2022 Institute

2022 Martha McCarthy Education Law and Policy Institute

May 20, 2022
Maurer School of Law
211 S. Indiana Ave.
Bloomington, IN

Attorneys may contact their state bar associations to request CLE credit. Educators may request CEUs from their districts.

Agenda  Speakers


8:30 amRegistration opens; light refreshments available
9:00 amWelcome (Maurer Moot Court Room)

9:15 – 10:10 amPanel: Increasing Legal & Policy Literacy to Promote Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Educational Institutions (Maurer Moot Court Room)

Diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) within educational institutions is at the forefront of state & national conversations. This panel features speakers, with both scholarly expertise & practical experience in education law, who will discuss how legal literacy is a lever for enhancing DEI in both PK-12 & higher education settings.

  • Suzanne Eckes (Moderator), J.D., Ph.D., Susan S. Engeleiter Professor of Education Law, Policy, & Practice, University of Wisconsin
  • Laura Fonseca, M.A., Director, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Maurer School of Law, Education Law Certificiate Alum, Adjunct Faculty, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University
  • Ed Darden, J.D., Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Jeff Butts, Ph.D., Superintendent, Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, IN
10:15 – 11 amBreakout Sessions: Hot Topics in Education Law & Policy

Participants will choose one of the below Breakout Presentations to attend. Breakout presenters will provide a brief overview of today’s most pressing topics in education law & policy, then guide an interactive discussion of recent cases & legislative developments. These sessions will be informal & conversational, allowing attendees to both learn & discuss.

  • Educators’ Free Speech Rights (Room 121)
    • Presenter: Gina Umpstead, J.D., Ph.D., Professor, Central Michigan University
    • Presider: Justin Bathon, J.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Kentucky
  • Special Education Law (Room 214)
    • Presenter: Beth Godett, J.D., Ed.D.
    • Presider: Kathleen Field, J.D., Staff Attorney, Student Legal Services, Indiana University
  • Affirmative Action and Higher Education Law (Room 216)
    • Presenter: David Nguyen, J.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
  • Students’ Free Speech Rights (Room 213)
    • Presenter: Chris Thomas, J.D., Ph.D., Attorney, Frost Brown Todd
    • Presider: Heather Migdon
  • Indiana State Law Update (Room 120)
    • Presenter: Andrew Manna, J.D., Partner, Church, Church, Hittle, & Antrim
    • Presider: Michele Moore, Ed.D., Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor, Indiana University
11:15 am – 12 pmKeynote Presentation: Two Church/State Cases before the U.S. Supreme Court with Significant Implications for Education (Maurer Moot Court Room)

  • Martha McCarthy, Ph.D., Presidential Professor in Educational Leadership at Loyola Marymount University & Chancellor's Professor Emeritus at Indiana University
12 – 12:15 pmClosing (Maurer Moot Court Room)

  • Chad Lochmiller, Ph.D. Education Leadership & Policy Studies Department Chair, Indiana University
    Jennifer Rippner, J.D., Ph.D., Lecturer, Indiana University
12:30 pmOptional Dine-Around Lunch

Participants are invited to sign up at the Registration Table to continue the conversations with other participants over lunch at nearby restaurants. More details and locations provided on the day of the event.


Janet Decker

Janet Decker, J.D., Ph.D.

Janet Decker is an associate professor in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University. Her research focuses on legal and policy issues in special education and legal literacy of educators and administrators.

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Anastasia Morrone, Ph.D.

Anastasia Morrone is Interim Dean and Professor of Educational Psychology. As Professor of Educational Psychology, Morrone teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in adolescent development, psychology of teaching, and research methods. Her current research interests focus on technology-rich, active learning environments that promote student motivation and learning.

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Suzanne Eckes

Suzanne Eckes, J.D., Ph.D.

Suzanne Eckes is the Susan S. Engeleiter Professor of Education Law, Policy, and Practice at the University of Wisconsin School of Education and past president of the Education Law Association. Her research focuses on how civil rights laws influence education policy for historically marginalized populations in schools.

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Laura Fonseca, M.A.

Laura Fonseca serves as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Indiana University Maurer School of Law focusing and co-teaches the first semester of the 1L Legal Profession course. Previously, Fonseca served as Director of Career Services for Maurer where she focused on helping students explore their career interests and pursue legal and legal adjacent opportunities. Fonseca earned her B.A. in International Studies and Graduate Certificate in Education Law from Indiana University, and an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Higher Education.

