Adventures in Higher Education Law and Contract Negotiation

Core Competencies: Leadership, Marketing, Planning, Student Learning
June 10 – June 14, 2013
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

"Would it be wrong if we …" 

Often answering questions that begin this way can require an understanding of the most up-to-date legal cases and the nuances of each situation. This session is geared toward helping the new professional in college union/student activities understand what they need to know about the current and ever-changing world of higher education law. We will examine risk/liability management issues, contracts, student fees, student organizations, FERPA, etc. This will be an excellent opportunity to have your questions answered.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of this session participants will be able to: 

  • Cite recent cases that have influenced higher education law and the way campus life/student unions operate
  • Evaluate risk and the way to reduce liability exposure 
  • Understand FERPA including the scope and limitations placed on institutions 
  • Know when to ask for assistance from an institution’s legal counsel


About the presenters:

Since 2007, Dave O’Guinn has served as associate general counsel for Indiana University. In this capacity, he supervises and evaluates the work of outside law firms hired to represent Indiana University in litigation and drafts, negotiates, and approves contracts for employment, leases, license agreements, and affiliation agreements. O'Guinn is an IU adjunct faculty member for the Maurer School of Law and the Education School. O'Guinn also is the primary legal advisor to the Indiana University Athletic Department. Prior to his IU appointment, he was an associate specializing in labor and employment law for the Cincinnati firm Dinsmore & Shohl. O'Guinn is no stranger to higher education and college unions. Prior to pursuing a career in law, he was the director of student activities and greek life at Centre College (Kentucky) and the assistant director of the student center and student activities at Quinnipiac College (Connecticut). In these positions, he had responsibilities for student union management, program board and student organization advising, student leadership training, policy development, and employee supervision. O'Guinn earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame, M.S. in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University, and a B.A. in political science from DePauw University (Indiana). 

Stephen Harper came to Indiana University as a legal fellow for the 2011-2012 academic year and is now an assistant general counsel. His primary areas of interest are employment law, student affairs, contract drafting and review, and legal research. Prior to entering law school, Stephen was a high school English teacher. He has continued to teach, but has moved to the college level, serving in an adjunct capacity at IU, teaching Legal and Ethical Issues in Education. He received an award for Outstanding Teaching at the IU School of Education in April 2011 for his work with that class. Harper earned his bachelor's degfee from IU in 2005 and his J.D. in 2011 from the IU Maurer School of Law.

Updated May 10, 2013