University of Dubuque 
University of Evansville 
University of Findlay 
University of Florida 
University of Georgia 
University of Great Falls 
University of Guam 
University of Hartford 
University of Hawai`i 
University of Hawai`i, Hilo 
University of Hawai`i, West O`ahu 
University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine 
University of Houston 
University of Houston, Clear Lake 
University of Houston, Downtown 
University of Houston, Victoria 
University of Idaho 
University of the Incarnate Word 
University of Indianapolis 
University of Illinois at Chicago 
University of Illinois at Springfield 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
University of Iowa 
University of Judaism 
University of Kansas 
University of Kansas Medical Center 
University of Kentucky 
University of La Vernee 
University of Louisiana at Lafayette 
University of Louisiana at Monroe 
University of Louisville 
University of Maine 
University of Maine at Fort Kent 
University of Maine at Presque Isle 
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 
University of Maryland Baltimore County 
University of Maryland at Baltimore 
University of Maryland at College Park 
University of Maryland Eastern Shore 
University of Maryland University College 
University of Massachusetts at Amherst 
University of Massachusetts at Boston 
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth 
University of Massachusetts at Lowell 
University of Massachusetts Medical School 
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey 
University of Memphis 
University of Miami 
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 
University of Michigan-Dearborn 
University of Michigan-Flint 
University of Minnesota-Crookston 
University of Minnesota-Duluth 
University of Minnesota-Morris 
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 
University of Mississippi 
University of Missouri-Columbia 
University of Missouri-Kansas City 
University of Missouri-Rolla 
University of Missouri-Saint Louis 
University of Montana, Missoula 
University of Montevallo 
University of Natural Medicine 
University of Nebraska, Kearney 
University of Nebraska, Lincoln 
University of Nebraska, Omaha 
University of Nevada, Las Vegas 
University of Nevada, Reno 
University of New England 
University of New Hampshire, Durham 
University of New Haven 
University of New Mexico 
University of New Orleans 
University of Newport 
University of North Alabama 
University of North Carolina at Asheville 
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
University of North Carolina at Charlotte 
University of North Carolina at Greensboro 
University of North Carolina at Pembroke 
University of North Carolina at Wilmington 
University of North Dakota 
University of North Dakota–Lake Region 
University of North Florida 
University of North Texas 
University of Northern Colorado 
University of Northern Iowa 
University of Northern Washington 
University of Notre Dame 
University of Oklahoma 
University of Oregon 
University of Orlando 
University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Science 
University of the Ozarks 
University of the Pacific 
University of Pennsylvania 
University of Phoenix 
University of Pittsburgh 
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford 
University of Pittsburgh at Greenburg 
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown 
University of Portland 
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez 
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras 
University of Puget Sound 
University of Redlands 
University of Rhode Island 
University of Richmond 
University of Rio Grande 
University of Rochester 
University of St. Francis 
University of St. Thomas, Houston 
University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul 
University of San Diego 
University of San Francisco 
University of Sarasota 
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma 
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia 
University of Scranton 
University of Sioux Falls 
University of the South 
University of South Alabama 
University of South Carolina 
University of South Carolina, Aiken 
University of South Carolina, Beaufort 
University of South Carolina, Spartanburg 
University of South Dakota 
University of South Florida 
University of Southern California 
University of Southern Colorado 
University of Southern Indiana 
University of Southern Maine 
University of Southern Mississippi 
University of Tampa 
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga 
University of Tennessee Health Science Center 
University of Tennessee, Knoxville 
University of Tennessee, Martin 
University of Texas at Arlington 
University of Texas at Austin 
University of Texas at Brownsville 
University of Texas at Dallas 
University of Texas at El Paso 
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 
University of Texas Health Center at Tyler 
University of Texas Medical Branch 
University of Texas-Pan American 
University of Texas of the Permian Basin 
University of Texas at San Antonio 
University of Texas at Tyler 
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 
University of Toledo 
University of Tulsa 
University of Utah 
University of Vermont 
University of the Virgin Islands 
University of Virginia 
University of Washington 
University of West Alabama 
University of West Florida 
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay 
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse 
University of Wisconsin-Madison 
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 
University of Wisconsin-Parkside 
University of Wisconsin-Platteville 
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point 
University of Wisconsin-Stout 
University of Wisconsin-Superior 
University of Wisconsin-River Falls 
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 
University of Wyoming 
Upper Iowa University 
Urbana University 
Ursinus College 
Ursuline College 
Utah State University 
Utah Valley State College 
Utica College
– V –
Valdosta State University 
Valley City State University 
Valparaiso University 
Vanderbilt University 
Vanguard University 
Vassar College 
Vennard College 
Vermont Technical College 
Villa Julie College 
Villanova University 
Virginia Commonwealth University 
Virginia Intermont College 
Virginia International University 
Virginia Military Institute 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 
Virginia State University 
Virginia Union University 
Virginia University of Lynchburg 
Virginia Wesleyan College 
Viterbo College 
Voorhees College
– W –
Wabash College 
Wagner College 
Wake Forest University 
Warner Pacific College 
Wartburg College 
Walden University 
Walla Walla College 
Walsh University 
Warren Wilson College 
Washburn University 
Washington & Jefferson College 
Washington & Lee University 
Washington Bible College / Capital Bible Seminary 
Washington College 
Washington State University 
Washington University in Saint Louis 
Wayland Baptist University 
Wayne State College 
Wayne State University 
Waynesburg College 
Webb Institute 
Weber State University 
Webster University 
Webster University North Florida 
Wellesley College 
Wells College 
Wentworth Institute of Technology 
Wesley College 
Wesleyan College 
Wesleyan University 
West Coast University 
West Chester University of Pennsylvania 
West Liberty State College 
West Texas A&M University 
West Virginia State College 
West Virginia University 
West Virginia University Parkersburg 
West Virginia Wesleyan College 
Western Baptist College 
Western Carolina University 
Western Connecticut State University 
Western Governors University 
Western Illinois University 
Western International University 
Western Kentucky University 
Western Maryland College 
Western Michigan University 
Western Montana College 
Western New England College 
Western New Mexico University 
Western Oregon University 
Western State College 
Western State University College of Law 
Western States Chiropractic College 
Western University of Health Sciences 
Western Washington University 
Westfield State College 
Westminster College, Fulton Missouri 
Westminster College, New Wilmington Pennsylvania 
Westminster College, Salt Lake City 
Westminster Theological Seminary 
Westminster Theological Seminary in California 
Westmont College 
Westwood College of Technology 
Wheaton College, Wheaton Illinois 
Wheaton College, Massachusetts 
Wheeling Jesuit University 
Wheelock College 
Whitman College 
Whittier College 
Whitworth College 
Wichita State University 
Widener University 
Wilberforce University 
Wilkes University 
Willamette University 
William Howard Taft University 
William Carey International University 
William Jewell College 
William Mitchell College of Law 
William Paterson University 
William Penn College 
William Woods University 
Williams Baptist College 
Williams College 
Wilmington College, New Castle Delaware 
Wilmington College, Wilmington Ohio 
Wilson College 
Wingate University 
Winston-Salem State University 
Winona State University 
Winthrop University 
Wisconsin Lutheran College 
Wittenberg University 
Wofford College 
Woodbury University 
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 
Worcester Polytechnic Institute 
Worcester State College 
Wright Institute 
Wright State University
– X –
Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH 
Xavier University of Louisiana
– Y –
Yale University 
Yeshiva University 
York College, York Nebraska 
York College of Pennsylvania 
Youngstown State University
– Z –
Zion Bible Institute
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– A –
Abilene Christian University
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Academy of Art University
Adams State College
Adelphi University
Adrian College
Agnes Scott College
Air Force Institute of Technology
Air University
Alabama A&M University
Alabama State University
Alaska Bible College
Alaska Pacific University
Albany State University
Albertson College of Idaho
Albertus Magnus College
Albion College
Albright College
Alcorn State University
Alderson-Broaddus College
Alexandria University
Alfred State College, State University of New York College of Technology
Alfred University
Allegheny College
Allen College
Allen University
Allentown College
Alliant International University
Alma College
Alvernia College
Alverno College
Amberton University
American Bible College and Seminary
American Coastline University
The American College
American Global University
American Graduate School of International Management
American Institute for Computer Sciences
American InterContinental University
American International College
American Military University
American Public University
American Schools of Professional Psychology
American University
American University of Hawaii
Amherst College
Anderson College
Anderson University
Andrew Jackson University
Andrews University
Angelo State University
Anna Maria College
Antioch College
Antioch New England Graduate School
Antioch University Los Angeles
Antioch University Santa Barbara
Antioch University Seattle
Antioch University Yellow Springs OH
Apache University
Appalachian School of Law
Appalachian State University
Aquinas College
Arcadia University
Arizona International College
Arizona State University
Arizona State University West
Arkansas State University
Arkansas Tech University
Arlington Baptist College
Armstrong State University
Art Center College of Design
The Art Institute of Phoenix
The Art Institute of Southern California
The Art Institute of Washington
Asbury College
Ashland University
Assumption College
Athena University
Athens State College
Atlantic Union College
Auburn University
Auburn University, Montgomery
Audrey Cohen College
Augsburg College
Augusta State University
Augustana College, Rock Island Illinois
Augustana College, Sioux Falls South Dakota
Aurora University
Austin College
Austin Peay State University
Averett College
Avila College
Azusa Pacific University
– B –
Babson College
Baker College
Baker University
Baldwin-Wallace College
Ball State University
Baltimore Hebrew University
Bank Street College of Education
Baptist Bible College and Seminary
The Baptist College of Florida
Bard College
Barclay College
Barnard College
Barrington University
Barry University
Barton College
Bastyr University
Bates College
Bay Path College
Baylor College of Dentistry
Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor University
Belhaven College
Bellarmine College
Bellevue University
Belmont Abbey College
Belmont University
Beloit College
Bemidji State Univeristy
Benedict College
Benedictine College
Benedictine University
Bennett College
Bennington College
Bentley College
Berea College
Berkeley College
Berklee College of Music
Berry College
Bethany Bible College
Bethany College, West Virginia
Bethany College, Lindsborg, KS
Bethany College, Scotts Valley, CA
Bethany Lutheran College
Bethel College and Seminary, Saint Paul Minnesota
Bethel College, McKenzie, Tennessee
Bethel College, Mishawaka, Indiana
Bethel College, Newton, Kansas
Bethune-Cookman College
Bienville University
Biola University
Birmingham-Southern College
Black Hills State University
Blackburn College
Bloomfield College
Bloomsburg University
Bluefield College
Bluefield State College
Bluffton College
Bob Jones University
Boise State University
The Boston Architectural Center
Boston College
Boston Conservatory
Boston University
Bowdoin College
Bowie State University
Bowling Green State University
Bradford College
Bradley University
Brandeis University
Brenau University
Brewton-Parker College
Briar Cliff University
Bridgewater College
Bridgewater State College
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University Hawaii
Brigham Young University Idaho
Brooklyn College
Brooklyn Law School
Brown University
Bryant College
Bryn Mawr College
Bucknell University
Buena Vista University
Buffalo State
Butler University
– C –
C. R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Caldwell College
California Baptist University
California Coast University
California College of Arts and Crafts
California College for Health Sciences
California College of Podiatric Medicine
California Institute of the Arts
California Institute for Human Science
California Institute of Integral Studies
California Institute of Technology
California Lutheran University
The California Maritime Academy
California National University for Advanced Studies
California Pacific University
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
California State University, Bakersfield
California State University, Channel Islands
California State University, Chico
California State University, Dominguez Hills
California State University, Fresno
California State University, Fullerton
California State University, Hayward
California State University, Long Beach
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University, Monterey
California State University, Northridge
California State University, Sacramento
California State University, San Bernardino
California State University, San Marcos
California State University, Stanislaus
California University of Pennsylvania
Calumet College of St. Joseph
Calvin College
Cambridge College
Cameron University
Campbell University
Campbellsville University
Canisius College
Canyon College
Capella University
Capital University
Cardinal Stritch University
Carleton College
Carlow College
Carnegie Institution of Washington
Carnegie Mellon University
Carroll College, Helena, MT
Carroll College, Waukesha, WI
Carson-Newman College
Carthage College
Case Western Reserve University
Castleton State College
Catawba College
The Catholic University of America
Cazenovia College
Cedar Crest College
Cedarville University
Centenary College of Louisiana
Centenary College of New Jersey
Center for Creative Studies College of Art and Design
Central College
Central Connecticut State University
Central Methodist College
Central Michigan University
Central Missouri State University
Central State University
Central Washington University
Centre College, Danville Kentucky
Century University
Chadron State College
Chadwick University
Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii
Champlain College
Chapman University
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Charleston Southern University
Charter Oak State College
Chatham College
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Chicago State University
Chowan College
Christendom College
Christian Bible College and Seminary
Christian Brothers University
Christopher Newport University
Circleville Bible College
The Citadel
City Colleges of Chicago
City University, Bellevue Washington
City University of Los Angeles
City University of New York
Claflin College
Claremont Graduate University
Claremont McKenna College
Clarion University
Clark Atlanta University
Clark College
Clark University
Clarke College
Clarkson University
Clayton College and State University
Clayton College of Natural Health
Clemson University
Clear Creek Baptist Bible College
Cleary College
Cleveland Chiropractic College
Cleveland Institute of Art
Cleveland Institute of Music
Cleveland State University
Clinch Valley College
Coastal Carolina University
Coe College
Cogswell Polytechnical College
Coker College
Colby College
Colby-Sawyer College
Colgate University
Coleman College
College of Aeronautics
College of the Atlantic
College of Charleston
College of Eastern Utah
College of the Holy Cross
The College of Insurance
College for Lifelong Learning
The College of Metaphysical Studies
College Misericordia
College of Mount Saint Joseph
The College of New Jersey
College of New Rochelle
College of Notre Dame of Maryland
College of the Ozarks
College of Saint Benedict
College of Saint Catherine
College of Saint Elizabeth
College of Saint Mary
College of Saint Scholastica
The College of Saint Thomas More
The College of Saint Rose
The College of Santa Fe
College of the Southwest
College of William and Mary
The College of Wooster
Colorado Christian University
Colorado College
Colorado School of Mines
Colorado State University
Colorado Technical University
Columbia College
Columbia College of Missouri
Columbia International University
Columbia Southern University
Columbia Union College
Columbia University
Columbus State University
Concord College
Concordia College, Ann Arbor Michigan
Concordia College, Austin Texas
Concordia College, Bronxville, New York
Concordia College, Moorhead Minnesota
Concordia College, Saint Paul Minnesota
Concordia College, Selma Alabama
Concordia College, Seward Nebraska
Concordia University, Irvine California
Concordia University, Mequon Wisconsin
Concordia University, Portland Oregon
Concordia University, River Forest Illinois
Connecticut College
Converse College
Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Coppin State College
Cornell College, Iowa
Corcoran College of Art + Design
Cornell University
Cornerstone University
Cornish College of the Arts
Cottey College
Covenant College
Creighton University
Crichton College
Crown College
Culver-Stockton College
Cumberland College
Cumberland University
Curry College
Cypress College
– D –
Daemen College
Dakota State University
Dakota Wesleyan University
Dallas Baptist University
Dallas Theological Seminary
Dana College
Daniel Webster College
Dartmouth College
Davenport College
Davidson College
Davis and Elkins College
Dawson College
Dean College
Deep Springs College
Defiance College
Delaware State University
Delaware Valley College
Delta College
Delta State University
Denison University
Denver Seminary
DePaul University
DePauw University
DeSales University
DeVry University
DeVry University, Columbus
Diablo Valley College
Dickinson College
Dickinson State University
Dillard University
Dixie State College
Doane College
Dominican College
Dominican University
Dominican University of California
Dordt College
Dowling College
Drake University
Drew University
Drexel University
Drury University
Duke University
Duquesne University
D’Youville College
– E –
Earlham College
East Carolina University
East Central University, Ada Oklahoma
East Stroudsburg State University
East Tennessee State University
East Texas Baptist University
East-West University
Eastern College
Eastern Connecticut State University
Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Mennonite University
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Nazarene College
Eastern New Mexico University
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Washington University
Eckerd College
Edgewood College
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
Edward Waters College
Elizabeth City State University
Elizabethtown College
Elmhurst College
Elmira College
Elms College
Elon University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Emerson College
Emmanuel College
Emmaus Bible College
Emory University
Emory & Henry College
Empire State College
Emporia State University
Endicott College
Erskine College
Eureka College
Evangel University
Everglades College
Evergreen State College
Excelsior College
– F –
Fairfield University
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairmont State College
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary
Faulkner University
Fayetteville State University
Felician College
Ferris State University
Ferrum College
Fielding Graduate Institute
Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School
Fisk University
Fitchburg State College
Flagler College
Florida A & M University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida Christian College
Florida Gulf Coast University
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida International University
Florida Memorial College
Florida Metropolitan University
Florida Southern College
Florida State University
Fontbonne College
Fordham University
Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
Fort Hays State University
Fort Lewis College
Fort Valley State University
Framingham State College
Francis Marion University
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Franklin and Marshall College
Franklin College
Franklin Pierce College
Franklin Pierce Law Center
Franklin University
Freed-Hardeman University
Freewill Baptist Bible College
Fresno Pacific University
Friends University
Frostburg State University
Fuller Theological Seminary
Fullerton College
Furman University
– G –
Gallaudet University
Gannon University
Gardner-Webb University
Geneva College
George Fox University
George Mason University
George Washington University
Georgetown College
Georgetown University
Georgian Court College
Georgia College and State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Perimeter College
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southwestern State University
Georgia State University
Georgian Court College
Gettysburg College
Glenville State College
Globe Institute of Technology
Goddard College
Golden Gate University
Golden State Baptist College
Goldey-Beacom College
Gonzaga University
Gooding Institute of Nurse Anesthesia
Gordon College
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Goshen College
Goucher College
Governors State University
Grace College
Grace University
Graceland University
The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Grambling State University
Grand Canyon University
Grand Valley State University
Grand View College
Grantham University
Green Mountain College
Greenleaf University
Greensboro College
Greenville College
Greenwich University
Grinnell College
Grove City College
Guilford College
Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minnesota
Gwynedd-Mercy College
– H –
Hamilton College
Hamilton University
Hamline University
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampshire College
Hampton University
Hannibal-LaGrange College
Hanover College
Hardin-Simmons University
Harding University
Harris-Stowe State College
Hartwick College
Harvard University
Harvey Mudd College
Hastings College
Haverford College
Hawaii Pacific University
Hebrew College
Heidelberg College
Henderson State Univerisity
Hendrix College
Henry Cogswell College
Heritage College
Hesser College
Hesston College
High Point University
Hilbert College
Hillsdale College
Hillsdale Freewill Baptist College
Hiram College
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Hofstra University
Hollins University
Holy Cross College, Notre Dame Indiana
Holy Family College
Hood College
Hope College
Houghton College
Houston Baptist University
Howard Payne University
Howard University
Humboldt State University
Hunter College
Huntingdon College
Huntington College
Huron University
Husson College
Huston-Tillotson College
– I –
Idaho State University
Illinois College
Illinois Institute of Technology
Illinois State University
Illinois Wesleyan University
Immaculata College
Indiana Institute Technologyy
Indiana State University
Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana University
Indiana University Northwest
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana University at South Bend
Indiana University Southeast
Indiana University – Purdue University, Columbus
Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne
Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis
Institute for Christian Works
Institute of Computer Technology
Institute of Paper Science and Technology
Institute for Transpersonal Psychology
Inter American University of Puerto Rico
International College
International Fine Arts College
International Institue of the Americas
International Reform University
Iona College
Iowa State University
Iowa Wesleyan College
Ithaca College
– J –
Jackson State University
Jacksonville State University
Jacksonville University
James Madison University
Jamestown College
Jarvis Christian College
Jewish Theological Seminary
John Brown University
John Carroll University
John F. Kennedy University
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
The Johns Hopkins University
Johnson Bible College
Johnson and Wales University
Johnson C. Smith University
Joint Military Intelligence College
Jones College
Jones International University
Judson College, Marion AL
Judson College, Elgin IL
The Julliard School
Juniata College
– K –
Kalamazoo College
Kansas City Art Institute
Kansas Newman College
Kansas State University
Kansas Wesleyan University
Kean University
Keck Graduate Institute
Keene State College
Keiser College
Kennedy-Western University
Kennesaw State University
Kent State University
Kentucky Christian College
Kentucky State University
Kentucky Wesleyan College
Kenyon College
Kettering University
Keuka College
King College
King’s College, Wilkes-Barre, PA
The King’s College, New York City, NY
Knox College
Knox Theological Seminary
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
– L –
La Roche College
La Salle University
La Sierra University
Lafayette College
LaGrange College
Lake Erie College
Lake Forest College
Lake Superior State University
Lakeland College
Lamar University
Lambuth University
Lancaster Bible College
Lancaster Theological Seminary
Lander University
Landmark College
Langston University
Lane College
Lasell College
Lawrence Technological University
Lawrence University
Le Moyne College
Lebanon Valley College
Lee College
Lee University
Lees-McRae College
Lehigh Univervsity
LeMoyne-Owen College
Lenoir-Rhyne College
Lenox Institute of Water Technology
Lesley University
LeTourneau University
Lewis & Clark College
Lewis-Clark State College
Lewis University
Liberty University
Life University
Limestone College
Lincoln Christian College and Seminary
Lincoln College
Lincoln Memorial University
Lincoln University, Jefferson City Missouri
Lincoln University, San Francisco California
Lincoln University of Pennsylvania
Lindenwood College
Lindsey Wilson College
Linfield College
