Podgor v. Indiana University, 2-1276A490

Citation178 Ind.App. 245, 381 N.E.2d 1274
Case DateNovember 06, 1978
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Stephen Goldsmith, Barnes, Hickam, Pantzer & Boyd, Indianapolis, for appellees; Cliff K. Travis, University Counsel, Bloomington, of counsel.

BUCHANAN, Chief Judge.


Plaintiff-Appellant, Ellen S. Podgor (Podgor), appeals from a judgment affirming decisions by the Indiana University Standing Committee on Residency (Standing Committee) regarding her residency classification for fee purposes, claiming Indiana University is without statutory authority to promulgate rules imposing differential tuition fees, the trial court erred in finding substantial evidence to support the classifications and in excluding exhibits 4-27, the rules as written or as applied violate the Equal Protection Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause, the rules create an irrebuttable presumption and the rules as written or as applied deny due process of law.

We affirm.


The evidence most favorable to the judgment reveals:

In 1972, while a resident of New York, Podgor was accepted as a student by the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis. She was classified as a non-resident for the 1973-74 school year by the Registrar of Indiana University (Registrar) and thus was required to pay higher tuition fees than those imposed on resident students.

During the summer of 1974, Podgor returned to New York, worked as a law clerk and enrolled in a New York law school. She returned to Indianapolis in August, 1974, and commenced classes as a full-time, non-resident student. During the fall of that year Podgor voted by absentee ballot in the New York election. After January 1, 1975, Podgor was employed as a law clerk with an Indianapolis law firm.

In August, 1975, at the outset of her third year, Podgor applied to the Registrar for classification as a resident student. She did not receive written notification of the Registrar's decision, which is required by the University rules. 1 Instead, she received a letter from the Standing Committee affirming the Registrar's determination that she remained a non-resident student for fee purposes.

On September 24, 1975, Podgor filed suit in Pike Township Justice of the Peace Court alleging she had been denied procedural due process. Upon learning that Podgor had not received written notification from the Registrar, the Standing Committee revoked its prior decision and provided her with a hearing. Podgor, in turn, dismissed the pending suit. At the hearing Podgor objected to the proceeding on the ground that she had been denied procedural due process and then presented the following evidence: she returned to Indiana in August, 1974, with the intent of making Indiana her home; after January 1, 1975, her income was derived solely from within the State; after August, 1974, she paid state taxes only in Indiana; she was registered to vote in Indiana; she was engaged to an Indiana resident, who was employed by a law firm in Crown Point, Indiana, pending his graduation from law school; she had been offered a position in the same law firm; she owned no real property in Indiana or elsewhere and all personal property was located within the State; she had bank accounts within the State; since August, 1974, she had been employed within the State; she intended to take only the Indiana bar examination; she had dropped from a full-time to a part-time student.

When Podgor received notification that her request for a change in status had been denied, she instituted the present suit in Marion Superior Court, naming Indiana University, the Trustees of Indiana University, the Standing Committee, M. D. Scherer and Virgil Hunt as defendants (hereinafter I.U.), and alleged that the rules as written or as applied violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause, created an irrebuttable presumption of non-residence and denied her procedural due process.

Podgor attempted to obtain resident student status a second time on December 17, 1975. Initially she was informed that a second application was unnecessary, however, this decision was revoked and Podgor was given a hearing before the Standing Committee. Podgor presented the following additional evidence: she was employed as an instructor at Indiana University; she would be married to an Indiana resident on December 28, 1975; her husband's automobile was registered within the State; she had an Indiana driver's license.

At the conclusion of the second hearing, the Standing Committee found that Podgor's University Rule 4 provides in pertinent part:

predominant purposes for being in Indiana had changed and therefore she would be eligible for resident student tuition rates twelve months from the residency qualifying date, i. e. in December, 1976, pursuant to the University Rule 4.

A person classified as a nonresident student may show that he or she is exempt from paying the nonresident fee by clear and convincing evidence that he or she has been a resident (see Rule 1 above) of Indiana for the twelve (12) months prior to the first scheduled day of classes of the semester in which his or her fee status is to be changed. Such a student will be allowed to present his or her evidence only after the expiration of twelve (12) months from the Residence Qualifying Date, i. e., the date upon which the student commenced the twelve (12) month period for residence.

Podgor then amended her original complaint to include her second application for residency status.

During the trial, Podgor attempted to admit Exhibits 4-27 over objections by I.U. that there was no foundation laid and the exhibits had no relevance to the subject matter of this action, said objections being sustained by the trial court.

The trial court ruled that the classifications made by the Standing Committee were affirmed and that the University Rules for determination of resident and non-resident student status were constitutional in all respects. Podgor appeals.


Six issues are presented for review:

1. Does I.U. have the statutory authority to promulgate rules which determine resident and non-resident student status and to impose differential tuition fees accordingly?

2. Was the trial court's affirmance of Podgor's classification supported by substantial evidence?

3. Did the trial court err in excluding Exhibits 4-27?

4. Was Podgor denied due process of law?

5. Does the durational residency requirement violate the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Indiana Constitution or the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution?

6. Do the University rules as written or applied create an irrebuttable presumption?

The contentions of each party are treated with the resolution of each issue below.

ISSUE ONE-Statutory Authority

Does I.U. have the statutory authority to promulgate rules which determine resident and non-resident student status and to impose differential tuition fees accordingly?

PARTIES' CONTENTIONS Podgor contends that I.U. did not have the requisite statutory authority to adopt rules which impose differential tuition fees on resident and non-resident students nor did the General Assembly of the State of Indiana acquiesce in the system promulgated by I.U. for determining resident and non-resident student status. I.U. responds that it acted pursuant to a grant of statutory authority and, alternatively, that the General Assembly's inaction constitutes acquiescence in the University Rules.

CONCLUSION Legislative enactment did grant I.U. the requisite statutory authority to promulgate rules which determine resident and non-resident student status and impose differential tuition fees accordingly.

Innumerable Indiana cases have held that when the legislature defines its policy and prescribes a standard by means of legislative enactment, it is not an improper delegation to leave to the administrative agency the task of formulating reasonable rules and regulations. State ex rel. Standard Oil Co. v. Review Board of Indiana Employment Security (1952), 230 Ind. 1, 101 N.E.2d 60; Hollingsworth v. State Board of Barber Examiners (1940), 217 Ind. 373, 28 N.E.2d 64; Financial Aid Corp. v. Wallace (1939), 216 Ind. 114, 23 N.E.2d 472 (and cases cited therein); Schakel v. Review Board of Indiana Employment Security (1968), 142 Ind.App. 475, 235 N.E.2d 497.

As stated in Financial Aid Corp. v. Wallace, supra:

Unless an administrative officer or department is permitted to make reasonable rules and regulations, it would be impossible in many instances to apply and enforce the legislative enactments, and the good to be accomplished would be entirely lost.

Id. 216 Ind. at 121, 23 N.E.2d at 475.

Ind.Code 20-12-1-2 vests the I.U. Board of Trustees with broad powers, those pertinent to this appeal being:

(e) To prescribe the fees, tuition and charges Necessary or convenient to the furthering of the purposes of the institution and to collect the same;

(f) To prescribe the conditions and standards of admission of students upon Such bases as are in its opinion in the best interests of the state and the institution; (emphasis added)

The emphasized portions of the statute would appear to Expressly vest I.U. with the authority to promulgate reasonable rules which impose differential tuition fees, if such are "necessary" or "in the best interests of the state and the institution."

The evidence reveals that the ...

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