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Professor Steve Nickles co-teaching unique course with UNC-W professor on HR Policy/Practice and Business Torts

Professor Steve Nickles

Professor Steve Nickles

For the first time, Wake Forest Law Professor Steve Nickles is co-teaching a unique class with University of North Carolina-Wilmington Professor Jessica Magnus on the topic of HR Policy/Practice & Business Torts. The course is offered to Wake Forest Law students virtually using WebEx.

The course, which is being taught this semester, covers cutting-edge topics in the HR & business law communities related to (1) surveillance of employees and their computers at work, (2) monitoring/regulating employee use of social media, (3) tracking employees on and off the work site, (4) liabilities for workplace harassment (beyond Title 7), (5) Title 7 rights of employees within the LGBT community, (6) workplace bullying, and (7) defamation of employers, employees, and coworkers.

The course features guest speakers, who discuss practical applications/implications of these cutting edge topics, according to the professors.

“I am thrilled to be teaching such an innovative, cutting-edge course with a world-renowned professor,” explained Professor Magnus. “Technological advances are truly allowing higher education to be more creative in course design and implementation, and it’s exciting to be part of such technological innovation.

“To my knowledge, there is no similar course that teaches to the intersection of law and human resources policy/practice, drawing on the expertise of researchers and practitioners from both disciplines, and which simultaneously enriches the education of both law and business graduate students.”

While Wake Forest Law students attend class virtually using WebEx, UNC-W students attend class using WebEx or in person.

In preparation for each class, UNC-W’s MBA students collaboratively work in teams with Wake Forest Law students to design practical organizational policies/practices/deliverables related to these cutting-edge topics.

“Team projects challenge law students to understand the needs of the business professional and business students to understand the ways in which legal counsel can improve their business’ success,” Magnus said. “Synchronous virtual class discussions (managed via WebEx) allow us to dive into cutting-edge legal issues using both a law and business lens. What an amazing opportunity for students from both universities!”

UNC-W MBA candidate William Morris (’14) says the class is giving him ”a management executive” insight into how laws affect the short and long-term strategies of many corporations today.

“This class teaches you how to better equip and educate your business units to be effective and efficient while adhering to the challenging issues presented,” he explained. “Collaborating in small groups, and vetting in an open forum, gave me a true role playing perspective on practical real-world scenarios. If there is an opportunity in your academic career to be a part of an ‘in real-time’ synchronous virtual class, I highly recommend it.”