Peck v. University Residence Committee of Kansas State University

Decision Date01 March 1991
Docket NumberNo. 65479,65479
Citation807 P.2d 652,248 Kan. 450
Parties, 66 Ed. Law Rep. 816 Martin J. PECK, Appellee/Cross-Appellant, v. UNIVERSITY RESIDENCE COMMITTEE OF KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, Appellant/Cross-Appellee, v. The KANSAS BOARD OF REGENTS, Intervenor/Cross-Appellee.
CourtKansas Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

1. Under the Act for Judicial Review and Civil Enforcement of Agency Actions, K.S.A. 77-601 et seq., a district court is restricted to considering the grounds for relief set forth in K.S.A. 77-621(c). A district court may not substitute its judgment for that of an administrative agency. A district court must presume the agency's findings valid.

2. The K.S.A. 77-621 scope of review applicable to a state university residence committee decision is discussed and applied.

3. On appeal, an appellate court will exercise the same review of an agency's action as that exercised by the district court.

4. Board of Regents regulation K.A.R. 88-3-2(b) lists eight primary factors which, while not conclusive, will be given probative value in support of a claim for resident status. The student applicant is not precluded from presenting, nor is the residence committee precluded from considering, additional probative information. No factor will be considered unless the factor has existed for at least one year.

5. K.A.R. 88-3-2(c) lists nine secondary factors which, standing alone, ordinarily will not be sufficient evidence to establish Kansas resident status.

6. Under the facts of this case, the district court's reasoning that the university residence committee may not draw a negative inference from a student's failure to present evidence on a K.A.R. 88-3-2(b) factor impermissibly shifts the burden to the residence committee to prove nonresident status. Under K.S.A. 77-621(a)(1), the student bears the burden to show that an agency's action is invalid.

7. Under the facts of this case, the residence committee's finding that the student applicant has not demonstrated entitlement to resident classification for fee purposes was supported by substantial competent evidence. This court's function is not to reweigh the evidence. The residence committee's conclusion is not so wide of the mark as to be beyond the realm of fair debate.

8. K.A.R. 88-3-2 informs a student applicant of the relevant weight that evidence will be given in advance of applying for resident status. K.A.R. 88-3-2 does not attempt to amend the rules of evidence.

9. Requiring a student to demonstrate that the K.A.R. 88-3-2(b) probative factors have been in existence for at least one year enables a university residence committee to determine that the student's intent has been in existence for 12 months as required by K.S.A. 76-729.

10. Linking the broad authority which K.S.A. 76-730 confers on the Board of Regents with the nature of the K.S.A. 76-729(c)(4) definition of "domiciliary resident," we hold K.A.R. 88-3-2 is not invalid as being contrary to law.

11. In an equal protection challenge to rules and regulations used to determine resident status for fee purposes, the test is whether the rules and regulations bear a rational relationship to a legitimate state purpose or objective. A state has a legitimate interest in protecting and preserving the quality of its colleges and universities and the right of its own bona fide residents to attend such institutions on a preferential tuition basis. K.A.R. 88-3-2 is rationally related to a legitimate state interest, does not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and is not unconstitutional on its face or as applied herein.

12. Basic elements of procedural due process of law are notice and an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner. K.A.R. 88-3-2 does not limit the evidence that a residence committee may consider. The regulation informs the student applicant of evidence that the residence committee shall consider as probative.

Dorothy L. Thompson, Associate University Atty., Manhattan, argued the cause and was on the briefs for appellant/cross-appellee.

John Q. Royce, of Hampton, Royce, Engleman & Nelson, Salina, argued the cause and was on the briefs for appellee/cross-appellant.

Ted D. Ayres, Gen. Counsel, Topeka, argued the case and was on the brief for intervenor/cross-appellee.

SIX, Justice:

This is an administrative law case. The focal issue concerns resident/nonresident status for fee purposes at state universities (Regent's Institutions).

Subissues of importance are: (1) judicial review of residence committee decisions; (2) the propriety of the residence committee's decision; (3) the residence committee's interpretation of the applicable law; and (4) the validity of the residency regulations adopted by the Kansas Board of Regents as guidelines for residency determination.

The case comes to us under the Act for Judicial Review and Civil Enforcement of Agency Actions, K.S.A. 77-601 et seq. (KJRA).

