Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


Appeals Court Denies Request to Block U. of Texas Plan to Move Confederate Statue

A Texas appeals court declined a request on Friday from the Sons of Confederate Veterans to block a lower court ruling that allowed the University of Texas at Austin to move statues of Jefferson Davis and Woodrow Wilson to a less-prominent position on the campus, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

The group’s Texas chapter asked the state Supreme Court to issue an emergency injunction, and that request was still pending Friday evening.

The university had planned to move the statue to a campu…


Legal Fight Over U. of Kansas Lecturer’s Records Is Settled

A legal dispute over a University of Kansas student’s effort to obtain the records of a lecturer who previously worked for the conservative Koch brothers has been settled, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

The lecturer, Arthur Hall, is director for the university’s Center for Applied Economics. He had previously served as chief economist of the public-sector group of Koch Industries Inc. Schuyler Kraus, who is president of a campus group called Students for a Sustainable Future, had submitt…


South Carolina State U. Will Pay $332,500 to Settle Ex-President’s Suit

South Carolina State University will pay $332,500 to settle a former president’s breach-of-contract lawsuit, The State reported. The historically black institution fired the former president, Thomas J. Elzey, in March, after putting him on leave as the university was suffering from severe financial and accreditation problems. The university said the settlement did not pass judgment on Mr. Elzey’s performance as president, or the decision to dismiss him.


Education Dept. Releases Draft Guidance on Handling of Students’ Medical Records

The U.S. Department of Education has released draft guidance on the use of students’ medical records in response to a lawsuit. In a blog post published on Tuesday, the department said it was seeking public comment on the new guidance.

The issue drew national attention because of a lawsuit at the University of Oregon. A female student there, who said she had been raped by three basketball players, also claimed that the college had pulled her counseling records to use against her in a lawsuit she …


Avoiding a Showdown, U. of Illinois Accepts Resignation of Chancellor Phyllis Wise

[Updated (8/14/2015, 5:13 p.m.) with a response from the University of Illinois.]

Two days after rejecting the terms of Phyllis M. Wise’s resignation as chancellor of its Urbana-Champaign campus, the University of Illinois has decided to allow Ms. Wise to resign, instead of opening proceedings to fire her as chancellor.

In doing so, the university avoids a potentially bitter showdown with its former chief. Under her contract, Ms. Wise was entitled to a $400,000 bonus upon her resignation. Rather…


Judge Curtails Popular Work Program for Foreign Students

In a decision that may reduce the appeal of the United States as a destination for international students, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday that the Department of Homeland Security must curtail a popular program that allows foreign students and graduates to work while in the United States.

The program, known as Optional Practical Training, allows students to work a total of 12 months during and after their studies and is usually highlighted by colleges as part of their work with international …


U. of Minnesota’s Former Athletic Director Drew Gender-Bias Complaints

Norwood Teague, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities athletic director who resigned last week amid reports that he had sexually harassed two female employees, was the subject of two gender-discrimination complaints dating to 2012, the Star Tribune reported.

One of the complaints was filed by Regina Sullivan, a senior associate athletic director at the Twin Cities campus, who was fired by Mr. Teague in October 2012, about five months after he took the job. Ms. Sullivan said Mr. Teague had told…


Court Holds That U. of Illinois Broke Contract in Salaita Case

The University of Illinois cannot disavow having contractual obligations to Steven G. Salaita, the controversial scholar whose job offer it rescinded last summer before he could begin teaching on the Urbana-Champaign campus, a federal court ruled on Thursday.

In denying the university’s bid to have Mr. Salaita’s lawsuit against it dismissed, Judge Harry D. Leinenweber of the U.S. District Court in Chicago soundly rejected the university’s argument that it had never entered into a binding c…


Court Shelves Injunction in O’Bannon Case, Delaying Prospect of Player Pay

A panel of federal judges has granted the NCAA’s request to stay an injunction that would have allowed colleges to pay some athletes up to $5,000 in deferred compensation, USA Today reports.

The court’s order was not based on the merits of the case, O’Bannon v. NCAA, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is still considering. Judge Claudia Wilken of the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., ruled last year that the NCAA’s limits on player compensation violated federal antitrust…


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…