Lipscomb University
Lock Haven University
Logan College of Chiropractic
Loma Linda University
Long Island University
Longwood College
Loras College
Louisburg College
Louisiana Baptist Universty
Louisiana College
Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans
Louisiana State University at Shreveport
Louisiana Tech University
Loyola College, Baltimore
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University, Chicago
Loyola University, New Orleans
Lubbock Christian University
Luther College
Luther Seminary
Lutheran Bible Institute
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
Lycoming College
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts
Lynchburg College
Lyndon State College
Lynn University
Lyon College
– M –
Macalester College
MacMurray College
Madonna University
Maharishi University of Management
Maine College of Art
Maine Maritime Academy
Malone College
Manchester College
Manhattan College
Manhattanville College
Mansfield University
Maranatha Baptist Bible College
Marian College
Marietta College
Marlboro College
Marist College
Marquette University
Mars Hill College
Marshall University
Mary Baldwin College
Mary Washington College
Maryland Institute, College of Art
Marylhurst University
Marymount College
Marymount Manhattan College
Marymount University
Maryville College
Maryville University of Saint Louis
Marywood University
Massachusetts College of Art
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
The Master’s College
The Mayo Foundation
Mayville State University
The McGregor School of Antioch University
McKendree College
McMurry University
McNeese State University
MCP Hahnemann University
McPherson College
Medaille College
Medical College of Georgia
Medical College of Ohio
Medical College of Pennsylvania and Hahnemann University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical University of South Carolina
Meharry Medical College
Menlo College
Mercer University
Mercy College
Mercy College of Health Sciences
Mercyhurst College
Meredith College
Merrimack College
Mesa State College
Messiah College
Methodist College
Methodist Theological School in Ohio
Metropolitan College
Metropolitan State College of Denver
Metropolitan State University
Miami Christian University
Miami University of Ohio
Michigan State University
Michigan Technological University
Mid-America Nazarene University
Middle Georgia College
Middle Tennessee State University
Middlebury College
Midwestern Baptist College
Midwestern State University
Miles College
Millersville University
Milligan College
Millikin University
Mills College
Millsaps College
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Minnesota State University Mankato
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Minot State University
Minot State University–Bottineau
Mississippi College
Mississippi State University
Mississippi University for Women
Mississippi Valley State University
Missouri Baptist College
Missouri Southern State College
Missouri Tech
Missouri Valley College
Missouri Western State College
Mitchell College
Molloy College
Monmouth College, Monmouth Illinois
Monmouth University, West Long Branch New Jersey
Monroe College
Montana State University-Billings
Montana State University-Bozeman
Montana State University College of Technology, Great Falls
Montana State University-Northern Havre
Montana Tech
Montclair State University
Monterey College of Law
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Montreat College
Moravian College
Morehead State University
Morehouse College
Morehouse School of Medicine
Morgan State University
Morningside College
Morris Brown College
Morris College
Mount Aloysius College
Mount Holyoke College
Mount Ida College
Mount Marty College
Mount Mary College
Mount Mercy College
Mount Olive College
Mount St. Clare College
Mount St. Mary’s College and Seminary, Emmitsburg Maryland
Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles California
Mount Senario College
Mt. Sierra College
Mount Union College
Mount Vernon Nazarene College
Mountain State University
Muhlenberg College
Murray State University
Muskingum College
– N –
Naropa University
National American University
National Defense University
The National Graduate School
National-Louis University
National Technological University
National University
The Naval Postgraduate School
Nazarene Bible College
Nazareth College
Nebraska Methodist College
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Neumann College
New Brunswick Theological Seminary
New College of Florida
New England College of Optometry
New England Conservatory of Music
New England Institute of Technology
New England School of Communications
New Jersey City University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
New Mexico Highlands University
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
New Mexico State University
New School University
New World School of the Arts
New York Academy of Art
New York Institute of Technology
New York Law School
New York University
Newberry College
Newport University
Niagara University
Nicholls State University
Nichols College
Norfolk State University
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
North Carolina Central University
North Carolina School of the Arts
North Carolina State University
North Carolina Wesleyan College
North Central College
North Central University
North Dakota State University–Fargo
North Georgia College and State University, the Military College of Georgia
North Greenville College
North Park University
Northeastern Illinois University
Northeastern University
Northeastern State University
Northern Arizona University
Northern Illinois University
Northern Kentucky University
Northern Michigan University
Northern State University
Northland College
Northwest Christian College
Northwest College
Northwest College of Art
Northwest Missouri State University
Northwest Nazarene University
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Northwestern State University, Louisiana
Northwestern College, Iowa
Northwestern College, Saint Paul, MN
Northwestern Michigan College
Northwestern University
Northwood University
Norwich University
Notre Dame College of Ohio
Notre Dame de Namur University
Nova Southeastern University
Nyack College
– O –
Oakland University
Oakwood College
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Oglethorpe University
Ohio Dominican College
Ohio Northern University
The Ohio State University
Ohio University
Ohio Valley College
Ohio Wesleyan University
Oklahoma Baptist University
Oklahoma Christian University
Oklahoma City University
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University Tulsa
Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Old Dominion University
Olin College of Engineering
Olivet College
Olivet Nazarene University
The Open University
Oral Roberts University
Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon State University
Otterbein College
Ottawa University
Ouachita Baptist University
Our Lady of the Lake University
Our Lady of Holy Cross College
– P –
Pace University
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine
Pacific Lutheran University
Pacific Northwest College of Art
Pacific States University
Pacific Union College
Pacific University
Paine College
Palm Beach Atlantic College
Palmer College of Chiropractic
Park University
Parsons School of Design
Patten College
Patrick Henry College
Paul Quinn College
Paul Smith’s College
Peace College
Pennsylvania College of Technology
The Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University at Altoona
Pennsylvania State University, Great Valley
Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg
Pennsylvania State University, Worthington Scranton
Pensacola Christian College
Pepperdine University
Peru State College
Pfeiffer University
Pickering University
Piedmont College
Pine Manor College
Pittsburg State University
Philadelphia Biblical University
Philadelphia University
Philander Smith College
Phillips University
Pitzer College
Plymouth State University, Plymouth New Hampshire
Point Loma Nazarene College
Point Park College
Polytechnic University of New York
Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico
Pomona College
Portland State University
Potomac College
Prairie View A & M University
Pratt Institute
Presbyterian College
Prescott College
Preston University
Princeton University
Principia College
Providence College
Purdue University
– Q –
Queens College
Quincy University
Quinnipiac College
– R –
Radford University
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Randolph-Macon College
Randolph-Macon Woman’s College
Reed College
Regent University
Regis College
Regis University
Reinhardt College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhode Island College
Rhode Island School of Design
Rhodes College
Rice University
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Rider University
Ringling School of Art and Design
Ripon College
Rivier College
Roanoke College
Robert Morris College, Illinois
Robert Morris College, Pittsburgh, PA
Roberts Wesleyan College
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester College
The Rockefeller University
Rockford College
Rockhurst University
Rocky Mountain College
Roger Williams University
Rogers State University
Rollins College
Roosevelt University
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Rosemont College
Rowan University
Rush University
Russell Sage College
Rust College
Rutgers University
Rutgers University-Camden
Rutgers University-Newark
Ryokan College
– S –
Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University, Puerto Rico
The Sage Colleges
Saginaw Valley State University
Saint Ambrose University
Saint Andrews Presbyterian College
Saint Anselm College
Saint Anthony College of Nursing
Saint Augustine’s College
Saint Bonaventure University
Saint Cloud State University
Saint Edwards University
Saint Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, New York
Saint Francis College, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Saint Francis College, Loretto, Pennsylvania
St. Gregory’s University
Saint John Fisher College
Saint John’s College
Saint John’s University, Collegeville Minnesota
Saint John’s University, Jamaica New York
Saint Joseph College
Saint Joseph’s College
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
Saint Joseph’s University
Saint Lawrence University
Saint Leo University
Saint Louis University
Saint Martin’s College
Saint Mary College
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary’s College
Saint Mary’s College of California
Saint Mary’s College of Maryland
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Saint Mary’s University of San Antonio
Saint Meinrad’s School of Theology
Saint Michael’s College
Saint Norbert College
Saint Olaf College
Saint Paul’s College
Saint Peter’s College
Saint Rose College
Saint Thomas Aquinas College
Saint Thomas University
Saint Vincent College
Saint Xavier University
Salem College
Salem International University
Salem State College
Salisbury State University
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Salve Regina University
Sam Houston State University
Samford University
Samuel Merritt College
San Diego State University
San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco Law School
San Francisco State University
San Joaquin College of Law
San Jose Christian College
San Jose State University
Santa Clara University
Sarah Lawrence College
Saratoga University School of Law
Sarah Lawrence College
Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah State University
Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center
Schiller International University
School for International Training
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
School of Islamic and Social Sciences
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
School of the Visual Arts
Schreiner College
Scripps College
The Scripps Research Institute
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle University
Seton Hall University
Seton Hill College
Shasta Bible College
Shawnee State University
Shaw University
Sheffield School of Interior Design
Sheldon Jackson College
Shenandoah University
Shepherd College
Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic
Shimer College
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Shorter College
Siena College
Siena Heights University
Silver Lake College
Simmons College
Simon’s Rock College
Simpson College, Redding California
Simpson College, Indianola Iowa
Skidmore College
Slippery Rock University
Smith Chapel Bible College
Smith College
Soka University of America
Sonoma State University
South Carolina State University
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
South Dakota State University
South Pacific University
South Texas College of Law
Southampton College
Southeast College of Technology
Southeast Missouri State University
Southeastern College
Southeastern Louisiana University
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Southeastern University
Southern Adventist University
Southern Arkansas University
Southern California University of Health Sciences
Southern California University of Professional Studies
Southern Connecticut State University
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Southern Illinois University Medical School at Springsfield
Southern Methodist University
Southern Nazarene University
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern Oregon State College
Southern Polytechnic State Univerisity
Southern Vermont College
Southern Virginia University
Southern Wesleyan University
Southern University, Baton Rouge
Southern University, New Orleans
Southern University, Shreveport-Bossier City
Southern Utah University
Southwest Baptist University
Southwest Bible College and Seminary
Southwest Missouri State University
Southwest State University
Southwest Texas State University
Southwestern Adventist University
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Southwestern College
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Southwestern University
Southwestern University School of Law
Spalding University
Spartanburg Methodist College
Spelman College
Spertus College
Spring Arbor College
Spring Hill College
Springfield College
Stamford International College
Stanford University
State University of New York at Albany
State University of New York at Binghamton
State University of New York at Buffalo
State University of New York at Oswego
State University of New York at Stony Brook
State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology, Cobleskill
State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology, Morrisville
State University of New York College at Brockport
State University of New York College at Buffalo (Buffalo State College)
State University of New York College at Cortland
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
State University of New York College at Farmingdale
State University of New York College at Fredonia
State University of New York College at Geneseo
State University of New York College Maritime College at Fort Schuyler
State University of New York College at New Paltz
State University of New York College at Old Westbury
State University of New York College at Oneonta
State University of New York College at Oswego
State University of New York College at Plattsburgh
State University of New York College at Potsdam
State University of New York College at Purchase
State University of New York Institute of Technology at Canton
State University of New York Institute of Technology at Delhi
State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome
State University of West Georgia
The Stefan University
Stephen F. Austin State University
Stephens College
Sterling College, Sterling Kansas
Sterling College, Kansas
Sterling College, Vermont
Stetson University
Stevens-Henager College
Stevens Institute of Technology
Stillman College
Stonehill College
Strayer University
Suffolk University
Sul Ross State University
Summit University of Louisiana
Susquehanna University
Swarthmore College
Sweet Briar College
Syracuse University
– T –
Tabor College
Talladega College
Tarleton State University
Taylor University
Teachers College
Teikyo Marycrest University
Teikyo Post University
Temple University
Tennessee State University
Tennessee Technological University
Tennessee Temple University
Tennessee Wesleyan College
Texas A&M International University
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University, Commerce
Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi
Texas A&M University, Galveston
Texas A&M University, Kingsville
Texas A&M University, Texarkana
Texas Christian University
Texas Lutheran University
Texas Southern University
Texas Tech University
Texas Wesleyan University
Texas Woman’s University
Thiel College
Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula CA
Thomas Edison State College
Thomas College
Thomas Cooley Law School
Thomas More College
Thomas Jefferson University
Toccoa Falls College
Tougaloo College
Touro College
Towson University
The Transworld University
Transylvania University
Trevecca Nazarene University
Trinity Baptist College
Trinity Christian College
Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut
Trinity College of Florida
Trinity College, Washington DC
Trinity College of Vermont
Trinity International University
Trinity University
Tri-State University
Troy State University
Troy State University – Dothan
Truman State University
Tufts University
Tulane University
Tusculum College
Tuskegee University
– U –
Uniformed Services Universty of the Health Sciences
Union College, Barbourville KY
Union College
Union Theological Seminary
Union University
The Union Institute
United States Air Force Academy
United States Coast Guard Academy
United States Merchant Marine Academy
United States Military Academy
United States Naval Academy
United States Open University
United States Sports Academy
Unity College
University of Action Learning at Boulder
University of Advancing Technology
University of Akron
University of Alabama
University of Alabama, Birmingham
University of Alabama, Huntsville
University of Alaska, Anchorage
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
University of Alaska, Southeast
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
University of Arkansas at Monticello
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
University of the Arts
University of Baltimore
University of Bridgeport
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Hastings College of Law
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Merced
University of California, Riverside
University of California, San Diego
University of California, San Francisco
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Central Arkansas
University of Central Florida
University of Central Oklahoma
University of Charleston
University of Chicago
University of Cincinnati
University of Colorado
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
University of Colorado, Denver
University of Connecticut
University of Dallas
University of Dayton
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of Detroit Mercy
University of the District of Columbia
University of Dubuque
University of Evansville
University of Findlay
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Great Falls
University of Guam
University of Hartford
University of Hawai`i
University of Hawai`i, Hilo
University of Hawai`i, West O`ahu
University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
University of Houston
University of Houston, Clear Lake
University of Houston, Downtown
University of Houston, Victoria
University of Idaho
University of the Incarnate Word
University of Indianapolis
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Springfield
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Judaism
University of Kansas
University of Kansas Medical Center
University of Kentucky
University of La Vernee
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
University of Louisiana at Monroe
University of Louisville
University of Maine
University of Maine at Fort Kent
University of Maine at Presque Isle
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
University of Maryland Baltimore County
University of Maryland at Baltimore
University of Maryland at College Park
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
University of Maryland University College
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
University of Massachusetts at Boston
University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
University of Massachusetts at Lowell
University of Massachusetts Medical School
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
University of Memphis
University of Miami
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Michigan-Dearborn
University of Michigan-Flint
University of Minnesota-Crookston
University of Minnesota-Duluth
University of Minnesota-Morris
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri-Columbia
University of Missouri-Kansas City
University of Missouri-Rolla
University of Missouri-Saint Louis
University of Montana, Missoula
University of Montevallo
University of Natural Medicine
University of Nebraska, Kearney
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
University of Nebraska, Omaha
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada, Reno
University of New England
University of New Hampshire, Durham
University of New Haven
University of New Mexico
University of New Orleans
University of Newport
University of North Alabama
University of North Carolina at Asheville
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
University of North Dakota
University of North Dakota–Lake Region
University of North Florida
University of North Texas
University of Northern Colorado
University of Northern Iowa
University of Northern Washington
University of Notre Dame
University of Oklahoma
University of Oregon
University of Orlando
University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Science
University of the Ozarks
University of the Pacific
University of Pennsylvania
University of Phoenix
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
University of Pittsburgh at Greenburg
University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
University of Portland
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
University of Puget Sound
University of Redlands
University of Rhode Island
University of Richmond
University of Rio Grande
University of Rochester
University of St. Francis
University of St. Thomas, Houston
University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul
University of San Diego
University of San Francisco
University of Sarasota
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
University of Scranton
University of Sioux Falls
University of the South
University of South Alabama
University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina, Aiken
University of South Carolina, Beaufort
University of South Carolina, Spartanburg
University of South Dakota
University of South Florida
University of Southern California
University of Southern Colorado
University of Southern Indiana
University of Southern Maine
University of Southern Mississippi
University of Tampa
University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
University of Tennessee, Martin
University of Texas at Arlington
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Brownsville
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at El Paso
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
University of Texas Health Center at Tyler
University of Texas Medical Branch
University of Texas-Pan American
University of Texas of the Permian Basin
University of Texas at San Antonio
University of Texas at Tyler
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
University of Toledo
University of Tulsa
University of Utah
University of Vermont
University of the Virgin Islands
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of West Alabama
University of West Florida
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
University of Wisconsin-Parkside
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin-Stout
University of Wisconsin-Superior
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
University of Wyoming
Upper Iowa University
Urbana University
Ursinus College
Ursuline College
Utah State University
Utah Valley State College
Utica College
– V –
Valdosta State University
Valley City State University
Valparaiso University
Vanderbilt University
Vanguard University
Vassar College
Vennard College
Vermont Technical College
Villa Julie College
Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Intermont College
Virginia International University
Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia State University
Virginia Union University
Virginia University of Lynchburg
Virginia Wesleyan College
Viterbo College
Voorhees College
– W –
Wabash College
Wagner College
Wake Forest University
Warner Pacific College
Wartburg College
Walden University
Walla Walla College
Walsh University
Warren Wilson College
Washburn University
Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Lee University
Washington Bible College / Capital Bible Seminary
Washington College
Washington State University
Washington University in Saint Louis
Wayland Baptist University
Wayne State College
Wayne State University
Waynesburg College
Webb Institute
Weber State University
Webster University
Webster University North Florida
Wellesley College
Wells College
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Wesley College
Wesleyan College
Wesleyan University
West Coast University
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
West Liberty State College
West Texas A&M University
West Virginia State College
West Virginia University
West Virginia University Parkersburg
West Virginia Wesleyan College
Western Baptist College
Western Carolina University
Western Connecticut State University
Western Governors University
Western Illinois University
Western International University
Western Kentucky University
Western Maryland College
Western Michigan University
Western Montana College
Western New England College
Western New Mexico University
Western Oregon University
Western State College
Western State University College of Law
Western States Chiropractic College
Western University of Health Sciences
Western Washington University
Westfield State College
Westminster College, Fulton Missouri
Westminster College, New Wilmington Pennsylvania
Westminster College, Salt Lake City
Westminster Theological Seminary
Westminster Theological Seminary in California
Westmont College
Westwood College of Technology
Wheaton College, Wheaton Illinois
Wheaton College, Massachusetts
Wheeling Jesuit University
Wheelock College
Whitman College
Whittier College
Whitworth College
Wichita State University
Widener University
Wilberforce University
Wilkes University
Willamette University
William Howard Taft University
William Carey International University
William Jewell College
William Mitchell College of Law
William Paterson University
William Penn College
William Woods University
Williams Baptist College
Williams College
Wilmington College, New Castle Delaware
Wilmington College, Wilmington Ohio
Wilson College
Wingate University
Winston-Salem State University
Winona State University
Winthrop University
Wisconsin Lutheran College
Wittenberg University
Wofford College
Woodbury University
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Worcester State College
Wright Institute
Wright State University
– X –
Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
Xavier University of Louisiana
– Y –
Yale University
Yeshiva University
York College, York Nebraska
York College of Pennsylvania
Youngstown State University
– Z –

