A college student who had been disciplined three different times was properly dismissed, an appeals court has ruled.
In that case, the student had been provided a copy of the student handbook at the beginning of his enrollment at the college. Thereafter, he had been disciplined three times. Accordingly, and purportedly pursuant to college policy, the student was permenantly dismissed from the program.
The student then brought a lawsuit, alleging a breach of contract.
The appeals court reiterated Ohio law that that "it is well-settled that there is a contract established when a student enrolls, pays tuition, and attends classes at a school. This contract is typically found in a handbook, catalogue, or other guideline. Smith v. Ohio State Univ. (1990), 53 Ohio Misc.2d 11, 13; Elliot v. Univ. of Cincinnati (1999), 134 Ohio App.3d 203. Furthermore, when dealing with such a breech, the court is to defer to the decisions of the school unless it can find " "such a substantial departure from accepted academic norms as to demonstrate that the person or committee responsible did not actually exercise professional judgment.' " Bleicher v. Univ. of Cincinnati College of Med. (1992), 78 Ohio App.3d 302, 308; quoting Regents of the Univ. of Mich. v. Ewing (1985), 474 U.S. 214, 225, 106 S.Ct. 507.
Here, however, the Court found that proper procedures were followed by the school in disciplining, and eventually removing appellant. These actions were spelled out in the contract (handbook) given to the student at the beginning of appellant's enrollment in the school," and were not a departure from any academic standards of which the Court was aware.
Thus, the student's dismissal was proper, according to the court.