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Nursing student loses appeal of dismissal from Purdue

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A nursing student at Purdue University’s Fort Wayne campus was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals Tuesday that the university and officials violated her due process rights and breached a contract with her when they dismissed her from the program due to behavioral difficulties.

Judy Chang enrolled in the nursing program in 2007, but had several incidents and confrontations with students that led to meetings with program leaders. An incident in October 2008 with student Julie Webb led to dismissal of Chang from the program. Chang and Webb argued about a group project and Webb, who was pregnant at the time, believed Chang was going to push her down the stairs. Webb also contacted police about the incident.

Chang was charged with unprofessional conduct pursuant to the Department of Nursing Professional Misconduct policy. A committee of the Department of Nursing decided she should be dismissed; Chang appealed up to the IPFW chancellor, who also affirmed the dismissal. Chang filed her lawsuit against the school and officials in October 2009. She alleged her due process rights were violated under the 14th Amendment and the Indiana Constitution, and that the school officials’ acts breached a contract she had with the school. She also alleged tortious interference with contract.

The breach of contract claims were the only ones to survive summary judgment motions and go before a jury. The jury ruled in favor of the school.

The Court of Appeals concluded that Chang failed to designate any evidence that the nursing department’s decision to dismiss her was arbitrary, capricious or made in bad faith, so she was entitled to summary judgment on the breach of contract claims. The judges also found the evidence supported the jury verdict against her regarding those claims.

They affirmed summary judgment for the trustees and other school officials on Chang’s claims for due process violations and tortious interference. Regarding the tortious interference claims, Chang failed to comply with the notice provisions of the Indiana Tort Claims Act.

The case is Judy Chang v. Purdue University, The Trustees of Purdue University; Dr. France A. Cordova, President of Purdue University (in her official capacity); et al.,
02A03-1206-PL-272.

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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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