‘Z’ HAS NO QUALIFIED SCHOOLS

Higher Education Disability Law Year in Review:Court Decisions, Settlements, and Guidance

For information only.
Public Access File. 

Paul D. Grossman, J.D.[2]

OCR Chief Regional Attorney, S.F., Retired

Adjunct Professor of Disability Law, Hastings College of Law, Univ. of Cal.

AHEAD Board Member; Expert Panel Member, Disability Rights Advocates

 

Edited with Ruth Colker, J.D.

 Distinguished University Professor

Heck-Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law, Moritz College of Law, OSU

ACLU Board Member

Presented with Jo Anne Simon, J.D.

Adjunct Professor, Fordham University School of Law

New York State Assembly Member, District 52

Founding Member and General Counsel of AHEAD

Documentation and Definition of Disability

 

In 2014 DOJ issued an NPRM: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Office of the Attorney General, 28 CFR Parts 35 and 36, CRT Docket No. 124; AG Order No., RIN 1190–AA59, proposed application of ADAA to individuals with learning disabilities and AD/HD under titles II & III.  Dept. of Justice, Amendment of Americans with Disabilities Act title II and Title III Regulations to Implement ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (Jan. 22, 2014), available at http://www.ada.gov/ nprm_adaaa/ nprm_adaaa.htm.   The regulation in question has not been issued and it is not on the published regulation calendar for issuance in the near future.

