Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


Wyoming Catholic College Drops Out of Federal Student-Aid Programs

Wyoming Catholic College has announced that it will quit participating in the federal student-aid programs in order to avoid having to comply with federal regulations that it describes as burdensome and “clearly troubling for faith-based institutions.” The decision was unanimously approved last week by the college’s Board of Directors.

“By abstaining from federal funding programs,” the college’s president, Kevin D. Roberts, said in a news release, “we will safeguard our mission from unwarrante…


U. of Oregon Amends Its Response to Sexual-Assault Lawsuit

The University of Oregon on Thursday dropped a counterclaim it had filed as part of its response to a lawsuit by a student who contends that the university mishandled her sexual-assault complaint against three basketball players, The Register-Guard reports.

In a lawsuit filed in January against the university and its head basketball coach, Dana Altman, the student alleged that the institution and the coach had made winning games a higher priority than investigating her claim.

The university file…


Calling Alleged Rape Victim’s Lawsuit ‘Frivolous,’ U. of Oregon Seeks Dismissal

The University of Oregon has answered a lawsuit by a student who said she had been sexually assaulted by three basketball players with a document calling it “frivolous” and “unreasonable,” The Oregonian reports. In the document, dated earlier this month, the university and its basketball coach, Dana Altman, ask that the complaint be dismissed and that their legal fees be paid, among other things.

The lawsuit against the university and the coach was filed in January by a female student identified…


Brown Reduces Suspension of Fraternity Accused of Spiking Punch

Brown University announced on Saturday that it would reduce but not overturn a suspension of a fraternity that was accused of serving spiked punch at a party last year. Phi Kappa Psi will face two and a half years of sanctions instead of four.

The Providence Journal reported that laboratory results indicating that a female guest at a Phi Kappa Psi party tested positive for the “date rape” drug GHB had subsequently proved inconclusive. The student reported being sexually assaulted later that nigh…


Accreditor Must Revisit Decision to Close City College of San Francisco

The accrediting body that voted to revoke City College of San Francisco’s accreditation will have to reconsider that decision, a judge ruled on Tuesday. The San Francisco Examiner reports that the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges must, among other things, prepare a report that identifies the areas in which the college did not meet its standards.

The decision is the latest development in a process that began in 2013, when the accreditor shocked the college with the announc…


Man Freed From Prison Sues Northwestern U. and Former Star Professor

A man who spent some 15 years in prison before his conviction in a decades-old double homicide in Chicago was thrown out is suing Northwestern University, the former professor who founded the Medill Innocence Project there, and others associated with the project, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The man, Alstory Simon, had confessed and pleaded guilty to the two killings, but prosecutors agreed in October to throw out his conviction, citing questions about the methods used to obtain his confession. …


Court Reverses Christian College’s Exemption From Contraceptive Mandate

A federal appeals court has reversed a lower-court victory won by a private Christian college in Pennsylvania that challenged a provision of the Affordable Care Act. The provision required the college either to include contraceptive coverage for women in the health plans it offers to employees and students, or to opt out and let a third party do so.

Geneva College, in Beaver Falls, Pa., had won an injunction in a federal court in 2013 that temporarily exempted it from the contraceptive-coverage …


Boston College’s Belfast Project Lands in Court—Again

[Updated (2/9/2015, 4:45 p.m.) with comment from Ed Moloney, former director of the project.]

A Boston College oral-history project on Northern Ireland’s 30-year civil conflict has again found itself in court. On Monday a British judge ruled that the Police Services of Northern Ireland has the right to retrieve interviews given to Boston College by Winston Rea, a former loyalist paramilitary member and a participant in its Belfast Project. Mr. Rea had tried to block the handover of his interview…


Judge Throws Out Philosophy Professor’s Lawsuit Against Northwestern

[Updated (2/6/2015, 10:58 p.m.) with additional information about the earlier investigations, as noted in the judge's order.]

A federal judge on Thursday threw out a lawsuit against Northwestern University filed by Peter Ludlow, a professor of philosophy who had accused the university of defamation and gender discrimination in its handling of sexual-harassment investigations involving him in 2012 and 2014.

The 2012 investigation concerned a complaint filed by an undergraduate student who had acc…


Jury Awards $400,000 to Professor Laid Off by Clark Atlanta U.

A jury in Fulton County, Ga., has awarded $300,000 in damages and $105,000 in legal fees to a tenured professor who was laid off from her job at Clark Atlanta University, according to the Daily Report, a publication focusing on legal news in the Atlanta area.

Deborah Cook, a biology professor at the historically black institution, was one of dozens of faculty members who were laid off in 2009 as enrollments plummeted. The American Association of University Professors later censured Clark Atlanta