Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Universities & Other Institutions of Higher Learning

Academic journal article Journal of Law and Education

Universities & Other Institutions of Higher Learning

Article excerpt

Faculty and Administration

Professor sued university alleging breach of contract, retaliatory discharge, defamation, and discrimination under Title VII. A professor published a textbook for his class, but omitted some citations, resulting in plagiarism, so it was never used. Later, the Department Chairman commented that the older faculty members did not fit his image of the department. Around the same time, the professor, who was older, noticed his photo had been removed from the website. The provost investigated the plagiarism and the professor was terminated because of his plagiarism's alleged detriment to the university's reputation. Held: For the university and university faculty. The court held that plagiarism violated university policy, and intent was irrelevant. The remedial measures taken were also irrelevant, so the provost made a reasonable decision per the university policies. The chairman's hostility to the professor concerning his age was not reasonably inferred to have influenced the provost's decision. Roberts v. Columbia College Chicago, 821 F.3d 855 (7th Cir. 2016).

Professor sued university's Board of Trustees alleging discrimination related to race and national origin. The Professor entered a resignation agreement with the University, but later wanted to alter the agreement and continue working, which the University declined. The University issued the Professor a notice of trespass, which stemmed from a conversation with a coworker about guns, and placed him on administrative leave while it determined if the Professor was still capable of teaching. While on leave, he did not receive the benefits associated with being a Professor. Held: For the Board of Trustees. The Professor was unable to bring the claim because it was time-barred. The Professor could not prove that he was prevented from obtaining vital information. Additionally, the Court would not exercise equitable tolling because the Professor did not provide any evidence that, despite due diligence, there were extraordinary circumstances that prevented him from timely filing. Lohrasbi v. Bd. ofTrs. of the Univ. of III., 147 F. Supp. 3d 746 (C.D. Ill. 2015).

Individual sued community college alleging violations of the Freedom of Information Act. A person requested documents from the community college under the Freedom of Information Act, but some parts of the request were denied. He then asked the college how to get the information that he sought. Held: In part for the individual, in part for the community college. The college was not required to create new documents or answer general inquiries. Instead, their only obligation was to provide documents containing public records. However, certain information that could be accessed in the college's database did not constitute creating a new document. Hites v. Waubonsee Cmty. Coll., 56 N.E.3d 1049 (Ill. App. Ct. 2016).

Mathematics and Physics Professor sued University alleging discrimination and retaliation. An African American tenured Professor was offered a position as interim head of the department of Mathematics and Physics. The University cited budgetary constraints as justification for failure to raise the Professor's pay for his new duties. After filing an unsuccessful grievance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Professor sued the University arguing that he was discriminated against on the basis of race and sexual orientation, also that the University was retaliating for the grievance filed. Held: For the University. The Professor failed to provide evidence of any type of discrimination or retaliation against him. Therefore, the case was dismissed. Strong v. Grambling Univ., 159 F. Supp. 3d 697 (W.D. la. 2015).


Expelled student sued students for defamation alleging statements made to campus security were not protected. A student was expelled after two students reported numerous sexual assaults to campus security. The student sued the accusers for defamation. …

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