Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


Minnesota Accuses For-Profit Colleges of Misleading Students

Attorney General Lori Swanson of Minnesota has accused two for-profit colleges in a lawsuit of misleading students about job opportunities and whether credits earned at those institutions would transfer elsewhere, the Star Tribune reported.

The lawsuit against Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business, which are held under common ownership, seeks injunctive relief, civil penalties, and restitution. Both institutions operate campuses in Minnesota. Globe also has campuses in Wisconsin …


Students and Faculty May Argue Against Corcoran Merger, Judge Rules

A judge has ruled that a group of students and faculty members may oppose the merger of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and its college with the much larger George Washington University and National Gallery of Art, the Associated Press reports.

Nine students and members of the faculty and staff will be able to argue against the merger in court, the judge, Robert Okun of the District of Columbia Superior Court, ruled on Monday, citing their special interest in the merger. The group has mounted a camp…


Court Orders Iowa State U. to Pay Former Employee $650,000

The Iowa Supreme Court has ordered Iowa State University to pay a former employee $650,000 for being mistreated by his superiors, the Associated Press reports. After Dennis Smith, who was a marketing employee in the College of Engineering, reported alleged mismanagement by his boss, she “engaged in unremitting psychological warfare” against Mr. Smith, the court said.

In 2012 a jury awarded Mr. Smith $500,000 in damages, a sum that the Supreme Court upheld on Friday. The court tacked on $150,000 …


Pot Researcher at U. of Arizona Fights to Get Her Job Back

A medical doctor at the University of Arizona who was dismissed last month is appealing the university’s decision, according to The Arizona Republic. Suzanne Sisley, who studies the effects of marijuana on post-traumatic stress disorder, is asking to be reinstated as an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry, assistant director of the university’s telemedicine program, and researcher. She says she was questioned by university officials over an attempt to recall State Sen. Kimberly Y…


U. of Wisconsin Can Ban Former Student From Campuses, Court Rules

The Supreme Court of Wisconsin ruled on Wednesday that the University of Wisconsin system could ban a former student from its campuses because of protests and other activities by the student that it considered harassment, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The former student, Jeffrey S. Decker, is a longtime protester of how the university uses student fees. He graduated from the university’s Stevens Point campus in 2005 and re-enrolled in the spring of 2010 to give himself a better platfo…


UNC-Wilmington Settles With Professor Who Won Anti-Bias Suit

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington has completed the terms of a settlement with a professor who sued the institution, and won, over being denied a promotion because of his conservative writings, reports the Star-News, a Wilmington newspaper.

Michael S. Adams, a criminology professor, will be promoted to full professor, awarded $50,000 in back pay, and given a salary of $75,000 per year. The university will also pay $615,000 in lawyers’ fees.

Mr. Adams sued the university seven years …


U. of Iowa Scholar Will Get New Trial in Promotion-Bias Case

A federal appeals court has granted a new trial to a University of Iowa scholar who accused the institution of discriminating against her because of her conservative views, The Des Moines Register reported.

The scholar, Teresa R. Wagner, had asserted in a lawsuit that a former dean of Iowa’s law school refused to promote her because of her political beliefs and her work with conservative groups. In 2012 a jury found that Ms. Wagner’s First Amendment rights had not been violated, but deadlocked o…


In California Court, Corinthian Dodges Demands for More Disclosure

A California judge ruled on Friday that Corinthian Colleges Inc. does not have to warn prospective students of its bleak financial condition, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ruling was made in response to a request for a restraining order filed by Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California, who alleged that the company was advertising its colleges in a “false and misleading” manner, given that it had agreed to either sell or close all 107 of them.

Last week Corinthian and the U.S. Educa…


Retaliation Lawsuit Against Former Law Dean at Case Western Is Settled

A lawsuit in which a professor accused Case Western Reserve University and a former dean of its law school of retaliation has been settled, reports The Plain Dealer. Raymond Ku, a professor at the law school, last year sued Lawrence E. Mitchell, then the school’s dean. Mr. Ku said he had been retaliated against for reporting that Mr. Mitchell had potentially sexually harassed women.

After he was sued, Mr. Mitchell took a leave of absence, then resigned his post. He remains a tenured professor at…


Southern U. Agrees to Make Upgrades in Settlement of Disability Suit

Southern University’s Board of Supervisors has agreed to settle a lawsuit over the flagship Baton Rouge campus’s accommodations for disabled students, and the agreement includes a series of physical upgrades and other reforms, The Advocate reported.

A Southern student sued the institution in 2011, asserting that restrooms, athletics venues, and classroom desks did not properly accommodate wheelchairs. The agreement requires the university to make upgrades on the campus through 2019 and to pay th…