Former U student continues lawsuit over alleged bad advising

Michael Zittlow

A former University of Minnesota student will appeal her case today, claiming that she was ill-advised in her graduate program and deserves tuition damages.

Linda Zinter first sued the University in 2007 for $6,775, saying her adviser Jack Johnson, former Master of Liberal Studies director, advised her to take classes to complete her masterâÄôs degree when they werenâÄôt required in her program plan. She lost her case in 2009.

In an oral argument at Hamline University today, ZinterâÄôs attorney will appeal the decision.

Zinter said she was pressured to take courses outside her programâÄôs requirements in spring 2003 and 2004. She said she was also told that she could not bring a video camera on her study abroad trip to Italy, which she was going to use to complete her final project. Zinter said this advising led her to not receive her degree.

Zinter received an “F” in one of the classes she says her adviser forced her to take.

Mark Rotenberg, general counsel for the University, said there is a process within the University that Zinter could have gone through to dispute what happened through her advising.

He said the courts have no role in determining the fairness of the UniversityâÄôs advising or grading system. He said Zinter has previously lost her case because the courts have recognized that instructions from an academic adviser are not subject to judicial action.