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GARSHMAN v. PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIV.

June 10, 1975

Mitchell B. GARSHMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
The PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY et al., Defendants


Muir, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MUIR

I. Findings of Fact.

 This case was filed on May 20, 1975. A hearing on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction was held on May 30, 1975.

 The following facts have been stipulated to by counsel as uncontested:

 1. Defendant The Pennsylvania State University is an educational corporation created by Act of the Legislature of 1855.

 2. The said Act of the Legislature of 1855 placed the management and operation of Defendant University in Defendant Board of Trustees.

 3. Defendant John W. Oswald is President of Defendant University and in that capacity is charged with the immediate management and government of Defendant University.

 4. Defendant University has a College of Medicine and teaching hospital located in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

 5. Said College of Medicine and teaching hospital are known collectively as "The Milton S. Hershey Center of The Pennsylvania State University."

 6. Plaintiff is a first-year student in the College of Medicine of Defendant University.

 7. Harry Prystowsky, M.D., is employed by Defendant University as the Provost and Dean of the College of Medicine at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of Defendant University.

 8. Cheston M. Berlin, Jr., M.D., is employed by Defendant University as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of Defendant University.

 9. Steven L. Quattropani, Ph.D., is employed by Defendant University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of Defendant University.

 10. On May 2, 1975, Dean Prystowsky wrote to Plaintiff informing him that he was dismissed from the College of Medicine of Defendant University due to academic dishonesty.

 11. On May 6, 1975, Plaintiff met with Dr. Berlin and then with Dean Prystowsky to request the reconsideration of his dismissal.

 13. On May 9, 1975, Plaintiff was not permitted to attend a scheduled laboratory class.

 14. Said laboratory class was the only class which Plaintiff was not permitted to attend.

 15. Plaintiff has been given the opportunity to make up the May 9, 1975, laboratory class he missed.

 16. During the period leading up to and including Dean Prystowsky's letters of dismissal of May 2, 1975 and May 8, 1975, and Dr. Berlin's informing Plaintiff's instructors of his dismissal from the College of Medicine, it was Dean Prystowsky's and Dr. Berlin's belief that dismissal of Plaintiff was a matter properly for Dean Prystowsky's determination as involving an academic matter.

 17. On May 9, 1975, following consultation with Defendants' legal counsel, Dr. Berlin, by memo dated May 9, 1975, stated to Dean Prystowsky his desire to refer the matter to a University Hearing Board pursuant to Defendant University's Discipline System.

 18. In response to an inquiry of Plaintiff's legal counsel, Defendant's legal counsel on May 10, 1975, informed Plaintiff's counsel that the letters of dismissal of Dean Prystowsky resulted from a misunderstanding of the proper procedure under Defendant University's Discipline System for handling cases of academic dishonesty.

 19. At the same time, on May 10, 1975, Defendant's legal counsel informed Plaintiff's legal counsel that the matter was being referred to a University Hearing Board at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for disposition pursuant to the Defendant University's Discipline System.

 20. At the same time, on May 10, 1975, Defendant's legal counsel informed Plaintiff's legal counsel that Plaintiff was not dismissed from the College of Medicine, but rather remained a student in good standing until the matter was finally disposed of pursuant to Defendant University's Discipline System.

 21. In response to a further inquiry of Plaintiff's legal counsel, Defendant's legal counsel informed Plaintiff's legal counsel that under Defendant University's Discipline System they would not be permitted to represent Plaintiff before the student discipline boards, but that Plaintiff could be assisted by an advisor of his choice who is a member of the University community.

 22. On May 12, 1975, Dr. Berlin informed Plaintiff's instructors that Plaintiff should be permitted to return to class since the matter was being referred to a University Hearing Board pursuant to Defendant University's Discipline System.

 23. Plaintiff was permitted to return to class on May 12, 1975.

 24. Defendant University has adopted a written Code of Conduct which has been operative and in effect for the 1974-1975 academic year.

 25. The Code of Conduct states that misconduct which may result in disciplinary action consists, inter alia, of academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism.

 26. Defendant University had adopted a range of eight (8) possible sanctions for the violation of its regulations or Code of Conduct, as follows:

 
(1) Disciplinary Warning.
 
(2) Disciplinary Probation.
 
(3) Disciplinary Suspension.
 
(4) Disciplinary Dismissal.
 
(5) Disciplinary Expulsion.
 
(6) Loss of Privilege.
 
(7) Reimbursement.
 
(8) Summary Suspension.

 27. A concise definition of each of the above-mentioned sanctions is more fully set forth in Defendant University's document, entitled "The Discipline System for All Registered Students," Subsection "E" entitled "Sanctions for Violation of Regulations."

 29. The University Discipline System provides for a body known as the University Hearing Board, which board has jurisdiction to hear cases involving alleged violations of the Code of Conduct.

 30. The President of the University has the authority to appoint a hearing board at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center of The Pennsylvania State University.

 31. A student has the right to have his case heard before the University Hearing Board.

 32. The University Hearing Board may, after hearing, recommend any of the above-mentioned sanctions in a particular case to the Director of the Office of Conduct Standards.

 33. A student has the absolute right to appeal to the University Appeals Board from a recommended sanction of the University Hearing Board when such recommended sanction includes separation from the University.

 34. The Director of the Office of Conduct Standards may request a review by the University Appeals Board of the findings and/or recommendations of the University Hearing Board.

 35. The Student Standards Boards, having jurisdiction primarily in the residence hall areas where Code of Conduct violations are alleged, do not have a bearing on the case at bar as it relates to the Defendant University's disciplinary system.

 36. The University Discipline System provides for the Director of the Office of Conduct Standards.

 37. The Director of the Office of Conduct Standards may personally hear a case against a student when: (a) the student does not contest the validity of the charge made against him; (b) when the student executes a written waiver of his right to have the case heard by the University Hearing Board; (c) when the student requests in writing that his case be heard by the Office of Conduct Standards.

 38. The Director of the Office of Conduct Standards may not impose the sanction of dismissal and expulsion, but instead must submit such sanction to the President of the University in the form of a recommendation.

 39. The Director of the Office of Conduct Standards has the responsibility of receiving complaints against a student, and when the complaint(s) substantially indicates a violation, he may formally charge the student.

 40. The Director of the Office of Conduct Standards has the duty to inform the student in writing ...


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