 

Rawdin v. American Board of Pediatrics, 985 F. Supp. 2d 636, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159458, 2013 WL 5948074 (E.D. Pa. 2013)

The Summer Reading List for last year reported that the District court had concluded that an acquired learning disability following treatment for brain cancer is not a disability, when the individual is academically and professionally successful, and has both IQ and performance scores higher than the average individual in the general population.

Subsequent to the last Reading List, the Third Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court in favor of the ABP.  Rawdin v. American Bd. of Pediatrics, 582 Fed. Appx. 114, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17002 (3d Cir. Pa. 2014).  However, the Circuit Court assumed without deciding that Dr. Rawdin was an individual with a disability.  Consequently, the Circuit Court’s opinion focused on whether Dr. Rawdin was entitled to accommodations that he was denied either on the examination or in an alternative to the examination.  This issue is discussed below.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 46 as first NOTE.

 

Consent Decree, Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the United States v. LSAC, No. CV 12-1830-EMC (N.D. Cal. May 20, 2014), available at http://www.ada.gov/defh_v_lsac/lsac_consentdecree.htm.  [Lexis cite is as follows: but it is not to the pertinent documents. Dep’t of Fair Empl. & Hous. v. Law Sch. Admission Counsel, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84205 (N.D. Cal. June 14, 2013)]

Last year’s Reading List reported that on May 20, the parties to this matter, the LSAC, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the United States entered into a court-approved consent decree providing an end to flagging LSAT score reports of individuals who received extended time on the test, to establish a compensation fund of $7.73 million for the 6000 individuals (nation-wide) who applied for accommodations in the past five years, to “streamline” the process for evaluating accommodation requests including automatically approving accommodations that an applicant can show previously had been received on standardized tests related to post-secondary admissions, and implementing the DOJ title III “best ensure” accommodation standard for individuals with sensory, manual, or speaking skills. For persons who are required to submit documentation (for example, persons who were not previously accommodated on standardized exams), documentation developed within the past five years will be considered reliable.  A claims administrator will administer the compensation fund.

The federal court approved the consent decree on May 29, 2014.  Pursuant to the decree, a panel of five experts was assembled to develop “best practices” guidance for LSAC to follow prospectively, unless any of the parties objected to recommendations of the panel and convinced the court that the recommendations were inconsistent with or outside the scope of the decree.

The decree assigned the panel 10 specific questions to answer.   On January 31, 2015, the panel filed its report.  See http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/May/14-crt-536.html (last viewed on May 22, 2014). Included in the panel’s recommendation are less burdensome documentation requirements and review practices that are more likely to result in accommodation eligibility; a greater number of documentation reviewers with a wider range of knowledge; training for all reviewers to ensure consistency; and a quicker, more responsive appeal process.

On February 26, the LSAC filed a response to the panel’s recommendations, challenging most of them.  On July 31st, the matter will be heard before the district court magistrate judge that was involved with the entry of the consent decree.  A ruling is supposed to result expeditiously.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 57 before box and p. 204 before the first NOTE.

 

Academic Deference and Qualification

Walsh v. University of Pittsburgh,   Civil Action No. 13-00189, (W.D. Penn. 2015), 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2563, 2015 WL 128104 http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/pennsylvania/pawdce/2:2013cv00189/208081/63 (last viewed, June 22, 2015).

Although only a district court opinion, this decision is helpful for laying out the analytical structure for several types of allegations.

 

Amy Walsh is an individual with a BS in nursing. She enrolled in a Masters degree program in anesthesia.  While in the program, she performed well in the classroom but encountered difficulties in the clinical rotation stages.   The student alleged that in her first rotation it became necessary to tell one of her instructors that breast cancer surgery had resulted in weakness, reduced range of motion, and stiffness in one of her arms. According to Walsh, her instructors subsequently began stating that she would be unable to perform essential skills because of her limitations. Her complaints about this treatment got little response. At the second site for rotation, Walsh was placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP). The student alleged that this PIP was required because staff from the first rotation site had told the second site that she was incompetent. She complained again about her treatment without receiving an effective response. In the third rotation, on the same day, Walsh made two “dangerous or potentially dangerous,” errors in administering medication. Following three levels of due process review, she was dismissed from the anesthesia program.

Subsequent to her dismissal the student sued the University.  The Federal District court considered three claims: disparate treatment and a hostile environment on the basis of disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the ADA, as well as breach of contract.

The University of Pittsburgh did not contest that the student was an individual with a disability but moved for summary judgment on the grounds that she was not qualified to complete the program.  Of interest is the distinction drawn by the court with regard to the question of academic deference.  Much deference was accorded on the breach of contract claim, little on the disability discrimination claims.

With regard to the breach of contract claim, the court articulated the question before it as, “[Whether] the decision to dismiss [the student] was rational and had a reasonable basis in fact.”  The court stated:

[W]hen judges are asked to review the substance of a genuinely academic decision … they should show great respect for the faculty’s professional judgment. Plainly, they may not override it unless it is such a substantial departure from accepted academic norms as to demonstrate that the person or committee responsible did not actually exercise professional judgment.

Applying this standard to the plaintiff’s contract claims, the court granted the University’s motion for summary judgment.

In analyzing the disability discrimination claim, the court declined the University of Pittsburgh’s invitation to apply a similar degree of deference.

While the purely academic decisions of universities deserve deference in a due process context, if such deference were extended to situations requiring a separate discrimination analysis, universities could insulate even actions taken for discriminatory reasons by claiming that the student was not otherwise academically qualified. Instead, when a student claims she was discriminated against, courts must independently evaluate whether the student has shown she is otherwise qualified to participate in the academic program.

With regard to the disparate treatment claim, the court followed the same analytical test as would be applied in a race discrimination claim.   Although it concluded that the student had made out a prima facie discrimination, based on comparative treatment information, the high level of due process which she had received, and the potential seriousness of her errors, the court granted the University’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the student had failed to establish that her dismissal was a pretext for disability discrimination.

It is rare to see a student litigate a claim that he or she has been subject to a hostile environment on the basis of disability.  This case is an exception.   As to this allegation, the court followed the same analytical test as would be applied to a sex discrimination claim under Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972.  Based on this analysis, the court granted the University’s motion for summary judgment, concluding that the Walsh had failed to establish that her treatment during rotation was sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute a hostile environment.

At best, [the student] has described a series of isolated comments relative to performance that took place intermittently over a period of several months in the Program that neither threatened nor humiliated Walsh nor prevented her from participating in the Program. This is inadequate to support a jury’s reasonable finding that Walsh endured sufficiently severe harassment.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p.210 before NOTE 3.

 

Notice

 

Grabin v. Marymount Manhattan College, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79014, 2014 WL 2592416 (S.D.N.Y. June 10, 2014).  http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020140611E99/GRABIN%20v.%20MARYMOUNT%20MANHATTAN%20COLLEGE

 

Heather Grabin, a communications major, was given a failing grade in group-work oriented, web-design, communications course (Comm 225) at Marymount Manhattan College.  Grabin’s attendance exceeded a rule in the syllabus that allowed for a maximum of two unexcused absences.  The student contends that all her absences were due to doctors’ visits and hospitalizations for serious infections related to her, disability, thalassemia, which is a blood disorder.

 

When in the hospital, the student sent several emails to her Comm. 225 professor, explaining her situation and asking for ways to make up the missed classes.  These requests either went unanswered or she was told it would be very hard to make up the missed classes and exercises. The professor declined to identify any way for her to make up the missed work and recommended to her that she drop the class.  At about the same time, a Marymount administrator gave her a different message, telling her, “everything would be taken care of.”

 

Grabin also sought assistance from the Dean of Students.  The Dean made some suggestions and encouraged her to meet again with the professor.  But the Dean deferred to the authority of the professor to enforce attendance rules. The record does not reflect any direction from either the professor or the dean that the student should take her concerns to the disabled student services office.

 

Following receipt of the failing grade, Grabin made multiple unsuccessful informal efforts to receive reconsideration of her grade, subsequently filing a formal grade appeal.  The College denied her request to meet directly with the appeal committee, which twice upheld her grade in the communication class.  As a result of the failing grade, the student failed to receive her degree or diploma.

 

Grabin sued the College under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for disability discrimination on the grounds that it failed to accommodate her disability.  The College responded with a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that Grabin was not an individual with a disability, was not qualified, and that she had not requested an accommodation and, even if she had, what she wanted would constitute a fundamental alteration.

 

The College’s motion failed.  One basic reason was that the court found both sides had not submitted as much evidence as they should have, leaving several material questions unresolved.  In this vein, the court declined to find that Grabin was an individual with a disability, only that she had placed enough into evidence to raise a question for further resolution at trial.  Similarly, as to qualification, the court noted that “Plaintiff’s testimony indicates that, if she had been permitted extra time, or additional instruction, she could have made up the in-class work she had missed while absent.” This was sufficient to survive a motion for summary judgment.  (Grabin was only one course short of her degree.)

 

The most notable issue in this dispute is whether Grabin had ever requested an accommodation. It appears that the student did not register with the College’s disabled student services office or provide it with documentation necessary to support an accommodation request. This is particularly significant as the student handbook states that, students who want accommodations should register with its disabled student services office and that “[i]nforming other College offices, faculty, or staff does not constitute registering with the office.”

 

The court’s analysis of this question begins by stating that, “a defendant is not liable for failure to provide a reasonable accommodation under the ADA if the plaintiff does not ask for an accommodation, or fails to provide information necessary to assess the request for an accommodation.”  The court points out however that the student identified her disability on her transfer and housing registration forms and that a reasonable fact-finder could determine that:

 

[P]laintiff notified Marymount “repeatedly and clearly regarding her disability…. More specifically, Plaintiff repeatedly requested accommodations in order to complete Comm 225. It is also conceivable that a jury could determine that the statements of Marymount’s senior administrators—telling Plaintiff, among other things, that “everything would be taken care of”—reasonably conveyed to Plaintiff that she had properly notified Marymount of her disability and had requested an accommodation of that disability.

 

As to the argument that Grabin’s requested accommodation(s) would constitute a fundamental alteration(s), the court both noted that academic decisions are entitled to deference but, as in several other recent cases, these are fact intensive case-by-case determinations.  The court’s opinion further suggests that some differences may also exist given the kind and scope of accommodation requested and the field of study.  The court stated, in pertinent part:

 

[The precedents concerning medical students cited by College] are qualitatively different from the instant case, not least of which because they were rendered upon more completely developed records than has been presented to this Court. Yet most importantly, these cases are factually distinct from the instant case. Here, Plaintiff sought an accommodation for several assignments in one course—a web design seminar—towards her communications degree, not to be excused from passing her first year of medical school.

 

Also pertinent to the court’s determination was that in every other course the teacher was able to figure out a way to accommodate Grabin and with these accommodations she was able to pass the courses.

 

If ever a case justified disability training for all faculty, it is this one.

 

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 196 before Documentation.

 

 

Reasonable Accommodations/Auxiliary Aids/Academic Adjustments

 

Testing accommodations

The Summer Reading List for last year reported that the District court in Rawdin v. ABP, had concluded that an acquired learning disability following treatment for brain cancer is not a disability, when the individual is academically and professionally successful, and has both IQ and performance scores higher than the average individual in the general population. Rawdin v. American Board of Pediatrics, 985 F. Supp. 2d 636 (E.D. Pa. 2013):

Subsequent to circulation of the Summer Reading List, the Third Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court in favor of the ABP.  Rawdin v. American Bd. of Pediatrics, 582 Fed. Appx. 114 (3d Cir. Pa. 2014). However, the Third Circuit assumed, without deciding, that, Dr. Rawdin was an individual with a disability.  Consequently, the Third Circuit’s opinion focused on whether Dr. Rawdin was entitled to accommodations that he was denied either on the examination or as an alternative to the examination.  The Court stated that under Title III regulation 28 C.F.R. § 36.309, Dr. Rawdin was entitled to an exam that “best ensured” that it was measuring his knowledge and aptitude and not his disability.  The Court concluded that the exam offered to Dr. Rawdin, with accommodations like extra time, met this standard. The testimony of the ABP witnesses at the District Court level, demonstrated to the Court’s satisfaction that the exam is not context free, requiring test-takers to dredge up facts from memory, a format that would be very challenging for someone with Dr. Rawdin’s impairments. Rather, the Court concluded that the exam is context-based requiring responses to scenarios.   Moreover the accommodations proposed by Dr. Rawdin, an open book exam, an essay rather than multiple-choice exam, direct observation or a portfolio review by the ABP instead of any exam, or a waiver of the exam, all constituted an undue burden or a fundamental alteration.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 316 before NOTE 2.

Individuals with mobility impairments

 

Murillo v. Citrus College, 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6111 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Aug. 28, 2014).  http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/B248201.PDF

This is an unpublished opinion (that is not citable) by a state court.  It is included nonetheless for its potential for use in the classroom and other teaching settings.

 

Ricardo Murillo is an individual with quadriplegia who attended Citrus College. While at the College the student experienced the sudden onset of autonomic dysreflexia, a common side effect of quadriplegia entailing excessively high blood pressure. The student asked a nurse at the campus health center to help him take three medications by lifting the pills to his mouth. The Health Center’s staff would not provide this assistance and explained to the student that it was their policy not to administer medications to students.

 

On the grounds that the College was refusing to provide a reasonable modification, the student sued the College in state court under the authority of both California antidiscrimination law and Title II of the ADA.  The College filed a motion for summary judgment on the grounds that to provide medication services would constitute a fundamental alternation of its program as it provided such services to no one. The district court agreed and granted the motion for summary judgment.

 

The student appealed the determination of the district court.   On a number of grounds, the appellate court concluded that the district court determination was in error. As has been recently noted in other reversals of summary judgment, citing to PGA v. Martin, the appellate court stated,  “[T]he determination of what constitutes [a] reasonable modification is highly fact-specific, requiring case-by-case inquiry.”  …. ‘[M]ere  speculat[ion] that a suggested accommodation is not feasible’ falls short of the ‘reasonable accommodation’ requirement.”  Further, fundamental alteration is an affirmative defense with the burden on the College and the record had not yet been developed enough to decide this issue.  For example, the court wondered about the hours and staffing at the health center.  Moreover, it was not clear on the record whether this modification could be implemented elsewhere by the College such as the DSS office.