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Ed Darden, J.D.

Edwin Darden is a Senior Program Officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based in Washington, D.C. As the state lead In New York State and New York City, he is responsible for devising the policy, advocacy and communications strategy for both K-12 and higher education. Edwin earned his B.A. in English, with a minor in Public Relations, from the State University of New York at Geneseo. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

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Jeff Butts, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeff Butts is a proud graduate of Millikin University (BS), Illinois State University (MS), and Purdue University (PhD). He began his career as a public educator in 1992 and over the past 27 years has held positions as a bus driver, coach, teacher, athletic director, principal, assistant superintendent, and now superintendent of the M.S.D. of Wayne Township since 2011. Dr. Butts is currently a Broad Fellow Candidate at the Yale School of Management.

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Gina Umpstead, J.D., Ph.D.

Regina Umpstead is a professor of educational leadership at Central Michigan University where she is an education law and policy scholar. Dr. Umpstead's work focuses on using law and policy as a lever for educational reform on various topics including ethics, finance, special education, teacher employment, and speech issues in schools.

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Justin Bathon, J.D., Ph.D.

Justin Bathon is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership Studies at the University of Kentucky. He is a co-Director of Center for Next Generation Leadership and the Director of the Next Generation Scholars Dual Credit program for the University of Kentucky. Justin works directly with schools and school leaders to reform the systems that support the learner experience in school. Justin has a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Leadership Studies from Indiana University and a J.D. from Southern Illinois University.

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David H.K. Nguyen, J.D., Ph.D.

David H.K. Nguyen is an assistant professor of Urban Education Leadership & Policy and adjunct professor of Law at IUPUI. His research focuses on the intersections of law and education and its implications on marginalized populations.

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Beth Godett, J.D., Ed.D.

Beth Godett, Ed.D., J.D. currently serves as an adjunct professor of Education Law at several universities, as well as a researcher and writer on topics pertaining to equity in the public schools. She is a former school principal and superintendent.

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Chris Thomas, J.D., Ph.D.

Christopher D. Thomas is a practicing attorney with Frost Brown Todd LLC in Columbus, OH where he primarily represents local school districts. Chris earned his JD and PhD in educational studies, specializing in educational policy, from The Ohio State University. His research focuses on issues of democracy and school governance, democratic education, and the intersection of educational law and policy, particularly as it relates to student and teacher rights. Chris's recent book, Reclaiming Democratic Education: Student and Teacher Activism and the Future of Education Policy, explores student and teacher activism and their relationship to contemporary educational policy in the United States.

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Kathleen Field, J.D.

Kathleen Field is a staff attorney at Indiana University’s Student Legal Services and a partner at Field Richardson LLC, representing students and families in education law matters. She received her BA in Mathematics from Truman State University and her JD from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law. A former SLS intern, Kathleen clerked for the Hon. Basil H. Lorch, III, worked as a staff attorney for the United States Bankruptcy Court, and practiced civil litigation before returning to SLS in 2016.

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Andrew Manna, J.D.

Andrew Manna represents clients in matters associated with labor and employment law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and other matters. He engages in the defense of school corporations against claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), First Amendment and other constitutional and civil rights law matters. He also represents schools with respect to general school policy review.

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Michele Moore, Ed.D.

Dr. Michele Moore is a visiting clinical assistant professor at Indiana University. Previously she was an Indiana School Superintendent. Her areas of interest are school finance and the school superintendency.

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Martha McCarthy

Martha McCarthy, Ph.D.

Martha McCarthy is a Presidential Professor in Educational Leadership at Loyola Marymount University and Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus in Education Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University. Her research focuses on reform in leadership preparation programs and educational law and policy, including First Amendment issues pertaining to church/state relations and expression rights of students and school employees.

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Chad Lochmiller, Ph.D.

Chad is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the IU School of Education. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington (Seattle) in 2010 with a specialization in leadership, policy, and organizations. Chad's research focuses on issues related to K-12 educational leadership and policy. In particular, he examines how leaders develop capacity to implement changes in teaching and learning in light of increasing expectations for school and district performance.

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Jennifer Rippner

Jennifer Rippner, J.D., Ph.D.

Jennifer Rippner is a lecturer at IU’s School of Education, concentrating on K-12 and higher education law courses. She has experience in P-16 policy and law as charter school administrator, in state government agencies, and in a national education law firm focusing on issues of access and diversity in higher education.

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