Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


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…


Judge Throws Out Student’s Lawsuit Against Northwestern in Case Alleging Sexual Assault

A federal judge on Thursday threw out a lawsuit against Northwestern University filed by a student who alleged that the university had mishandled her sexual-assault complaint against a professor, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The student had contended that Northwestern violated federal law by failing to follow up sufficiently on her complaint against Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy, and by failing to provide her with appropriate support and a safe learning environment. But Thursday’s rul…


Supreme Court Is Last Hope for Affirmative-Action Critics in ‘Fisher’ Case

[Updated (11/12/2014, 5:20 p.m) to include a statement from the university.]

The last hope for critics of affirmative action in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin is the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday denied a petition for a full hearing by the court, setting the stage for a second showdown in the Supreme Court, should it choose to take the case.

The high court heard the case about race-conscious admissions last year, but punted it …


Former Head of Community-College Foundation Admits Embezzling $50,000

A former executive director of a foundation that raises money for Los Angeles Trade Technical College pleaded guilty on Friday to embezzling more than $50,000, the Los Angeles Times reports. Rhea Chung was ordered to repay the $50,500 she admitted taking, and was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 60 days of community service.

Ms. Chung was arrested in February. The money she admitted to embezzling included two years’ worth of bonus payments and other expenses. She resigned from he…


Washington State U. to Pay Professor $120,000 to Settle Free-Speech Lawsuit

Washington State University will pay a former journalism professor $120,000 to drop a free-speech lawsuit against four administrators, according to a news release from the American Civil Liberties Union.

David K. Demers, who filed the suit in 2009, said he had faced illegal retaliation for statements he made about the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication’s leadership structure, among other things. Washington State’s administration argued that employment-related statements were not protected…


President of ‘Sham’ College Is Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison

The head of what officials have called a “sham university” that issued foreigners visa-related documents in exchange for tuition and fees has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for running the scam, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Susan Xiao-Ping Su, president and chief executive of Tri-Valley University, was convicted this year of 31 counts of fraud, harboring undocumented immigrants, and other charges.

The California-based university was raided by federal agents in January 2011. The gove…


College Denied Promotion to Veteran Over His Service, Justice Dept. Says

The U.S. Justice Department has sued a community college in Arizona, asserting that it twice denied a promotion to a campus police officer because of his military service. The department filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court in Arizona, it announced on Friday.

According to the lawsuit, Timothy Stoner, a member of the Arizona National Guard who also served deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, was denied the same promotion twice, to police corporal at Pima Community College, in 2010 and 2…


Jury Clears Ex-Official at East Stroudsburg U. in Sex-Harassment Suit

A federal jury in Pennsylvania on Friday found that a former East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania official who had been accused of sexually harassing students is not liable for those allegations, the Pocono Record reported.

Former students at the university had accused Isaac W. Sanders, a former East Stroudsburg vice president, of using his position of power to make unwanted advances toward them. He has never been charged with a crime. Six students filed a civil lawsuit against him in 200…


Alleging Decades of Bias, Supporters of HBCU Sue for Funds

Students and alumni of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania have restarted a decades-old lawsuit against the state and federal governments, asserting that the historically black institution has been inadequately funded, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The group, named “Heeding Cheyney’s Call,” argues that the university needs more money than the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s other 13 institutions because of decades of systematic discrimination. The group says Cheyney’s enrollm…


Northwestern Professor Sues Student Who Accused Him of Sexual Assault

Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy at Northwestern University who has been at the center of a long-running controversy over an undergraduate student’s allegation that he sexually assaulted her and that Northwestern mishandled her complaint, is suing the student for defamation, the Chicago Tribune reported. In his lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in a state court in Illinois, Mr. Ludlow contends that the student knowingly made false statements to the news media and to Northwestern professors after …