We have K.S.A. 20-3018(c) jurisdiction as a result of our order of transfer from the Court of Appeals.

Martin J. Peck, a student at Kansas State University (K-State), sought judicial review of the decision of the K-State Residence Committee (Residence Committee). The Residence Committee found that he did not qualify as a resident for fee purposes for the fall semester of 1989.

Peck contended that K.A.R. 88-3-2, the residency regulation adopted by the Kansas Board of Regents is invalid, unreasonable, and unconstitutional. The district court did not agree.

The district court ruled, however, that K-State's action in denying resident status to Peck was not supported by substantial evidence. The finding of nonresidence was set aside and resident status granted. K-State was ordered to reimburse Peck for the difference between resident and nonresident tuition for the fall semester 1989 and the spring semester 1990. K-State appeals and Peck cross-appeals.

We reverse in part and affirm in part. Our reversal reinstates the decision of the residence committee denying Peck resident status for fee purposes. We affirm the district court on all issues raised by the cross-appeal.


Martin J. Peck lived in California from his birth in 1968 until 1978. In 1978, he moved to Texas with his parents. Peck attended the University of Texas from September 1986 to December 1987 as a full-time student. He was classified as a Texas resident for fee purposes.

In January 1988, Peck moved to Kansas and began attending K-State.

On August 22, 1989, Peck applied for resident status for fee purposes for the fall semester of 1989. In his application, Peck listed a current address in Manhattan, Kansas, and a permanent address in Cambridge, Kansas. The Cambridge, Kansas, address is that of Peck's maternal grandfather's ranch (Ferguson Ranch).

Peck stated in his residency application that his father lived in San Antonio, Texas, and that his mother lived in San Francisco, California.

Peck also reported in his application that he came to Kansas because: (1) his "significant other" was attending K-State; (2) K-State would accept his credits from the University of Texas, but not his grade point average; and (3) he would be closer to his "family's ranch" in Cambridge, Kansas.

Peck indicated that he had spent the summer of 1988 in Parkville, Missouri. The only employment listed on his application was for the summer of 1988 at the Presbyterian Center in Parkville, Missouri.

In answer to question 13 on the application ("What are the sources of your financial support? "), Peck stated that he received financial support: 10.7% from employment in Parkville, Missouri; 17.3% from funds saved prior to his move to Kansas; 42.5% from his grandfather in Wellington, Kansas; and 29.5% from his mother in San Francisco, California.

In response to question 22 on the application ("Other than being physically present in Kansas, what relationship or obligations connect you to the state, making it your permanent home? How long do you plan to remain in Kansas? "), Peck stated that he will eventually inherit a part of the Ferguson Ranch. Because of the anticipated inheritance, he will always have a residence at Cambridge and will always need to live somewhere fairly close to Cambridge. In reply to another inquiry in question 22 ("What are your vocational plans after your academic work here is completed? "), Peck stated, "I plan to attend law school and then practice as an attorney, probably in Kansas City."

Peck also reported in his application that he: (1) registered to vote and voted in Kansas; (2) registered an automobile in Kansas and paid personal property tax in Kansas; (3) insured his automobile in Kansas; (4) acquired a Kansas driver's license; (5) had a checking and savings account in Kansas; and (6) registered with selective service in Kansas.

The K-State registrar notified Peck that Peck's classification would remain nonresident for fee purposes.

Peck appealed to the Residence Committee. He submitted additional evidence including a personal affidavit. He also submitted proof of: (1) his automobile registration and insurance; (2) the fact he may receive mail at the Cambridge address; (3) his voter registration in Cambridge; (4) his selective service registration; and (5) his bank accounts in Wellington, Kansas.

In addition, he submitted an affidavit from his grandfather, William M. Ferguson. The affidavit stated that Peck is a permanent resident of and domiciled at the Ferguson Ranch; that Peck intends to remain a resident of Kansas for the "foreseeable future"; and that, since Peck enrolled at K-State, the majority of Peck's funds have been furnished by Ferguson and Ferguson's wife and by other funds paid to Peck while a resident of Kansas.

Peck's affidavit filed with his appeal from the Registrar's ruling stated, "I am also employed by Rising House Bicycles of Cambridge, Kansas." Peck neither listed this employment on his application...

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