 

The appellate court also found unpersuasive the not uncommon argument of, “if we do it for this student, we will have to do it for all (or too many) students.”

 

This argument ignores the fact that the plaintiff is seeking an “accommodation” and not a change to the Health Center’s general policies with respect to other students. Discrimination may be shown precisely where the defendant treated plaintiff the same as everyone around her, despite her need for reasonable accommodation. Accordingly, a person with a disability may be the victim of discrimination precisely because she did not receive disparate treatment when [the individual] needed accommodation. [citations omitted]

 

Finally, the appellate court acknowledged that the College raised health and safety concerns that must be considered.  But again, the court did not consider appropriate to do so on a motion for summary judgment.

 

The defendants are entitled, under the ADA’s implementing regulations, to “impose legitimate safety requirements necessary for the safe operation of its services, programs, or activities[,]” so long as such “safety requirements are based on actual risks, not mere speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities.” (28 C.F.R. 35.130(h).) However, here, there are triable issues of fact as to whether the defendants’ safety concerns could be alleviated by giving the Health Center copies of the plaintiff’s prescriptions or requiring the plaintiff to execute a waiver with respect to claims that could arise as a result of the Health Center’s assisting with administering his medication.

 

For the above reasons, the appellate court reversed and vacated the district courts order granting summary judgment to the College and the student was awarded his costs on appeal.

 

Insert Grossman and Colker, Higher Education at p. 223 before Burden and Order of Proof.

 

Individuals with sensory impairments

As reported last year, on January 10, 2014, the National Federation for the Blind filed a complaint, in Dudley v. Miami University (S.D. Ohio 2014) (1:14-CV-00038).  See https://nfb.org/images/nfb/documents/pdf/miami%20teach.pdf (last viewed on May 22, 2014).

The complaint in this matter alleged that, a blind student pursuing a degree in zoology for the objective of attending veterinary school at Miami University, a public entity, intentionally violated title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by acting “with deliberate indifference” and failing to provide necessary auxiliary aids or modifications in the student’s classes and labs.  According to her complaint, the University sent a letter to her instructors suggesting that only two modifications were necessary: offering all classroom material in Rich Text Format and allowing double-time for exams and quizzes.  The letter to the faculty made no mention of Braille textbooks, tactile graphics, human assistants, timely course materials or accessible learning management software — all accommodations she stated were necessary. Her lecture instructors used LearnSmart to manage homework assignments, which she states was not accessible to her.  She also was not permitted to participate fully in lab activities.

The student, some teachers, and a graduate assistant brought a number of the identified deficiencies to the attention of the University.  In several instances, the student proposed solutions, but the University allegedly failed to act on this notice or advice. She also alleged that Miami University made technology procurement decisions with deliberate indifference to her rights in procuring inaccessibiletechnology even though accessible technology existed and was being used at other universities.

The student sought to have her grades expunged, receive a refund of tuition and costs, and an award of compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees, and prospective injunctive relief in the form of effective and timely modifications and adjustments in all classes and labs.

On April 7, 2014, the United States initiated an investigation of the above issues as well as broader issues.   On April 23, 2014, the Federal District Court tolled the proceedings, allowing the parties and the United States an opportunity to resolve this matter without further litigation.   Consequently, at this time, the University has not filed an answer to the NFB complaint nor has it exhausted its opportunity to file for a motion to dismiss the NFB complaint.

On June 25, 2014, DOJ advised the parties that it had found violations of Title II of the ADA at Miami University.  Among the violations, DOJ found that Miami University:

  • Used technologies that are inaccessible to individuals with disabilities, including those with learning, hearing, and vision disabilities
  • Failed to ensure, through the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services, that communications with individuals with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.
  • Failed to reasonably modify its policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability.

To date, the parties and DOJ have not reached a settlement and on May 12, 2015, with the consent of counsel for the plaintiff, the United States filed with the Federal District court a motion to intervene. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-moves-intervene-disability-discrimination-lawsuit-alleging-miami

 

The motion for intervention rests on a number of arguments including that:

 

  • Due to the tolling, the litigation is still at its very earliest procedural stages
  • The disposition of this case impacts the United States’ interest in eliminating disability discrimination effected through the use of inaccessible technologies in higher education. This is an area of great public importance because educational institutions are increasingly using various technologies in their educational programs.
  • The NFB represents the interests of persons with vision impairments but a broader range of disabilities is implicated in this matter including hearing and learning disabilities.
  • The Department of Justice plays a central role in interpreting, enforcing, and implementing the ADA and the Department’s Title II regulation and the outcome of this litigation may adversely impact that responsibility.

 

At this time, some observers are predicting a settlement agreement under the supervision of the court. The plaintiff has withdrawn from Miami University and enrolled at another university.

Insert, Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 260 after NOTE 3.

Argenyi v. Creighton University

Last year’s Reading List reported, in a case involving accommodations for a student with a hearing impairment, that summary judgment for Creighton University had been reversed and the matter was to be set for trial.    Argenyi v. Creighton Univ., 703 F.3d 441 (8th Cir. Neb. 2013).

Following a jury verdict that Creighton University had denied a deaf student auxiliary aids and academic adjustments the federal district court considered Argenyi’s request for declaratory, equitable, and injunctive relief. At the end of 2013, the court ordered the University to provide Argenyi with auxiliary aids and services for the remainder of his medical school education at Creighton including CART in didactic settings and sign-supported oral interpreters in small-group and clinical settings.  The court denied Argenyi’s request for reimbursement for the over $130,000 he had spent on CART and other interpreting services.

In May of 2014, the question of fees for the “prevailing party” was decided by the district court.  Creighton was ordered to pay Argenyi and his team of eight lawyers $487,000 for attorney fees, expert fees, and costs.  The court ruled that the jury’s verdict that the University had discriminated against Argenyi was sufficient to establish that he was the “prevailing party.”  Argenyi v. Creighton Univ., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63726, 2014 WL 1838980 (D.Neb.)(D. Neb. May 8, 2014)

After taking a leave of absence, Argenyi returned to the University this past July to begin his last two years of medical school.  In the meantime, Creighton filed a notice of appeal in the Eighth Circuit, focusing on the question of undue burden.  Subsequently the parties announced a confidential settlement.  It is known that Creighton withdrew its appeal and that Argenyi is reported to be happy with the terms of the settlement.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p.280 after NOTE 1.

Food allergy accommodation

According to the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) foundation, “food allergy reactions send someone to the emergency department every three minutes, resulting in more than 200,000 emergency department visits in the U.S. per year. The increasing number of people with food allergies, coupled with the fact that teenagers and young adults are at the highest risk for fatal food-induced anaphylaxis, makes this a critical issue for colleges and universities.”  In response to these urgent circumstances, FARE has issued 53 pages of Pilot [draft] Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Higher Education, including checklists and model policies.  http://www.foodallergy.org/document.doc?id=382  The topics covered in the pilot guidelines include:

  • A clear process for requesting accommodations/modifications
  • Documentation required to establish an individual’s food allergy as a disability
  • A process for determining appropriate accommodations
  • Strategies for implementing accommodations
  • Outreach and marketing so that students and others know of food allergy/celiac disease accommodation services
  • Assessment of services, assuring compliance and remedying mistakes
  • Emergency response plans, training and signage including how to respond to anaphylaxis and promptly administer epinephrine
  • Training including who should receive it
  • Food preparation, production, avoiding cross-contact or using separate equipment, sanitizing, labeling, and serving
  • Student responsibilities
  • Confidentiality of student documentation and records

 

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 317 before Safety.

 

 

Students with Psychological Disabilities

Settlement with Quinnipiac University http://www.ada.gov/ quinnipiac_sa.htm

University counselor, possibly “over-reacting,” concluded that a student was self-destructive or suicidal, called ambulance and had student hospitalized.  Before Student left hospital she was handed papers by Quinnipiac which placed her on “mandatory medical leave” with return contingent upon “assess[ment] by a university-designated psychiatrist.”   The perspective of DOJ is that college violated Title III of the ADA because it failed to engage in an individualized interactive process or even consider modifications to its dismissal policies including housing student with her parents and taking classes on-line. Analysis does not suggest that emergency response or even decision to dismiss Student from the dorm was part of the violation. The settlement agreement provides that Quinnipiac will conduct an individualized assessment and case-by-case determination as to whether and what modification(s) can be made to allow students with mental health disabilities participate in the educational programs at Quinnipiac, and to continue to attend their classes while seeking treatment for mental health conditions and to pay the student $17K for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other consequential injury and another $15K to student loan provider to reimburse for lost tuition.

 

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p.319 following the third paragraph.

 

Hershman v. Muhlenberg College, 17 F. Supp.3d 454 (E.D. Pa. 2014).

Student at Muhlenburg College, close to graduation, missed an unspecified number of classes due to his depression, and as a result, he did not satisfy the attendance requirement for one class. The professor refused to make any accommodation to allow the plaintiff to pass the class. Since successful completion of the class was a graduation requirement, the Student sought to substitute credit from another course to satisfy the prerequisite, but the department chair denied plaintiff’s request.  Student and his parents met with the College and were informed that he would fail the class unless he obtained a medical withdrawal.

It appears that the Student took a medical withdrawal with regard to the class in question.  At the College’s invitation, he and his family attended ceremony but the program for the ceremony listed an asterisk next to his name indicating a later graduation date.  A semester later, the Student satisfied the graduation requirements and received his diploma.

The student subsequently sued the College under Title III of the ADA on grounds that it failed to accommodate him and for “intentional infliction of emotional harm,” a state law tort claim.  The latter claim was based on the “emotional distress” he experienced due to the asterisk in the graduation program.

The College filed a motion for dismissal of the Student’s complaint on the grounds that he was not a qualified individual with a disability as the accommodations he sought were not “reasonable.” Their implementation, the College argued, would require a fundamental alteration to the College’s program.

The College’s motion for dismissal failed.  (There does not appear to have been a dispute over whether the Student was an individual with a disability.)  The district court concluded that the Student was a qualified individual as he completed his course of study and graduated. Most importantly, the court concluded that it did not yet have sufficient information to determine whether the Student’s requested accommodations were reasonable or unreasonable because the determination of what is a fundamental alteration is “a fact specific question,” as the Supreme Court explained in PGA v. Martin.  The court was concerned that it did not know about certain facts it considered relevant, including the Student’s major, the nature of the course in question, the nature of the course the student proposed to substitute, and why both the professor and the dean refused to make any form of accommodation.  Consequently, the court ordered discovery to proceed on the Student’s ADA claim.

Based on state law precedents, the College’s motion to dismiss was granted on the tort claim.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p.211 after Note 2.

 

 

Quinones v. University of Puerto Rico, et al., No. 14-1331, 2015 WL 631327, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18319, 31 Am. Disabilities Cas. (BNA) 471 (D. P.R. Feb. 13, 2015).

Karina Quinones, MD, entered an ophthalmology residency program at the University of Puerto Rico in July of 2011.  At approximately the same time, she became addicted to a number of drugs prescribed to support sobriety and to help her concentrate in school, including Adderall.  To support the fact that her impairment substantially interfered with major life functions, she averred that her addiction to Adderall caused her visual disturbances, speech problems, and dizziness.  The court also noted that as a result of her addiction she had problems in complying with certain requirements of the Residency Program.  In September of 2012, Dr. Quinones was dismissed from the program.  Pursuant to a settlement agreement, she was permitted to apply for readmission in November of 2012. At that time, Dr. Quinones asked for an “accommodation” in the form of readmission and she provided evidence to the University that she had been sober for approximately 20 months, clean for “a little over three months,” and was actively participating in Alcoholics Anonymous.  In April of 2013, the University denied her request for readmission.  Shortly thereafter she filed suit for disability discrimination under Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act.  The University responded with a motion to dismiss.

In the mix of issues before the court, the most important one was whether Dr. Quinones was drug-free long enough to qualify for the “safe-harbor” provision of these laws that pertains to the disability of drug-addiction. Under the ADA (and Section 504) if a person is a “currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs,” including abuse of prescription drugs, a covered entity may take adverse action on the basis of such use. However the ADA protects “[i]ndividuals who are recovering from an addiction to drugs, as the statute aims to protect them from the stigma associated with their addiction” To achieve this objective the ADA contains a “safe harbor” that extends ADA coverage to an individual who:

  • has successfully completed a supervised drug rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs, or has otherwise been rehabilitated successfully and is no longer engaging in such use;
  • is participating in a supervised rehabilitation program and is no longer engaging in such use; or
  • is erroneously regarded as engaging in such use, but is not engaging in such use . . . .

 

Relying largely upon employment discrimination precedents, in the opinion of the court, the University did not violate the ADA or Section 504 in treating Dr. Quinones without regard to the protections of the safe harbor provision.  According to the court, there is no “bright line” for how long an individual must be clean to no longer be a “current drug user.”  This determination is to be made on a “case by case” basis.  “[T]he ‘safe harbor’ provision applies only to [individuals] who have refrained from using drugs for a significant period of time.”  The courts also agree that a significant period of time must pass for an individual to not be considered a current user. This is because this “safe harbor” provision “exclude[s] from statutory protection an employee who illegally uses drugs during the weeks and months prior to her discharge, even if the employee is participating in a drug rehabilitation program and is drug-free on the day she is fired.”  A “current drug user” is one whose illegal use “occurred recently enough to justify a reasonable belief that a person’s drug use is current.”

In addition to basing its decision in favor of the University on the short duration of the time Dr. Quinones had refrained from illegal drug use, the court also noted that the duration of the addiction is pertinent and that certain fields may justify greater caution than others. “[A] short period of abstinence, particularly following such a severe drug problem, does not remove from the employer’s mind a reasonable belief that the drug use remains a problem.”   A court may examine “the level of responsibility entrusted to the employee; the employer’s applicable job and performance requirements; the level of competence ordinarily required to adequately perform the task in question; and the [individual’s] past performance record.”

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p.126 after Note 1.

The Intersection of Race, National Origin and Disability

Salmeron v. Regents of the University of California, No. C 13-5606, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80344, 2014 WL 2582712 (N.D. Cal.06/09/14).

