Higher Education & K-12 Education

Higher Education & K-12 Education

Whether a Title IX investigation or sexual abuse claim against a teacher or a school, a free speech issue or student protest, an active shooter training or high profile leadership transition, Rotenberg Associates has been there. We understand the unique legal and reputational issues facing K-12 schools and higher education institutions, both public and private.

Representative Higher Education & K-12 Education Experience

Higher Ed

  • Communication strategy and planning concerning higher education institution’s discovery of serious financial shortfall amidst budget planning for coming fiscal year
  • Large public university faces high profile federal lawsuit by former student alleging sexual assault by fellow student in violation of Title IX, and related social media and mainstream media campaign against the university
  • Sudden resignation of college President and related executive transition issues
  • Forced resignation of a President at a large public university amid audit and state attorney general investigation of financial improprieties and executive compensation concerns
  • Resignation of Provost of large public university amidst community protests of past academic writings
  • Termination of an Athletic Director at a large public university amid accusations of sexual harassment by coaches and others
  • College student blacklisted from fraternity following false allegations of sexual misconduct by another student alleged to have occurred during their high school years
  • Announcement of Board of Trustees selection of new College President following expedited national executive search
  • President at large public university faces public controversy and negative media regarding students kneeling during Pledge of Allegiance at football games
  • Student protests at a Catholic university related to the termination of a faculty member following reports of harassment and his production and performance of an obscene play, raising Title IX and First Amendment issues

K-12 Education

  • Major national religious movement faces viral social and mainstream media reporting of allegations of systemic sexual abuse across decades in its youth program, resulting in a comprehensive independent investigation of organization’s 70-year teen program, disclosure of a report on the investigation, and the organization’s response to related litigation
  • K-12 parochial school board and professional leadership face significant division and resistance by some parents regarding COVID-19 protocols, including mask mandates and other disease prevention measures recommended by city and state government leading to existential threat of school schism
  • Ongoing strategic and legal counsel to elite private K-6 school concerning COVID-related issues, student discipline and racial justice
  • Customized crisis planning for K-12 schools including organizational preparation, high-stakes scenario analysis, message development, and communications planning
  • Prestigious private school faces demands for implementation of anti-racist agenda from community stakeholders following viral social media campaign and Black Lives Matter protests in wake of the killing of George Floyd
  • Private parochial school faces law enforcement investigation, stakeholder scrutiny, and anticipated negative publicity concerning termination of teacher accused of sexual relations with a minor student
  • Early childhood center faces national and local media and social media scrutiny, civil lawsuits, and government investigation amid accusations of sexual misconduct against preschool teacher
  • Elite K-12 private school faces legacy sexual abuse claims and community scrutiny concerning former faculty and former administration
  • Private parochial school faces high profile national and local media scrutiny concerning termination of a teacher accused of sexual assault and ongoing social media campaign by activists
  • Private high school faces regulatory and legal claims and media scrutiny concerning bullying within boys’ hockey championship team
  • Performing arts school faces state regulatory claims related to student-to-student sexual misconduct
  • Large public high school faces media scrutiny, student walk-outs, and community protests alleging school administrators discriminate against African American students in applying student suspensions and expulsions.
  • Large public high school conducts a federally funded 3-day “active shooter” simulation and table top exercises, with Rotenberg Associates providing all media relations and communications simulations
  • Communications strategy and planning concerning mid-season executive transition of summer camp head
  • Private elementary school faces accusation of sexual assault of kindergarten student by teacher
  • Private boarding school faces media scrutiny, criminal investigation and civil litigation regarding sexual assault of students by former teachers decades ago

Case Study

Amid dramatically heightened national attention to sexual assault on college campuses, a large public university was sued in federal court by a former student alleging violations of Title IX arising from the university’s alleged mishandling of her sexual assault claim against a fellow student. The university had followed an investigative and adjudicative process in line with the US Department of Education’s “Dear Colleague” letter. Nonetheless, the plaintiff engaged in an extensive media and social media campaign alleging the university failed to properly investigate, and humiliated her during the adjudicative process. Local and federal government officials seized the moment to express their positions on pending legislation and threatened funding cuts. Rotenberg Associates assisted the university in developing an effective communications strategy, media relations, and messaging to university stakeholders and government officials.


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