Read the case below on personal liability for defamation and answer the following two questions. Please answer each question separately. Note: Keep in mind the outcome and leaning objective listed when answering the two questions. Please do not relist the question on your work just put answer for number 1 then answer for number two.

1. What professional responsibility or policy issues are involved, and how do they affect Dean Moore’s decision?

2. Would the student have any legal claim of discriminatory treatment if Dean Moore refuses to write the letter for her, but has written such letters for many other students applying to nursing programs at other schools?

Understand the relationship and liabilities between the college, as an institution, and both its governing board and employees.

Learning Objective:
Identify and evaluate the legal relationship and liability between an institution of higher education and its faculty.

Personal Liability for Defamation

Margaret Moore is dean of the School of Nursing at New Brunswick State University (NBSU). She routinely is asked by students to provide letters of recommendation for potential employers, and she does so because she believes it is part of her professional responsibility to do so.

Last year, a former student, Hilary Hall, withdrew voluntarily from the NBSU School of Nursing. Although Hilary was one of the top students in the nursing class, she dropped out of the nursing program after being accused by a fellow student of attempting to “pull the plug” of a respirator keeping alive a patient who, in Hilary’s opinion, was “brain dead.” No criminal charges were brought by the county prosecutor. Hilary also was suspected of slipping painkilling drugs to a terminally ill patient. Recently, Hilary has written to Dean Moore, advising her that she plans to apply to the school of nursing at a neighboring state’s university and asking Dean Moore to provide her with a letter of recommendation.

Dean Moore isn’t sure whether she should write the letter, or what she should say in it if she does.