FOI lawsuit filed over UALR Law student records | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

FOI lawsuit filed over UALR Law student records

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 10:24 AM

Robert Steinbuch, a faculty member at UALR's Bowen Law School has sued UALR and the law school dean, Michael Schwartz, to get student data he'd been denied after making a Freedom of Information Act request.

Steinbuch, represented by Matt Campbell, the Little Rock lawyer and Blue Hog Report blogger, said he had requested LSAT scores, undergraduate GPA, law-school GPA,race, gender, and age data for all students. He'd been given similar information in 2012 after individual names were removed. He asked for the information again in 2015, but received a response  that redacted information about ethnicity, gradepoints and LSAT scores.

Schwartz said that information wasn't included because Steinbuch had served on the law school's admission committee and

it is reasonable to assume your knowledge of the applicants, particularly applicants whose credentials are distinctive in terms of being higher or lower relative to their peers. Likewise, it is likely there are combinations of undergraduate GPA and LSAT score that would be memorably distinctive. Those issues would be exacerbated by ethnicity data, particularly because the law school admits so few students of color. It is therefore reasonably likely that, if we were to provide the redacted information, you would be able to infer identity and therefore the data is data that could reasonably be expected to lead to personally identifiable information. For similar reasons, as a professor at a small law school like Bowen that has only a very small number of students of color, the ethnicity data needed to be redacted in any event because providing even the ethnicity data alone would reasonably be expected to lead to personally identifiable information.

Steinbuch argues that there's no exemption in the law that allows the dean to make such a determination to withhold information. He also said he "could not possibly recall  a specific LSAT/GPA combination that would allow identification of specific students, as admissions committee members are not provided with
a list of admitted students that contains LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs once an admission decision is made."

Steinbuch's interest is related to his belief that there's a correlation between race and success at UALR. That is, the school accepts students with lower qualifications on account of race and that results in differences in success — graduation and passage of the bar exam.


Tags: , , ,


Favorite

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Clarke Tucker challenges French HIll to series of debates

    Clarke Tucker, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, has called on Republican incumbent Rep. French Hill to reconsider his refusal to participate in a televised debate in September and to join him for a series of three debates.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Abduction suspect arrested during threatened jump from bridge

    Danny Trent Barrows, 38, wanted for abducting his child earlier in the week, was arrested Wednesday as he attempted to jump off an Interstate 49 bridge near Mountainburg.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Wage campaign reports financial backer

    Arkansans for a Fair Wage, the committee backing an increase in the state minimum wage, reported this month a $350,000 contribution from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington-based nonprofit that has funded advocacy campaigns for social and environmental causes around the country.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • French Hill votes against disaster aid to Puerto Rico

    Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill alone among Arkansas's House delegation voted last week against a measure that provided $36.5 billion in disaster aid, a portion  for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as well as money for wildfire response and to support the flood insurance program.
    • Oct 14, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation