Nova University v. Educational Institution Licensure Commission
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
483 A.2d 1172 (1984)
Nova University (plaintiff) was a private, nonprofit university incorporated under the laws of Florida with its main campus located in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degree programs provided in Fort Lauderdale, Nova offered degree programs off-site throughout the United States. One such degree program was the Doctorate of Public Administration (DPA) program, which was taught in clusters of approximately 20 to 25 students who met at locations where they lived. The clusters were taught by nine full-time faculty located in Fort Lauderdale and by preceptors, or contract-based faculty, that taught the clusters where they were located. Clusters met with their preceptors once per month over the weekend, while the remaining of their contact was either by phone or written communication. Nova applied for licensure from the District of Columbia’s Educational Institution Licensure Commission (commission) (defendant), which issued licenses to institutions that confer degrees within D.C., to offer its DPA program in D.C. The commission regulated the conferral of degree programs in order to prevent fraudulent and substandard institutions from operating in D.C. in accordance with statute. The commission denied Nova’s application for licensure, finding that it did not have adequate full-time faculty or adequate library resources located within D.C. Nova appealed to the district court from the commission’s denial, arguing, among other things, that the statute requiring licensure to offer degree programs in D.C. violated Nova’s First Amendment rights.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Newman, J.)
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