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corporate compliance

MDO Partners is poised to advise colleges and universities on higher education law, to conduct internal investigations in educational institutions, and to develop effective compliance programs focused on higher education issues. Our veteran team of attorneys and advisors include former in-house counsel and former university and U.S. Department of Education counsel.

Academic leaders and higher education institutions are responsible for complying with a multitude of federal and state laws and regulations as well as applicable local ordinances. Failure to adhere to these laws may subject such institutions to time-consuming litigation, reputational harm, government administrative sanctions, fines, loss of funding, and other negative actions. As the consequences of noncompliance heighten, institutions of higher education have faced increased pressure to mitigate risk.

An effective compliance program focused on the particularities of Higher Education law enables educational institutions to navigate the heightened scrutiny from federal and state authorities and mitigate risk. An effective compliance program consists of various elements, including (i) Ethical Culture; (ii) Risk Assessments; (iii) Policies and Procedures; (iv) Training and Communication; (v) Reporting and Investigations and (vi) Monitoring and Auditing. Regulators have determined that a one-size-fits-all compliance program or a mere “paper program” is ineffective and insufficient for entities to receive the benefits afforded for establishing compliance programs. As such, it is important to ensure that each of the compliance program elements is properly tailored and implemented to suit each entity’s particular field and that such elements are regularly updated to address changes in an organization’s governance, operations and regulations.

In addition to helping institutions with their compliance programs, MDO Partners’ Higher Education Team is prepared to advise clients regarding:


  • Title IX (Anti-Discrimination on the Basis of Sex)

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

  • Clery Act Compliance and Reporting

  • Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA)

  • Intellectual Property

  • Online Education

  • Title IV (Federal Student Financial Aid Programs)

  • Internal Investigations

  • Conflict of Interest

  • Office for Civil Rights Complaints

  • Severance Agreements

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Charges/Responses and On-Site Visits

  • Student Admissions, Discipline, Dismissals, Housing, and Organizations

  • Academic Misconduct

  • Tenure, Promotion, Discharge, and Other Employment Actions

  • Sponsored Research, Including Research Involving Human Subjects or Animals

  • Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination

  • Title VII (Anti-Discrimination Based on Race, Color or National Origin)

  • Grievances

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Miami, FL 33130

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