Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


UC-San Diego Wins Suit Against USC Over Control of Alzheimer’s Project

The University of California at San Diego has prevailed in an unusual lawsuit against the University of Southern California over control of a major project to study Alzheimer’s disease, the Los Angeles Times reported.

San Diego accused Paul S. Aisen, who resigned his position there in June, and the other defendants of improperly conspiring to transfer the Alzheimer’s study to Southern California, which is Dr. Aisen’s new employer. The defendants argued that it was commonplace for departing resea…


Towson U. Can’t Bar From Football a Student Who Collapsed in Practice

A Towson University student whose heart stopped and liver failed after he collapsed during football practice cannot be barred from rejoining the team, a judge ruled on Friday. The Baltimore Sun reports that a U.S. district judge ruled in favor of Gavin Class, whom the college prohibited from rejoining the team because of his earlier injuries.

Mr. Class collapsed during a practice in 2013, and his body reached a temperature of 108 degrees. He barely survived the incident, needing a liver transpla…


‘Rolling Stone’ Says It Didn’t Libel UVa Dean With Discredited Exposé

Rolling Stone magazine says it did not libel a dean at the University of Virginia in a now-discredited article, “A Rape on Campus,” The Washington Post reports. The magazine filed a response on Thursday to a lawsuit brought by the college’s associate dean of students, Nicole Eramo.

Ms. Eramo sued the magazine in May for $7.5 million, alleging her reputation had been tarnished and she had suffered severe emotional strain as a result of her portrayal in the article. But in its filing on Thursday, …


Controversial Former College President Will Get to Keep His $400,000

A controversial former president of Pasadena City College will get to keep a $400,000 payment after all.

According to a new settlement with the two-year college in California, Mark W. Rocha will receive the money, which was initially promised by the college before being voided by a judge, the Pasadena Star-News reports. A state judge voided the agreement in April, after a nonprofit advocacy group sued, asserting that the retirement deal had been negotiated privately, in violation of the state’s …


One California University Sues Another Over Poaching of Prominent Researcher

The University of California at San Diego has sued the University of Southern California and a researcher it lured away, accusing them of conspiring to take federal funding and research data from the San Diego campus, the Los Angeles Times reports.

At the center of the lawsuit is Paul Aisen, the lead researcher on a prominent project to study Alzheimer’s disease. He left San Diego last month to lead a new Alzheimer’s institute at USC. The lawsuit alleges that he and eight colleagues who also lef…


Community College Settles Claims It Discriminated Against Military Veteran

Pima Community College has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over claims that it refused to promote an employee because of his military service.

According to a news release from the department, the college has agreed to promote Timothy Stoner to the position of police corporal and provide him back pay amounting to what he would have earned if he had been promoted when he first applied. As part of the settlement, the college denies any wrongdoing.

The department accused the…


For-Profit Group Will Appeal Decision Upholding Gainful-Employment Rule

The main trade association of for-profit colleges will appeal a ruling that upholds the U.S. Education Department’s gainful-employment rule, the group announced in a news release on Thursday. Steve Gunderson, president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, said in the release that the rule is “arbitrary and capricious and in violation of federal law.”

Judge John D. Bates, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, rejected that rationale last month, when h…


Supreme Court to Consider Case That Could Upend Unions at Public Colleges

[Updated (6/30/2015, 4:43 p.m.) with more context.]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to take a case that could upend how unions are financed at public colleges. The New York Times reports that the court will hear arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which was brought by public-school teachers in California who argue that being forced to pay union fees violates their First Amendment rights.

Public employees in states without right-to-work laws can be required to pa…


Jury Rejects Claim of Liberal Bias in Hiring at U. of Iowa Law School

A federal jury ruled on Monday that a former dean of the University of Iowa law school did not illegally discriminate against a conservative lawyer on the basis of her political beliefs when she declined to hire the woman for a teaching job, the Associated Press reports.

The long-running case stems from hiring decisions made in 2007, when the lawyer, Teresa Manning, then known as Teresa R. Wagner, was working as associate director of the law school’s writing center. Ms. Manning was one of three …


Supreme Court Will Again Hear ‘Fisher’ Case on Race-Conscious Admissions

[Last updated (6/29/2015, 1:04 p.m.) with statements by Ms. Fisher and the university.]

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday again agreed to hear a legal challenge to the race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, setting the stage for new arguments in a closely watched case that the justices decided once before, in 2013.

The plaintiff in the case, Abigail N. Fisher, had accused the Austin campus of discriminating against her after being denied admission in 2008. She subs…