Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


Fired Faculty Activist Settles Lawsuit Against Community College in Texas

A tenured professor who was fired from his job at the College of the Mainland after years of clashing with the administration has settled a lawsuit against the Texas institution, the Houston Chronicle reported. Neither side disclosed the terms of the settlement.

The professor, David Michael Smith, had accused the college of retaliating against him for filing two previous free-speech lawsuits and helping colleagues challenge the administration’s actions. The college said he had been dismissed for…


U. of Missouri’s Victory Stands in Fight to Withhold Teacher-Prep Syllabi

The Missouri Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling allowing the University of Missouri system to withhold course syllabi from the National Council on Teacher Quality, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports. In August the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District ruled that the syllabi were the intellectual property of the faculty and therefore exempt from the state’s open-records law.

The council’s request for the syllabi is part of an effort to rank teacher…


U. of Calif. to Pay $500,000 in Case Alleging Double Dipping by Researchers

The University of California will pay $499,700 to settle allegations that scientists on its Davis campus received research money from two federal agencies for the same project by submitting “false and misleading statements” in grant applications, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

A spokesman for UC-Davis said the project was in the material-science field and involved a five-year, $1.1-million grant from the Department of Energy and a one-year, $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundati…


Defunct Career College’s Founders Plead Guilty to Fraud Charges

The founders of a defunct career college in Ohio have pleaded guilty to fraud charges in connection with allegations that they used the institution to steal $2.3-million in federal student-aid money, according to the Canton Repository.

John Richard Ceroni, 65, and Adale M. Ceroni, 63, pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland to charges related to mail fraud and money laundering. They had been accused of acquiring fake high-school diplomas for students they had recruited and using the documen…


Judge Blocks U. of Kansas From Releasing Lecturer’s Correspondence

A state judge has blocked the University of Kansas from releasing the correspondence of a lecturer who previously worked for the conservative Koch brothers until the court can sort out whether the documents are covered by the state’s open-records laws.

Judge Robert Fairchild of the state district court for Douglas County, Kan., on Thursday issued a temporary restraining order barring the university from releasing the correspondence of Arthur Hall, director of the university’s Center for Applie…


2 Colleges Pay a Combined $160,000 to Settle Free-Speech Lawsuits

[Updated (12/3/2014, 5:30 p.m.) with news of the Citrus College settlement.]

The University of Hawaii and Citrus College, in California, have settled separate free-speech lawsuits brought by students who were assisted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The University of Hawaii has agreed to pay $50,000 to two students on the system’s Hilo campus who said they had been forbidden to hand out copies of the Constitution outside a designated free-speech zone, according to a stateme…


Swarthmore Vacates Finding Against Student Expelled for Sexual Assault

Swarthmore College has agreed to vacate a disciplinary board’s finding against a student who was expelled after being found culpable in a case of sexual assault, The Delaware County Daily Times reports. The college and the student, who is not named in court documents, agreed on November 13 that new information raises “sufficient questions” to cast doubt on the fairness of the campus hearing that led to his expulsion.

The accused student filed a federal civil lawsuit in January, asserting that th…


Fired U. of Iowa Professor Who Sent ‘Inflammatory’ Emails Loses Appeal

An Iowa court has rejected the appeal of a former University of Iowa professor who was fired for sending “prejudiced, insulting, and inflammatory” emails to colleagues, the Associated Press reports.

Sally Mason, the university’s president, fired Malik E. Juweid, a tenured radiology professor, in August 2012 after a three-member disciplinary panel recommended his dismissal.

Mr. Juweid said Ms. Mason’s decision to fire him represented a conflict of interest because he sued the university shortly a…


U. of Colorado Will Pay Philosophy Professor $185,000 to Resign

The University of Colorado at Boulder is paying an associate professor of philosophy roughly $185,000 to resign after he was investigated for potentially violating the college’s policy regarding relationships with students, the Daily Camera reports. Bradley Monton will receive $120,000 in addition to the rest of his yearly salary in exchange for his resignation, according to a settlement agreement with the university, in which both parties denied fault or liability.

Mr. Monton has been a vocal c…


Chicago State U.’s Interim Provost Is Cleared of Plagiarism Charges

Chicago State University’s interim provost, Angela Henderson, has been cleared of allegations that she plagiarized her dissertation, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

An independent hearing officer hired by the University of Illinois at Chicago, where Ms. Henderson had earned her Ph.D. in nursing, found that problems with her bibliography did not constitute plagiarism.

Ms. Henderson sued the University of Illinois at Chicago in July for publicly discussing her academic history. In December a Chicag…