An Econometric Analysis of North Carolina's Legislative Right to Counsel
47 Journal of Law & Education 489-510 (2018)
22 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2018 Last revised: 13 Dec 2018
Date Written: January 19, 2018
Misconduct on campus often leads students to encounter a quasi-judicial university disciplinary process. This study analyzes the effect of N.C. GEN. STAT. §116-40.11(a) (2015), which allows students to be represented by counsel in these proceedings, on the number of disciplinary referrals for alleged campus conduct violations committed by students in University of North Carolina System schools. We use two approaches to estimate effects. First, we use state-level synthetic comparison methods. Second, we use institution-level difference-in-differences estimation.
The results from this study provide evidence that statutory regulation of student conduct administration in North Carolina may have unexpectedly altered the number of alcohol and illicit substance related referrals to campus disciplinary processes. While referral rates dropped, there is evidence suggesting student behaviors tend to remain constant. We propose these results evidence that administrators may have adjusted their practices just before and upon the adoption of N.C. Gen. Stat. 116-30.11(a) (2015). We offer, as a theoretical explanation, that these adjustments, whether intentional or otherwise, can be explained by the need to be cost-conscious and risk-averse. These results proffer important considerations when planning policies that modify if or how attorneys may participate in student conduct and disciplinary processes.
Keywords: Law, Higher Education, Right to Counsel, Student Disciplinary Hearings, Law & Economics, Risk Aversion
JEL Classification: D03, D23, I21, I23, I28, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation