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Dismissed dental student loses suit against IU

August 30, 2012

The Indiana University School of Dentistry student kicked out of the program because of failing grades and allegations of professional misconduct lost her lawsuit because of failure to state a claim.

Sung Park sued the dentistry school after she was dismissed for her “admitted inability to prioritize and accomplish competing tasks” and her “noncompliance (with) professional responsibilities,” according to the dentistry school’s Faculty Professional Conduct Committee. Park appealed through university channels, but her appeals were unsuccessful.

She then sued in the Southern District, alleging Equal Protection and Due Process violations, as well as claims for state law breach of contract. Judge William Lawrence dismissed for failure to state a claim. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in Sung Park v. Indiana University School of Dentistry, et al., 11-1933, 11-2109.

The judges found that Park’s academic record was “marred by a host of problems” leading to her dismissal. “Absent some indication that this decision was arbitrary or made in bad faith — and the complaint points to none that we can detect — we decline to second-guess the judgment of the faculty,” Judge Diane Wood wrote.

Park’s procedural and substantive due process rights were not violated either. Wood pointed out that the Due Process Clause does not protect the right to “follow any particular career.” They judges also found that her Equal Protection Clause claim fails.

 

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