Board of Regents of University of Texas System v. New Left Education Project

PETITIONER: Board of Regents of University of Texas System
RESPONDENT: New Left Education Project
LOCATION: Bay Marchand Area

DOCKET NO.: 70-55
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT:

CITATION: 404 US 541 (1972)
ARGUED: Dec 06, 1971
DECIDED: Jan 24, 1972

ADVOCATES:
David R. Richards - for appellees
W. O. Shultz II - for appellant

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Board of Regents of University of Texas System v. New Left Education Project

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 06, 1971 in Board of Regents of University of Texas System v. New Left Education Project

Warren E. Burger:

We'll hear arguments next in Board of Regents against New Left Education Project.

Mr. Shultz, you may proceed whenever you're ready.

W. O. Shultz II:

Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the Court.

I'm W. O. Shultz, an Assistant Attorney General from the State of Texas.

I'm representing the Board of Regents in this case this morning.

Initially since this Court postponed jurisdiction until argument I address myself briefly to this jurisdictional question.

The only objection which appellee raises in his brief to the jurisdiction of the Court is -- concerned itself with the fact that there is a coordinating board in the State of Texas and the appellant contends that is a higher authority that has statewide jurisdiction and the Board of Regents is somehow under yet with regard to its rules and regulations.

I submit to the Court that this is not so.

The Act creating the Coordinating Board and makes it precisely that, a coordinating board.

Its primary purposes are to coordinate the degree programs through the institutions in the State of Texas.

Our higher education set up several of the colleges, have their own Board of Regents.

The University of Texas of course has a systemwide campus setup.

We have a -- campuses in El Paso, Arlington, Dallas, Odessa, Midland, Houston, Galveston, Port Aransas, San Antonio.

These are all under the direction of the Board of Regents.

And the primary purpose of the Coordinating Board is to coordinate degree programs in all the colleges.

And then before a college can institute a new degree program, they must get approval to the Coordinating Board.

The Act creating the Board specifically says that it shall have only such powers as are given to it in the Board, I mean in the Act in any power which one of the governing boards of an institution of higher education has that are not specifically delegated to the Coordinating Board.

The Coordinating Board does not have and there's no provision in the Coordinating Board Act which gives them the authority to promulgate rules and regulations which are applicable to any other campuses with regard to the day-to-day operation of those campuses.

At the last session of the legislature, there was a codification of -- of the various Education Acts, they were put into an education code.

Well, this Coordinating Board Act was incorporated in the Education Code.

At the same time, same session of the legislature, there was an act passed applying specifically to the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System, it's Art. 2585e, Vernon's Civil Statute and just recently been codified as such.

Section 1 of that Act reaffirms the powers of the Board of Regents to promulgate rules and regulations applicable systemwide and may -- may I quote -- if I may quote briefly, it says authority -- the Board has authority “to promulgate and enforce such other rules and regulations for the operation, control and management of the University of Texas System, and the component institutions thereof as the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System may deem either necessary or desirable.”

Section 5 of that Act says, and I quote, “This Act is cumulative of all statutes relating to the University of Texas System or any of the component institutions of the University of Texas System, except where -- where such statute may be in conflict with this Act.

If any such conflict arises, the conflicting statute is hereof by repeal to the extent of that conflict.”

So here, we have, I think all doubt removed as to any primary authority in the Coordinating Board as to its regulatory power, veto power of the rules and regulations of the Board of Regents.

Now, on the Texas law, our Texas Supreme Court has held that the regulations and rules of the Board of Regents of University of Texas are the equivalent of statutory enactments, they are laws.

I think that since these regulations are systemwide and cover a substantial area of the State.

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

Well --

W. O. Shultz II:

They are --

William J. Brennan, Jr.:

-- are there any state-supported universities and colleges to which these regulations do not apply?