A claim of discrimination in dismissal from medical school filed under Section 504, the ADA, and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is sufficient to withstand a motion for summary judgment by alleging that the individual’s minority group status (Mexican American) and disability (LD) status were known to the institution, the university engages in interactive communications and provides accommodations to white and other “non-Mexican American” individuals with disabilities but refuses to engage in the interactive process and denied accommodations to the plaintiff.  Such a claim is further supported when it is alleged that following dismissal, the Dean of the School refused to follow a grievance panel’s recommendation of reinstatement and the institution used the student’s image as part of diversity-related recruitment efforts, even after the student was dismissed.  “Although it is a close call, the court finds these allegations sufficient to plausibly allege discriminatory intent.”

 

Retaliation

Cottrell v. Norman, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101645, 2014 WL 3729215 (D.N.J. July 25, 2014). http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/new-jersey/njdce/1:2012cv01986/272545/66/

 

Making use of disability parking spaces, parent (Cottrell), her companion, and daughter with severe disability visit and participate in programs open to the public at Rowan University, a private school.  Cottrell and her companion “are self-described longtime ‘advocates for the disabled’ and often challenge parking violations of individuals who illegally park in handicap parking spaces.”  In March 2010, parent’s companion videotaped a vehicle with an expired placard parked in a designated disability space at the University.

 

In April, Cottrell drove her daughter to the campus to participate in a “Get Fit” class. Cottrell noticed the same car with an expired placard in a disability space. This time, she got in a verbal confrontation with the driver, got into her car, and took the placard.  Following a complaint by the driver, campus and local police arrested Cottrell at her home for criminal charges resulting from the event. She was also given a no-trespass order from the college, which stayed in effect even after the criminal charges were dropped.

 

Cottrell and her companion sued under Title III the ADA for discrimination and retaliation. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs’ Title III discrimination claim was dismissed, because neither individual was disabled.  However, the court found that plaintiffs did have standing to assert a retaliation claim as “[t]he ADA … makes it unlawful to retaliate against or intimidate any individual because he or she has opposed any act or practice made unlawful by the ADA …” [emphasis added]

 

Although the plaintiffs had standing to assert retaliation, their claim failed on its merits as the defendants convinced the court that the adverse action was causally connected to impermissible conduct by the plaintiffs, not their protected activities.  The University had not taken any adverse action when the plaintiffs taped unlawfully parked cars.  The action was taken only following harassment of and theft from a driver. “[E]ven if plaintiffs had come onto campus to protect disabled persons’ parking rights, [it] does not mean they can conduct themselves in any manner without consequence. The cloak of the ADA does not extend its protections that far.”

 

Widomski v. State Univ. of N.Y. (SUNY) at Orange, 933 F. Supp. 2d 534 (S.D.N.Y. 2013)

 

Second Circuit found that the convening of a disciplinary/dismissal hearing following a letter from student’s attorney alleging that the student was misperceived as having a disability and unlawfully excluded from phlebotomy clinics, did not establish retaliation where the convener of the hearing had “a good faith belief “that the student had falsified required clinical reports and the student failed to establish that this belief that was a pretext for discrimination.

 

Sjöstrand v. Ohio State Univ., 750 F.3d 596 (6th Cir. 2014)

 

University’s articulated legitimate nondiscriminatory reasons for not admitting applicant to its graduate school of psychology were sufficient for federal district court to order summary judgment for University.  However, as reported in last year’s Summer Reading List, applying a classic disparate treatment analysis (McDonnell Douglas v. Green, 414 U.S. 811 (1973)), the Sixth Circuit reversed in light of the fact that the applicant’s disability, Crohn’s disease, was known by the admissions committee and discussed in the admissions interview, the applicant had very strong paper qualifications in comparison to other admitted applicants, and, when she asked, she was not given by the school prompt, clear, or consistent reasons for her rejection.

Subsequent to the publication of last year’s Summer Reading List, a jury trial was held and the jury found for the University. Case: 2:11-cv-00462-MRA Doc #: 103 Filed: 09/29/14

See also McKee v. Madison Area Tech. College, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70967, 2014 WL 2159257 (W.D. Wis. May 22, 2014). http://leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020140527G48/McKEE%20v.%20MADISON%20AREA%20TECHNICAL%20COLLEGE

In a decision contrary to law, Federal District Court concludes that ADA covers disability-related retaliation claim by students, but Section 504 does not.  Due to absence of evidence of discriminatory intent, court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment on all federal claims and remanded plaintiff’s state law claims for breach of contract and negligent infliction of emotional distress to state court.

 

 

Facilities Access

 

Williams v. Southern Univ. & Agric. & Mech. College, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145852, 2012 WL 4829488 (M.D. La. Oct. 10, 2012)

[This is a citation to a discovery motion. I can’t find either the complaint or the consent decree on Lexis.  Correct links to the complaint and the settlement are provided below and even then I may not have a link to the final amended complaint]

Lawsuit: http://theadvocate.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=miL3Pu8Yv$M$aME5$ZQguJM5tm0Zxrvol3sywaAHBAnivlp5nxSJnEO0Mfd4eDSfE0$uXvBjavsllACLNr6VhLEUIm2tympBeeq1Fwi7sIigrCfKm_F3DhYfWov3omce$8CAqP1xDAFoSAgEcS6kSQ–&CONTENTTYPE=application/pdf&CONTENTDISPOSITION=Southern%20Williams%20Lawsuit.pdf

Settlement: http://theadvocate.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=jQQKWnilRvICOWv3Ez02v5M5tm0Zxrvol3sywaAHBAmTauUdzj2jhKYG34RyvxpFE0$uXvBjavsllACLNr6VhLEUIm2tympBeeq1Fwi7sIigrCfKm_F3DhYfWov3omce$8CAqP1xDAFoSAgEcS6kSQ–&CONTENTTYPE=application/pdg&CONTENTDISPORTION=Southern%20Settlement.pdf

 

As the result of a gunshot that severed her spine, Kayla Williams uses a wheelchair for mobility and a catheter and bag for toileting.  In her complaint against Southern University, as amended, Williams alleged that Southern violated Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by maintaining and refusing to remove multiple barriers to accessing the academic, athletic and social programs and facilities of the University.  In her complaint, Williams cites to inaccessible paths of travel, ramps, entrances, bathrooms, classrooms, as well as work tables and desks in the building in which her MBA program was held.  She also provides detailed examples of inaccessible features in the athletic and public event venues of the University.

 

Most significant to this complaint are the insights it provides as to the burdens such an individual may face as the result of inaccessible restroom facilities. She alleged that because she could not access the restrooms at the MBA program site, she suffered  “feelings of humiliation, embarrassment and indignity” when her catheter bag overflowed, often in public, leaving her to sit in her own urine, while waiting for a ride home to change her clothes. Moreover, in some instances, these conditions also created or exacerbated serious medical conditions.  As to the absence of appropriate desks for tables, Williams alleged that she was required to “sit at a contorted and uncomfortable angle in order to use classroom desks” because they weren’t tall enough to accommodate her wheelchair. “It is especially difficult for her when she needs to use a computer, because she cannot slide under the desk to reach the computer keyboard.”

 

In 2014, the University and Williams entered into a consent decree agreement.  This agreement includes many provisions that are logically-related to her complaint including correction of steep ramps; additional wheelchair and companion seating at sports and other venues; accessible washrooms in both classroom buildings and sports venues, and provision of accessible desks in academic settings.

Of note are several provisions not regularly found in similar agreements, including:

  • A transition plan with a schedule that spreads implementation over a period of five years based on logical priorities.
  • To ensure that the option of moving a program from an inaccessible site to an accessible one is not merely a theoretical solution, the plan provides that the University “will designate one individual … with authority to move classes or other events to accessible locations … and will publicize the identity and contact of that person ….
  • University is required to “employ an ADA Coordinator who shall have the responsibility and authority to review all renovations, new construction, or modifications to facilities to ensure that the requirements of the ADA shall be This person shall also have the responsibility and authority to relocate academic classes, programs or events to accessible facilities to ensure that all programs meet the requirements of the ADA.”
  • When making a program accessible requires structural changes, “[t]he changes shall be made as expeditiously as possible, and must be completed within two years of the approval of [the] Consent ”
  • To ensure that once a barrier is removed, it will not reemerge due to lack of maintenance, the University is required to “maintain in operable working condition those features of facilities and equipment that are required to provide access to individuals with ’ This responsibility extends to night-time programs, as well.
  • In the event of any temporary interruptions in services or access, the University “will evaluate the impact of the interruption in services or access on accessibility of [its] programs to individuals with disabilities. … [T]he [University] will plan and implement such measures as are necessary to make its programs … accessible to persons with disabilities …. Such measures may include the designation, with appropriate signage, or alternate accessible routes, or relocation of programs or services to accessible ”

 

Another important concern addressed under the decree is fire safety.  For example, the decree provides that the University will create “a place of refuge” in its sports stadium.  It also provides for fire safety and training for emergency evacuation for persons with mobility impairments “on each floor of each building on campus, and will train all personnel with responsibility for carrying out this procedure, and will drill them at least once each semester on carrying it out.”  In addition, all faculty and staff are to be informed as to how to evacuate persons with mobility impairments in case of an emergency. The decree also provides for unspecified damages, attorney’s fees and costs for Williams.

Fortyune v. City of Lomita, 766 F.3d 1098 (9th Cir. Cal. 2014); cert. denied __ U.S.__ (June 29,2015).  http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/09/05/12-56280.pdf

http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/062915zor_4g25.pd 

Robin Fortyune is a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair for mobility. In his ADA Title II complaint against the City of Lomita, he alleged that, “he experiences ‘great difficulty, discomfort and, even fear for his safety’ when frequenting facilities in the City because none of the City’s public on-street [diagonal] parking is accessible to people with disabilities.”  The City of Lomita had the matter removed from state to federal district court.  The City argued that, “absent the adoption of ADA implementing regulations specifically targeted toward on-street parking, it is not required to provide accessible on-street parking.” The district court denied the motion to dismiss, concluding that “the broad language of the ADA requires public entities to ensure that all services, including on-street parking, are reasonably accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.”

 

The City appealed the district court decision to the Ninth Circuit.  Relying on the general regulatory language governing all Title II activities, such as 28 C.F.R. § 35.150 and 35.150(a), and U.S. Department of Justice published technical assistance guidance, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the program accessibility rules require the provision of on-street public parking even if there is no specific regulation requiring the installation of on-street public parking. “[A]t bottom, the regulation [28 C.F.R. § 35.150] mandates program accessibility for all normal governmental functions, including the provision of on-street public parking.” “T]he 2010 Standards contain detailed specifications for a range of different facilities, but none of them address on-street parking. However, nothing in 28 C.F.R. § 35.151 suggests that when technical specifications do not exist for a particular type of facility, public entities have no accessibility obligations.”

 

Further, in 1994, the Justice Department issued a technical assistance manual.  In pertinent part, that manual states: “If no standard exists for particular features, those features need not comply with a particular design standard. However, the facility must still be designed and operated to meet other title II requirements, including program accessibility.”  The Ninth Circuit accorded this guidance considerable weight, presuming it to be correct.. “An agency’s interpretation of its own regulations is entitled to deference.” …..   “[E]ven if we had doubts about the applicability of 28 C.F.R. § 35.151 to facilities for which no technical specifications exist, we would be bound to defer to the DOJ’s interpretation of the regulation because it is not “plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation.”

Relying on two broad Title II regulations and DOJ technical assistance, the Ninth Circuit concludes:  “The text of the ADA, the relevant implementing regulations, and the DOJ’s interpretation of its own regulations all lead us to conclude that public entities must ensure that all normal governmental functions are reasonably accessible to disabled persons, irrespective of whether the DOJ has adopted technical specifications for the particular types of facilities involved.”

 

 

Digital Access and Equality

The Department of Justice has published its spring 2015 regulatory agenda pursuant to Executive Order 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review,’’ 58 FR 51735, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 to 612 (1988). The agenda reveals that DOJ has separated the web access rule-making process for public entities from that of public accommodations.  The notice provides a schedule for the final comment period for the regulations for public entities (closing August 2015).  It also has information about rule making for captioning of movies at movie theatres, with a publication date of December 2015. See http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201410&RIN=1190-AA65 (split from RIN 1190-AA61).

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 289.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, have become even more active than last year in taking enforcement actions against universities whose web sites and services are not accessible to students who use adaptive technology like JAWS software (or other screen readers) to read text.  These actions are usually taken under Title II but the same principles would apply to a Title III entity.

Two OCR letters, Youngstown State University and University of Cincinnati, issued at virtually the same time, are particularly noteworthy because they go further than in the past in explicitly stating how the regulations implementing Section 504 and Title II of the ADA apply to the virtual world.

Digital access in academia

University of Cincinnati, OCR compliance review #15-13-6001 (December 2014) http://www2.ed.gov/documents/press-releases/university-cincinnati-agreement.pdf

The University of Cincinnati is a public institution subject to Section 504 and Title II of the ADA.  According to data analyzed by OCR, it has approximately 43,000 students.  Approximately 31% of its undergraduate students participate online for some part of their course work; 9% exclusively on line; while 29% of graduate students participated solely on line.  3-5% of all students are registered with DSS.

 

The OCR letter in this matter is exceptionally instructive as it lays out the legal standards; applies the standards to concrete examples; and, provides a narrative with insights on how persons who use adaptive technology are challenged by in accessible electronic information technology (EIT).

 

The scope of OCR’s review of EIT was quite comprehensive, including:  general websites, such as admissions, academic program descriptions, athletics programs, library services, health services, faculty and student directories, research tools; and resources; academic courseware, in this case Blackboard; and distance learning. The letter is also noteworthy for the fact that it considers the impact of inaccessible EIT on more than just students.

 

OCR found numerous violations including ones that did not pertain to EIT.  For example, OCR found multiple shortcomings with regard to notice of nondiscriminatory practices and procedures. With regard to EIT, OCR found that the University lacked adequate tools and procedures for ensuring that its websites were accessible, that the content it posted on Blackboard was accessible, or that the content of its on-line learning programs was accessible.  Consistent with a growing theme in many areas of disability compliance, OCR explicitly rejected the use of a system that only addresses compatibility problems when a complaint is received. This letter also addressed the duty to caption videos.

