Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


In O’Bannon Case, Appeals Court Says NCAA Rules Violate Antitrust Laws

[Updated (9/30/2015, 12:04 p.m.) with more detail and analysis of the ruling.]

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Wednesday upheld the main thrust of a judge’s landmark decision last year declaring that NCAA rules violate federal antitrust law by restricting players’ ability to trade on their images. The decision also struck down part of  last year’s ruling, by Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., which would have allowed foot…


Jury Rules for Former U. of Oregon Police Officer in Whistle-Blower Case

A federal jury has awarded $755,000 to a former public-safety officer at the University of Oregon after determining that his supervisors at the institution retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on mismanagement and a juvenile culture in the campus’s police department. The Oregonian reports that the jury found the university’s police chief, Carolyn McDermed, and a lieutenant, Brandon Lebrecht, had retaliated against James Cleavenger by firing him and seeking to defame him.

“This is a vic…


U. of Kansas Can’t Expel Student Over Derogatory Tweets, Court Rules

The University of Kansas must reinstate a student it expelled for derogatory tweets he posted about his ex-girlfriend, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

The Kansas Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that Navid Yeasin, who was expelled in 2013, couldn’t be held responsible under the university’s code of student conduct because there was “no proof in the record that Yeasin posted the tweets while he was on campus,” and the code governs only behavior on the campus or at university-sponsored events…


Federal Investigation Finds No Anti-Asian Bias in Princeton Admissions

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has cleared Princeton University of allegations that it discriminates against Asian and Asian-American applicants in admissions.

Princeton, which announced the civil-rights office’s findings on Wednesday, had come under the scrutiny of the federal civil-rights office as a result of separate discrimination complaints filed by rejected applicants with Asian backgrounds, in 2006 and 2011. The rejected applicants, who asked the federal government to…


Family of Drum Major Killed in Hazing Ritual Will Get $1.1-Million Settlement

The family of Robert Champion, the Florida A&M University drum major who was brutally killed in a 2011 hazing ritual, will receive $1.1 million as part of a settlement with the university, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

An insurance company will pay $800,000 to Mr. Champion’s estate, and the remaining $300,000 will be paid by the university. If the university paid any more, the settlement would have to be approved by the Florida Legislature.

As part of the settlement, the university will also nam…


College of DuPage Trustees Void President’s Contract

The College of DuPage’s Board of Trustees narrowly voted on Thursday night to void the employment contract of the Illinois institution’s president, Robert L. Breuder, the Chicago Tribune reported. The deeply divided board voted 4 to 3 on the measure, which also declared Mr. Breuder an at-will employee, meaning he serves at the pleasure of the board and can be fired at any time.

That puts in jeopardy the $763,000 severance package that Mr. Breuder had negotiated with a previous board to retire i…


Charges Are Dropped Against Temple Professor Accused of Sharing Tech With China

The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday dropped all charges against a Temple University physics professor who had been accused of sharing semiconductor technology with China, The New York Times reported.

The professor, Xi Xiaoxing, had been charged with four counts of wire fraud. At the time the charges were announced, he was chairman of Temple’s physics department, but the university stripped him of that title and placed him on administrative leave.

Mr. Xi maintained that he was innocent, and …


To Settle Student’s Lawsuit, Michigan Reverses Sexual-Assault Finding

The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has agreed to settle a student’s lawsuit by throwing out its finding that the man sexually assaulted a female student three years ago in his dormitory room. The Detroit Free Press reports that the university consented to the measure in exchange for an agreement by the male student, Drew Sterrett, not to return to the campus and not to disparage the institution.

The settlement, which requires the approval of a federal judge to take effect, would end Mr. Ste…


Fight Over Cooper Union’s Decision to Charge Tuition Nears an End

A major battle over the future of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art appears to be coming to an end, according to statements released on Tuesday by the prestigious Manhattan college’s Board of Trustees and a coalition of professors, alumni, and students who sued in 2014 to block the board’s plan to start charging undergraduate tuition.

Those groups and the office of the attorney general of New York State, which began investigating the board’s handling of the institution’…


U. of Texas Moves Confederate Statue After Court Rejects Opponents’ Petition

[Updated and revised (8/30/2015, 8:46 p.m.) after the statue's removal.]

A statue of Jefferson Davis, who was president of the Confederate states during the Civil War, was removed from a controversially prominent position on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin on Sunday morning, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The move came after a Texas appeals court on Friday declined a request from the Sons of Confederate Veterans to block a lower court’s ruling that allowed the universit…