Key excerpt from denial of Joseph Corlett’s appeal by Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Mary Beth Snyder, March 5, 2012
4. Claim: The failure and/or refusal (acting through the Committee Chairman) to permit me to present relevant, properly introduced evidence and information during the course of the Hearing, which includes, but is not limited to: (a) the legal standards applicable in cases involving free speech rights and harassment allegations (i.e., the Committee Chair prohibited me from introducing/offering the 2003 Department of Education “Dear Colleague” Letter during the Hearing, which explaining the Title IX definition of the term “harassment”); (b) evidence of OU’s violation of my First Amendment free speech rights· pursuant to binding legal precedent; (c) evidence of OU’s violation of my privacy rights under FERPA, including OU’s unlawful disclosure of the content of my Daybook (a personally identifiable education record protected from disclosure) to individuals with no legitimate educational interest in such records under FERPA.
Response: As mentioned before, the University’s student Conduct Committee is not a court of law and its processes are not intended to serve legal judicial purposes. The University’s Conduct Committee panels are not judges deciding legal cases or precedents. Your claims, (a), (b) and (c), are all premised upon you presenting technical legal definitions and standards in defense to charges that are neither technical nor legal in nature, but rather, would be considered intimidating, harassing, threatening or assaultive behavior in the context of the University’s academic, educational environment. Therefore, as an independent basis for appeal, on the grounds of legal substantiality, your claim #4 is denied.