Friday, August 31, 2007
UNL Law College student expelled for plagiarism appealed to the Lancaster County District Court. District Court and Nebraska Court of Appeals dismiss case, holding that the Dean and Honor Committee of the law school are not "agencies" subject to the Administrative Procedures Act, nor was their expulsion decision a "contested" case.Kerr v. Board of Regents et al. ___N.W.2d___ Filed August 28, 2007. No. A-05-953. Law student Michael Kerr got caught plagiarizing three papers and then submitting the identical plagiarized material to different professors. A law school Honor Committee voted 4 to 1 to expel him and the Dean approved. Kerr alleged disparate treatment due to his race and national origin (guess) so that must have swayed the one dissenter on the committee. He then appealed to the District Court, lost and appealed to the Court of Appeals. Appeal dismissed."An “agency” is each board, commission, department, officer, division, or other administrative office or unit of the state government “authorized by law to make rules and regulations.” § 84-901(1). We have found no basis to conclude that the Honor Committee or Dean Willborn is “authorized by law to make rules and regulations,” Nor was Kerr's expulsion the result of a contested case as "there is no law requiring that the question of whether Kerr remains a College of Law student be determined by an agency (as defined by § 84-901(1)) and, in any event, as said, the Honor Committee and the dean are not agencies under such statute.