 

The remedial agreement with OCR has four basic components:

  • Develop for OCR review a policy to ensure that information communicated through University websites, on-line or e-learning systems, course management systems or EIT are accessible to students, prospective students, employees, guests, and visitors with visual, hearing, and manual impairments.
  • Develop and implement a plan for accessibility audits by the access coordinator with audit accounting
  • Develop and implement a plan for acquisition and contracting that ensure purchases are accessible
  • Annual training on EIT access for faculty, staff, administrators, support staff, and student employees and a qualified individual available to assist them on complying with technical standards

 

The agreement also contains some significant quality control and monitoring provisions which will be in effect at least through 2018.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p.290 before Notes.

Youngstown State University, OCR compliance review #15-13-6002 (December 2014) http://www2.ed.gov/documents/press-releases/youngstown-state-university-letter.pdf

 

Youngstown State University is a public institution subject to Section 504 and Title II of the ADA.  It has a total undergraduate and graduate enrollment of 14,000 students; with 13% of undergraduates and 5% of graduate students receiving some part of their education on-line.

It appears that Youngtown State had fewer compliance challenges than did the University of Cincinnati.  For one thing, Youngstown had published guidance and standards for making many of its EIT activities accessible.  The basis for finding noncompliance at Youngstown was largely that it lacked active implementation procedures, training, and monitoring procedures necessary to implement its guidance and standards.

The remedies negotiated with Youngstown are very similar to those negotiated with the University of Cincinnati; albeit, the period of monitoring by OCR is presumed to be of a shorter duration.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 290 before NOTES.

The National Federation of the Blind, Anthony Lanzilotti and Mitchell Cossaboon v Atlantic Cape Community College, consent decree, D.N.J. Case No. 1:33-av-00001 (2015). https://nfb.org/national-federation-blind-and-two-blind-students-resolve-complaint-against-atlantic-cape-community

Atlantic Cape Community College (ACCC) is a public two year institution with approximately 7,000 students.  The consent decree resolves two students’ allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability. The College denies the allegations of discrimination and has admitted no wrongdoing. The agreement requires the College to work with a third-party consultant and the National Federation of the Blind to take steps to improve the educational experience of students with disabilities and to prevent discrimination against these students, including:

  • Conducting a technology audit and, based on the audit results, developing a plan to make all student-facing electronic and information technology used by ACCC accessible to students with disabilities no later than three years from the completion of the technology accessibility audit;
  • Making ACCC’s websites accessible to blind students within 240 days of the execution of the consent decree;
  • Making ACCC’s integrated library system and its website fully accessible to blind students;
  • Developing a plan to provide accessible instructional materials, including textbooks, course materials, and tactile graphics, to blind students and to other students with disabilities at the same time that these materials are made available to students without disabilities, and to implement this plan no later than three years from the effective date of the consent decree;
  • Requiring cooperation among faculty, staff, and ACCC’s Disability Support Services office to handle accommodation requests made by students with disabilities;
  • Reviewing and revising ACCC’s policies and procedures for accommodating students with disabilities and for processing and resolving grievances brought by students with disabilities, including requiring ACCC’s Disability Support Services office to self-report any failure to resolve a student’s complaint or accommodation request, triggering an automatic grievance procedure; and
  • Requiring training of all personnel on the Americans with Disabilities Act and on ACCC’s policies for accommodating students with disabilities, as well as training for such students on their rights and the procedures available to them to enforce those rights.

 

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 290 before Notes.

DOJ edX settlementhttp://www.ada.gov/edx_sa.htm    Litigation not filed

A settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and edX, resolves allegations by DOJ that edX’s website, http://www.edx.org, and its platform for providing massive open online courses (MOOCs), were not fully accessible to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are blind or have low vision, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and individuals who have physical disabilities affecting manual dexterity, in violation of Title III of the ADA.

According to DOJ, edX was created in 2012 as a nonprofit platform for universities to offer MOOCs. Today, edX has approximately 60 university and institutional members providing over 450 courses to over 3,000,000 learners.  The courses are offered largely for free in subject matters as varied as business, computer sciences, hard sciences, food and nutrition and social sciences.

Of note is the deference paid in this agreement to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA.   The agreement specifically requires edX to make significant modifications to its website, platform and mobile applications to conform to these guidelines.

The four-year agreement requires edX to:

  • make the edX website, its mobile applications, and learning management system software, through which online courses are offered, fully accessible within 18 months;
  • ensure that its content management system is fully accessible and supports authoring and publishing of accessible content within an additional 18 months;
  • provide guidance to course creators at its member universities and other institutions on best practices for making online courses fully accessible;
  • appoint a Web Accessibility Coordinator;
  • adopt a Web Accessibility Policy;
  • solicit feedback from learners on the accessibility of the courses;
  • conduct Web Accessibility Training for employees responsible for the website, platform, and mobile applications; and
  • retain a consultant to evaluate conformance of the website, platform, and mobile applications

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 290 before Service Animals.

National Association of the Deaf, et al., v. Harvard University, et al., US Department of Justice statement of Interest, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-30023-MGM, D. Mass (June 23, 2015).  http://www.ada.gov/briefs/harvard_soi.pdf

National Association of the Deaf, et al., v. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US Department of Justice statement of Interest, Civil Action No. 3:15-cv-300024-MGM. http://www.ada.gov/briefs/mit_soi.pdf

The Justice Department has announced that it has filed Statements of Interest in these two matters.  Plaintiffs allege that Harvard and MIT violated the ADA and Section 504 by denying equal access to free online courses and lectures to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing because they fail to provide appropriate auxiliary aids, benefits and services, including captioning.

Both Universities argue that the complaints should be stayed or dismissed until the Department of Justice issues regulations under the ADA on website accessibility.  They further argue that neither the ADA nor Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require the provision of captions on their online programming.

In its Statements of Interest, DOJ responds to the first argument by asserting that the Plaintiffs’ claims do not require the Court to “’unravel intricate, technical facts,’ but rather involves consideration of facts within the conventional competence of the courts ….”  “And because the title III rulemaking on website accessibility is not imminent, dismissal or stay of this case … would not materially aid this Court and would significantly prejudice the Plaintiffs …”

 

With regard to the second argument of the Universities, DOJ states that a public accommodation includes an “undergraduate, postgraduate private school, or other place of education,” such as MIT and Harvard. 42 U.S.C. § 12181 (7)(J).   Under Title III, public accommodations must ensure that persons with disabilities are not denied services “because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services.”  Further, public accommodations must furnish appropriate “auxiliary aids and services” where necessary for “effective communication.”  Auxiliary aids and services include,” open and closed captioning and accessible electronic and information technology,” among other methods. 28 C.F.R. § 36.303(b).  A similar duty exists under Section 504. 34 C.F.R. § 104.4(b).   See also 34 CFR 104.44(d).

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 290 before Service Animals.

Are sales and service websites “public accommodations” under Title III of the ADA?

National Federation of the Blind v. Scribd, Inc., Case No. 2:14-cv-162,  2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34213, 2015 WL 1263336 (D. Vt. Mar. 19, 2015) http://the-digital-reader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/30-Opinion-denying-Motion-to-Dismiss.pdf

This opinion is worth reading for its comprehensive overview of the question of whether an entity that conducts business only by the Internet is a “public accommodation” subject to the anti-discrimination protections of Title III of the ADA

Scribd is a California-based digital library that operates reading subscription services on its website and on apps for mobile phones and tablets. Scribd’s customers pay a monthly fee to gain access to its collection of over forty million titles, including e-books, academic papers, legal filings, and other user-uploaded digital documents.

Because its websites are picture-based, they are not accessible to the adaptive technologies commonly used by visually impaired individuals.  These inaccessible conditions formed the basis of a claim by Plaintiffs National Federation of the Blind (“NFB”) and Heidi Viens.

 

Among the required elements of a claim for disability discrimination under Title III of the ADA is that the defendant “owns, leases, or operates a place of public accommodation” Scribd in a motion to dismiss the NFB complaint argued that, because the services and products of Scribd are accessed, selected, and purchased exclusively on the Internet, the NFB had not sufficiently alleged this required claim element.

This dispute was a matter of statutory construction.  Because the district court concluded that the statute (Title III) was “ambiguous” as to the question before it, it needed to consult other sources, including the statute’s legislative history and DOJ guidance, focusing on the “broader context and primary purpose of the statute,” reaching an interpretation that “avoids absurd results.”

The court denied Scribd’s motion to dismiss. Quoting from the Netflix decision of Judge Posner [see last year’s Summer Reading list], the court held that

The Internet is central to every aspect of the “economic and social mainstream of American life.” In such a society, “excluding businesses that sell services through the Internet from the ADA would ‘run afoul of the purposes of the ADA and would severely frustrate Congress’s intent that individuals with disabilities fully enjoy the goods, services, privileges, and advantages available indiscriminately to other members of the general public.

 

When the motion to dismiss by Scribd was denied, it asked the lower court to stay the action pending an appeal to the Second Circuit.  This would have put discovery and proceedings on the merits of the NFB’s claim in abeyance until the above jurisdictional question was addressed by the Court of Appeals. This motion failed and discovery was ordered to proceed.  Nat’l Fed’n of the Blind v. Scribd Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69440 (D. Vt. May 29, 2015).

Cullen v. Netflix, Inc., 600 Fed. Appx. 508, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5257 (9th Cir. Cal. 2015); Earll v. Ebay, Inc., 599 Fed. Appx. 695, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5256 (9th Cir. Cal. 2015).  Respectively, http://law.justia.com/cases/ federal/appellate-courts/ca9/13-15092/13-15092-2015-04-01.html;   http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/memoranda/2015/04/01/13-15134.pdf

Within one week of the decision in Scribd, the Ninth Circuit issued two very brief, nearly identical, unpublished decisions following earlier Ninth Circuit decisions holding that a website is not a “public accommodation” absent some kind of connection to a brick and mortar facility.  For example, in Cullen, the  Ninth Circuit stated, “We have previously interpreted the statutory term “place of public accommodation” to require “some connection between the good or service complained of and an actual physical place.” See Weyer v. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., 198 F.3d 1104, 1114 (9th Cir. 2000). Because Netflix’s services are not connected to any “actual, physical place,” Netflix is not subject to the ADA.” See also National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corporation, 452 F.Supp.2d 946 (ND Cal., 2006).

National Federation of the Blind of California, Kelly, Hingson, and Pederson v. Uber Technologies, Inc., Case No. 14-cv-04086 NC, N.D. Cal (2015)

http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/candce/ 3:2014cv04086/280572/37/

UberX is a widely available transportation service that uses mobile software applications to arrange rides between passengers and Uber’s fleet of UberX drivers. The National Federation of the Blind of California and several individuals who are blind alleged that Uber drivers, in violation of Title III of the ADA and California disability rights laws, refused them transportation services because they were accompanied by their guide dogs.

Uber filed a motion to dismiss in Federal District Court. The ADA lists twelve categories of entities that are public accommodations.  Uber raised multiple defenses, of interest here, that it was a technology company, not a transportation company, falling outside any of the any of Congress’s examples of a “public accommodation.”

The plaintiffs alleged that Uber’s operations fall under the listed category of “travel service” category, so Uber qualifies as a public accommodation. 42  U.S.C. § 12181(7)(f).

The ADA does not define travel services.  Without much discussion, the court accepted the plaintiffs’ argument.  Quoting from Carparts Distrib. Ctr., Inc. v. Auto. Wholesaler’s Ass’n of New England, Inc., 37 F.3d 12, 13 (1st Cir. 1994), the court stated, “Congress clearly contemplated that ‘service establishments’ include providers of services which do not require a person to physically enter an actual physical structure.”

An appeal in this matter may be expected.

See also Reyazuddin v. Montgomery County, No. 14-1299, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10032, 2015 WL 3651710 4th Cir. (June 15, 2015). Yasmin Reyazuddin, who is blind, worked successfully for Montgomery County as a 311 operator prior to a workplace consolidation that included the adoption of new software that was not accessible to persons with visual impairments. The County concluded that she was no longer qualified to perform the essential functions of her position and did not transfer her or hire her into a position at the consolidated call center.  Instead, the County retained her salary level and reassigned her to other public contact positions which plaintiff described as “make-work” positions with limited daily tasks and no opportunity for advancement.  She alleged disability discrimination in employment under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the ADA on the grounds that, with accommodation, she was qualified to work in the new 311 service setting and that the reassignments provided to her were to “make-work” positions only.

As part of an $80 million upgrade, the County opened a new, consolidated call center using new software.  The software selected by the County can be operated in two “modes,” one of which was accessible to individuals with vision impairments and one of which was not, at least not without a significant work-around.  The County’s software license allows it to run the software in either mode.   The County, however, chose to run only the inaccessible (“high-interactivity”) version which makes some useful but not necessarily essential functions available to operators including: scripts to read to callers; a “solutions button” with a “short, concise paragraph about how the [C]ounty handles” the caller’s particular concern and instructions for employees on how to handle the call; a field for notetaking; a “service request template” with fields that automatically populate; and, a function for transferring calls to 911.

The District Court issued a summary judgment decision in favor of the County concluding that Reyazuddin, even with accommodation, was not qualified to perform the essential functions of a 311 operator at the new call center, that the accommodations she proposed were not reasonable as the County had demonstrated that they would entail an undue burden on the County, and that the County’s reassignment of the Plaintiff had satisfied its reasonable accommodation duties under Section 504.

The Fourth Circuit reversed the lower court finding that several issues remained in genuine dispute: 1) whether Reyazuddin could perform the essential job functions of a call center employee; (2) whether the County reasonably accommodated her; and (3), if the County did not, whether its failure to do so may be excused because the County had proven that her requested accommodations would impose an undue burden on the County.

This decision is rich with a range of employment discrimination issues, particularly ones pertaining to the implementation of emerging technologies.  It is the last issue — how to prove, measure, or calculate what is an undue burden — that may be of most interest to DSS professionals, as the arguments made by the County, accepted by the lower court and,rejected by the Fourth Circuit, are frequently heard in the post-secondary setting.

