Appeals Court upholds U of M’s right to flunk a student

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed the dismissal of a graduate student’s lawsuit against the University of Minnesota for not refunding her tuition after flunking out of a course required for her master’s degree.

Linda Zinter claimed breach of contract in her suit against the U of M, saying the university had an obligation to grant her a master’s degree when she completed the degree requirements. But, she claimed, the university later required her to take two other courses for her final project.

But the Court of Appeals said wading into the claim would “require analysis of the goals of the MLS (Master of Liberal Studies) program. This is not something that courts are equipped to do.”

Under Minnesota law, people can’t sue educational institutions for educational malpractice. “When (Zinter) asked the district court to evaluate the method of teaching that required her to take additional courses before enrolling in the final project seminar, she was mading, under other names, educational malpractice claims,” the court said.

Zinter did not complete one of the courses the U required of her to enter the “final project seminar,” so she received an “F” grade. In today’s ruling, the Court of Appeals rejected her request that the university remove the grade from her record.

Read the court’s opinion here.

  • Joanna

    Flabbergasted. F-L-A-B-B-E-R-G-A-S-T-E-D, flabbergasted.