Universities & Other Institutions of Higher Learning

Journal of Law and Education, July 2008 | Go to article overview

Universities & Other Institutions of Higher Learning


Employment and Dismissal-Faculty

Professor sued university alleging religious discrimination. Jewish professor was denied tenure after negative recommendation by dean. Held: For the university. Tenure process consisted of multiple layers of independent review and there was no evidence of religious discrimination. Thus, professor's claim failed. Adelman-Reyes v. Saint Xavier University, 500 F.3d 662 (7th Cir. 2007).

Male professor sued women 's university alleging gender discrimination. Department faculty, including professor, was required to teach a platform program and relocate program to another campus. Held: For the university. University's decision to have professor teach platform courses was not discriminatory as no similarly situated female professors were treated more favorably in relation to platform courses. Further, relocation was not discriminatory as the university presented a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason, namely budgetary concerns. Huber v. Tex. Woman's U., 504 F. Supp. 2d 198 (S.D. Tex. 2007).

Professor sued university under the Civil Rights Act alleging First Amendment free speech violation. Professor was denied a merit salary increase after he made critical statements about the hiring and promotion of other professors at the university. Held: For the university. Professor's statements were not protected because they were made in the course of doing his job. Hong v. Grant, 516 F. Supp. 2d 1158 (C.D. Cal. 2007).

Professor sued state university alleging discrimination under Title VII and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. During litigation, professor wanted to compel the university to turn over notes regarding the denial of her tenure application. Held: For the professor. Title VII and the Iowa Civil Rights Act gave the professor the right to examine university's decision process for improper motive. University's notes were not privileged. Qamhiyah v. Iowa State U. of Sd. and Tech., 245 F.R.D. 393 (S.D. Iowa 2007).

Instructor sued community college alleging race discrimination and breach of contract. Instructor alleged he was treated differently than white instructors. Held: For college in part and instructor in part. Instructor did not establish that he was discriminated against based on his race. However, his contract claim can be heard in another court. Green v. N. Seattle Community College, 237 Fed. Appx. 186 (9th Cir. 2007).

Professor sued university, its president, and officers alleging unlawful termination under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Professor with a hearing disability received accommodations of reduced classroom hours and use of a computer-assisted transcription program. Later, department chair omitted professor's classes from course offerings. Professor claimed these omissions were made in retaliation for his requests for accommodation. Held: For the professor. University violated ADA by removing professor's course without his knowledge, consent, or consultation. Thus, university had obligation to reestablish that "reasonable accommodation or substitute it for another." Bucaro v. Morales, 846 N.Y.S.2d 546 (N.Y. 2007).

Employment and Dismissal - Other Employees

Secretary sued supervisor and university officials alleging hostile environment, retaliation, and discrimination. secretary alleged supervisor engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct in workplace. After secretary reported supervisor, secretary was relieved from most of her secretarial functions. Held: For the secretary in part and university in part. secretary could sue for hostile environment as supervisor's conduct was particularly offensive to women. Furthermore, she could sue for retaliation because there appeared to be a causal connection between the complaint of harassment and the stripping of her duties. Patane v. Clark, 508 F.3d 106 (2d Cir. 2007).

Former basketball coach sued university alleging violation of free speech rights, sexual discrimination, and unlawful employment practices. …

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