Title

Defamation law and the study abroad professional

Publication Date

1-1-2001

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

William Hoffa

Abstract

Program evaluation is an integral part of study abroad programming. This study presents results from a survey involving study abroad professionals based on US campuses. Professionals were invited via the SECUSS-L listserv to complete an online questionnaire that surveyed their personal experience and opinion on current practices evaluating agency-sponsored study abroad programs. Additionally, they were questioned about their experience with or the threat of defamation lawsuits and whether the possibility of such a lawsuit inhibits or affects their ability to conduct professional responsibilities such as program evaluation and advising. Data analysis revealed that few study abroad professionals have been threatened or involved in a defamation lawsuit. However, more than half agreed that the threat of a lawsuit does inhibit their professional responsibility to evaluate programs and to advise students. A review of documents revealed that there is little information focusing on defamation law in study abroad. Analysis of the survey and relevant documents were integrated to reach conclusions regarding current practices and opinions of study abroad professionals.

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