From our private database of 32,200+ case briefs...
Guckenberger v. Boston University (Guckenberger II)
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
8 F. Supp. 2d 82 (1998)
Students with learning disabilities (plaintiffs) filed suit against Boston University (BU) (defendant) for allegedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act with its student disability-accommodation system. Among the issues raised was BU’s refusal to allow learning-disabled students to substitute alternative courses for the foreign-language requirement in the College of Liberal Arts, renamed the College of Arts and Sciences. The district court found that course substitutions were a reasonable modification for BU to make under the ADA unless the foreign-language requirement was essential to the academic track and modification would fundamentally alter the degree program. The district court ordered BU to propose and implement a deliberative procedure for deciding whether course substitutions for the foreign-language requirement would fundamentally alter the nature of the liberal arts degree. The court approved BU to use a preexisting advisory committee of the college to deliberate the issue because the committee was already charged with advising the administration on academic standards. The committee included college faculty and deliberated for over two months. The committee found that the foreign-language requirement was fundamental to BU’s liberal arts program, arguing that foreign-language studies increased technical educational gains for students, laid a foundation for other academic areas, and uniquely contributed to the college’s multiculturalism and push for diverse areas of knowledge. The committee further found that alternatives were not available because no course in English could perform these same educational functions. Instead, the committee identified other accommodations that would assist disabled students in meeting the foreign-language requirement, such as one-on-one course options, free tutoring, and note and test-taking modifications. The learning-disabled students disputed the findings, and the court addressed whether BU met its burden under the ADA.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Saris, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 585,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 585,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 32,200 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.