 

The Fourth Circuit concluded that the lower court had made several errors in its determination of undue burden. The lower court found relevant that the County had only budgeted $15,500 for accommodations.  The Fourth Circuit rejected this reasoning, stating in pertinent part, “Allowing the County to prevail on its undue hardship defense based on its own budgeting decisions would effectively cede the legal determination on this issue [undue burden] to the employer …. Taken to its logical extreme, the employer could budget $0 for reasonable accommodation and thereby avoid liability.  The County’s overall budget ($3.73 billion in fiscal year 2010) and the [new system] operating budget (about $4 million) are relevant factors. But the County’s line-item budget for reasonable accommodations is not.” (citations omitted).

 

The Fourth Circuit further faulted the lower court for not giving nearly enough weight to the fact that four other cities in the U.S., using the same software, are accessible to individuals who are blind by operating in both modes and by providing other modifications.  The Fourth Circuit also concluded that savings gained by the new 311 system and the availability of in-house computer personnel to address accessibility challenges also should be included in the consideration of undue burden.  Finally, the Fourth Circuit found it inappropriate to issue a summary judgment for the County on the issue of undue burden when affidavits of experts provided hugely different estimates as to the effect or cost of running a 311 system using both modes and making the highly interactive mode partially or fully accessible.  The Fourth Circuit reasoned that these differences could only be resolved through further proceedings.

Of note, relying on EEOC guidance, the Fourth Circuit also concluded that the duty to provide accommodation in the workplace through reassignment to a new position means transfer to a “meaningful equal employment opportunity … to attain the same level of performance as is available to nondisabled employees having similar skills and abilities.”  Whether the opportunities provided to Reyazuddin met this standard was also a question that needed to be resolved in further proceedings .

 

Finally, the Fourth Circuit concluded that Title II of the ADA does not confer on public employees the right to sue public employers for employment discrimination.  This is not a unique conclusion.  The same interpretation of Title II has been reached in four other circuits and is the “majority view.”   This conclusion does not impair the claims Reyazuddin has made under Section 504.

 

Stay tuned.  Reyazuddin has been languishing in “make-work” positions since 2009.

 

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 87 before NOTE 2.

 

 

Disparate Impact Analysis

Tex. Dep’t of Hous. & Cmty. Affairs v. Inclusive Cmtys. Project, Inc., __ U.S. __, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4912, 135 S. Ct. 46 (U.S. 2014).

 

In the introductory chapter to The Law of Disability Discrimination for Higher Professionals at page 6, Colker and Grossman present the thesis that a principle step in the legal history of the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation and the ADA was development and adoption of two judicial insights.  The first was that an intention to discriminate was not necessary to a policy or practice having a discriminatory impact on a prohibited basis and that the identical treatment of individuals was not necessarily equal treatment.

The legal tool for attacking policies and practices that are designed without a discriminatory purpose or intent but in fact have a discriminatory effect is called disparate impact analysis. This tool was first used to implement Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, addressing certain instances of employment discrimination.  Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971).   In 1985, in Alexander v. Choate, the Supreme Court concluded that, under certain circumstances, disparate impact analysis also could be used to challenge disability discrimination where a neutral policy had the effect of denying individuals with disabilities “meaningful access” to a state benefit. 469 U.S. 287, 303.

Historically, statistics have been used as an element of proof in class-wide disparate impact cases.  Just how much persuasive power will be accorded to those statistics has been a matter of dispute, with conservative and liberal judges reaching different perspectives.  Generally, class-wide disparate impact cases that rely heavily on statistics have become more difficult to win.

This issue was front and center before the Supreme Court in a recent race discrimination case concerning interpretation of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Inc.   The FHA makes it unlawful to “refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.” 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a). The FHA further prohibits discrimination “against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith,” based on those same protected characteristics. Id. § 3604(b).

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC), 26 U.S.C. § 42(g)(1), provides tax credits to developers who build low-income housing. Federal law requires that credits be distributed through a state agency. In this matter, the plaintiffs case relied largely on statistical proof in asserting that the Texas LIHTC agency disproportionately allocated tax credits for housing construction in minority neighborhoods rather than for predominantly Caucasian neighborhoods.

With a number of cautionary notes, five Justices agreed that the FHA prohibited disparate impact discrimination in a race discrimination case and that a prima facie case of disparate impact discrimination could be established relying largely on statistical proof.  Among the cautionary notes:

  • To make a prima facie case, plaintiffs must not only present statistic evidence of disparate impact but also be able to identify the specific policies and practices of the defendant that caused these disparities.
  • Defendants must be given an opportunity to defend the policies or practices put into question by the statistical showing with any valid interests their policies serve.
  • Disparate impact discrimination does not exist unless the policies or practices in question are “artificial, arbitrary, and unnecessary barriers.”

Finally, the majority recognized that, in some situation, a race conscious remedy may be necessary to rectify disparate impact discrimination based on race.

The ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in this case “saved” the disparate impact theory under various race-based civil rights statutes.  In his dissent, Justice Thomas questioned the correctness of the Griggs decision.   Disability, disparate impact cases are brought under the FHAA, Section 504, or the ADA.   It is possible that the courts might cite this precedent to sustain disparate impact theories if challenged by defendants in disability-related cases.

Insert Colker and Grossman, Higher Education at p. 6.

 

 

Transit

Transit is not often a higher education issue.  An accessible transit system is nonetheless key to students and graduates with mobility impairments becoming productive members of the American workforce.  Last year’s Summer Reading List reported on developments in New York regarding accessible taxi service.

On June 6, 2015, the Department of Justice issued its findings based on its investigation under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of AMTRAK (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation). (DJ No. 204-16-128) The investigation was also conducted under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s regulations implementing the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12134. . DOJ found that Amtrak discriminated against persons with disabilities in violation of the ADA by failing to make existing station facilities in its intercity rail transportation system accessible. Amtrak also violated the ADA by incorrectly classifying stations as “flag stop” stations, thereby avoiding responsibility to make those station facilities accessible. DOJ determined that Amtrak is  responsible for ADA compliance at 376 stations but only 18 stations are currently compliant. DOJ relied upon Amtrak’s own reports, including a projection that it would make only 19 stations accessible by 2013. Amtrak’s plan to make stations accessible extended to 2028, and even then, not all the stations would be accessible. DOJ is requiring Amtrak to take a wide variety of remedial measures by changing it operations, including making its stations accessible, ensuring independent monitoring and verification, and notice to responsible parties. Other requirements include training and education of staff. An additional remedy requires Amtrak to pay compensatory damages to persons aggrieved in an appropriate amount for injuries caused by Amtrak’s failure to comply with the ADA and its regulations.

 

See discussion above of National Federation of the Blind of California, Kelly, Hingson, and Pederson v. Uber Technologies, Inc., Case No. 14-cv-04086 NC, N.D. Cal (2015).  http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/california/ candce/ 3:2014cv04086/280572/37h.

[1]This document is indexed to Colker and Grossman, The Law of Disability Discrimination for Higher Education Professionals.  This book, written for AHEAD members, Disabled Students Service Directors, and their legal advisors is published by Lexis-Nexis. It provides a comprehensive overview of disability anti-discrimination law including legal history, definition of disability, employment discrimination, and an extended chapter on the rights of students with disabilities in higher education.  This book is available through Lexis-Nexis at the following link:

http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&prodId=prod20900324

 

[2] The information set forth in this document is presented for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.   For any legal questions you may have, please consult with counsel for your institution.

Mental Health 101

How common are mental health issues?

Studies have shown that 1 in 4 individuals globally struggle with a mental health issue at any given time. If you expand that to the course of a lifetime, the number increases to 1 in 2. That means if it’s not you who is struggling, it’s someone you know or love.

Why is it important to talk about stigma?

When discussing mental health, two main types of stigma exist. One type is external stigma, which refers to the attitudes held by society that people with mental health issues are somehow lacking, incapable, incompetent, or not worthy of dignified and equitable treatment. The other type is internal stigma, which is the attitude held by the person with mental health challenges that they are unworthy, unlovable, and unvalued.

Stigma does a lot of harm to our society. For the people struggling with a mental health challenge, they often lack hope in recovery and don’t pursue treatment because they either don’t believe they can get better or fear discrimination from others. For those who don’t struggle but hold positions of power (such as law enforcement, educators, landlords, community leaders, etc.), stigma can lead to discrimination, which is the unfair treatment of those with mental health challenges.

Having honest conversations about stigma and sharing our personal stories of recovery are small steps we each can take to making our society more equitable and inclusive.

Is recovery actually possible?

Absolutely! One of the biggest misperceptions in society is that mental health issues are a life sentence.

Recovery means many things to many people and is personal in nature. For some, recovery is the complete absence of symptoms. For others, recovery means successfully managing symptoms as a normal part of life with no disruption to daily activities. Research has shown that even for those with the most serious mental illnesses, the right treatment can have someone living an independent, fulfilling, and successful life.

Does everyone with a mental health diagnosis need medication? What alternatives to medication exist?

It’s a common thought that the only cure to a mental health diagnosis is medication and if one stops taking his or her pills, it’s all downhill from there. While medication works for some people, it is hardly a cure-all. In fact, some medications can have side effects that are more harmful than the symptoms of the mental health challenge!

Deciding to try medication is a personal decision. The good news is that it is not the only option. Research has shown that other types of therapies can be extremely effective in maintaing a person’s level of wellness, including mindfulness, talk therapy, peer support, physical activity, and visual and performing arts, to name a few.

So, do I have to share my mental health issue with the world?

Not unless you want to! Some people are very open about their mental health issues because they value transparency and/or want to be an example of recovery. Others may not feel comfortable because they fear stigma, or simply don’t want the world knowing their personal business. Some may choose to tell family and close friends, but not coworkers or acquaintances. There is no right or wrong answer. You should do what makes you comfortable. If you want to start dialogue around mental health but aren’t quite sure if you’re ready to share your experiences, you can always frame the conversation around wellness, which applies to everyone, diagnosis or not.

What should I do if someone discloses their challenge to me?

Just listen. Providing a supportive ear is the best thing you can do for someone who chooses to open up. It’s not always easy to share something so personal with another human being, so taking a genuine interest and being free of judgment can go a long way and do a lot of good.

Feeling Anxious?

When most people think about anxiety, they picture the typical nervousness folks experience before taking a test at school, or perhaps speaking in public. Their pulse may quicken a bit, their face may feel a bit flushed, they may have “butterflies in their stomach,” but that is about it. It is a temporary feeling, and is generally considered to be a normal human reaction.

For some people though, anxiety rises to the point where a person’s ability to work or lead a normal life is impacted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S. the estimated lifetime prevalence of any anxiety disorder is over 15%, while the 12-month prevalence is more than 10%.

For example, if a child is so anxious about going to school that they regularly cannot get out the door on time, it may be time to see a mental health professional.  If a person avoids socializing with friends because the thought of being around people makes them feel lightheaded and nauseous, this may be cause for concern. Worse, if a person feels these sorts of symptoms WITHOUT a triggering event, then a conversation with a medical professional is may be warranted.

There are a number of anxiety disorders including:  generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, and selective mutism.

Panic Disorder

Let’s take a closer look at Panic Disorder. This disorder is known for the occurrence of “panic attacks” which is when the body’s “fight or flight” response kicks into overdrive, seemingly for no apparent reason. People who experience this describe feelings of imminent death, being unable to breathe properly, having sweaty palms and/or tingling hands or feet, of feeling pain in their chest and the belief that their racing heart will suddenly stop and they will die. In other words, an abject feeling of terror; again, coming on without warning after no apparent triggering event.

Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

There are common medical treatments for anxiety disorders. Medication, such as simple antidepressants like Lexapro or Prozac can be effective. Sometimes, anticonvulsant medicines (typically taken for epilepsy) and low-dose antipsychotic drugs can be utilized in conjunction with antidepressants. Other medications can include benzodiazepines (such as Klonopin, Xanax, Librium, Valium, etc.), or opioids (OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, morphine, etc.). Care however must be taken, as these sorts of medications can become addictive.

Other, non-pharmacological interventions can be employed as well and include Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), meditation, mindfulness, breathing exercises, or even yoga. If the person has had a traumatic event in their past which acts as a trigger to their anxiety disorder, there are also therapies which can address and defuse trauma: EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), art therapy, and even trauma informed yoga. Some folks have even had good results with therapy animals, such as dogs, cats, horses, or even guinea pigs or rabbits. Positive changes in diet and exercise have also proven to be beneficial.

Bottom Line

If you or a loved one is experiencing an anxiety disorder, treatment is readily available.

Personality disorders

The term “Personality Disorder” implies there is something not-quite-right about someone’s personality. However, the term “personality disorder” simply refers to a diagnostic category of psychiatric disorders characterized by a chronic, inflexible, and maladaptive pattern of relating to the world. There are many subset of personalities, all identifiable by their patterns. Personality disorders in particular are subsets that use maladaptive patterns of functioning, causing distress or problems integrating into society. This maladaptive pattern is evident in the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The most noticeable and significant feature of these disorders is their negative effect on interpersonal relationships. A person with an untreated personality disorder is rarely able to enjoy sustained, meaningful, and rewarding relationships with others, and any relationships they do form are often fraught with problems and difficulties.

 

To be diagnosed with a “personality disorder” does not mean that someone’s personality is fatally flawed. In fact, these disorders are not that uncommon and are deeply troubling and painful to those who are diagnosed. Studies on the prevalence of personality disorders performed in different countries and amongst different populations suggest that roughly 10% of adults can be diagnosed with a personality disorder (Torgersen, 2005).

 

Many types of disorders are evidenced by a complete and total deviation from normal and healthy functioning (e.g., epilepsy). However, personality disorders cannot be understood independently from healthy personalities.  Since everyone has a personality (but not everyone has epileptic seizures), personality disorders reflect a variant form of normal, healthy personality. Thus, a personality disorder exists as a special case of a normal, healthy personality in much the same way as a square is a special case of the more general construct of a rectangle. Therefore, it is useful for us to begin our discussion of personality disorders by first discussing the broader, more general construct of personality.

Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/personality-disorders/home/ovc-20247654

https://medlineplus.gov/personalitydisorders.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/personality-disorders

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/personality-disorders/what-are-personality-disorders

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Borderline-Personality-Disorder

Personality Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #34

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/what-to-look-for/personality-disorders/index.html

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/personality-disorder/Pages/Definition.aspx