Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


Coastal Carolina U. Ends Investigation of Prostitution Allegations Against Cheerleaders

Updated (5/19/2017, 3:45 p.m.) with comment from a lawyer for some members of the team.

Cheerleading will be back next school year at Coastal Carolina University following the team’s suspension tied to allegations of prostitution.

That assertion stemmed from an anonymous letter writer who, in a message to the university, said members of the cheerleading team were “prostituting themselves.” In the course of a university investigation, police officers found that some of the young women had be…


Tennessee Law Is Hailed as Offering Unprecedented Protection of Campus Speech

A new Tennessee law prohibits public colleges from disinviting speakers based on their controversial viewpoints or from charging student groups higher security fees to host speakers expected to trigger unrest.

Among its other provisions, the measure, signed on Tuesday by Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, requires colleges to adopt broad protections of free expression consistent with a landmark statement adopted in 2015 by the University of Chicago. It also bars public colleges from limiting studen…


Texas Governor Signs Immigration Bill Into Law

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed a bill into law on Sunday that allows local police officers to ask about someone’s immigration status during routine stops, NPR reports. The legislation also applies to police officers on colleges campuses.

Campus police officers in Texas can question someone’s immigration status even if a detention doesn’t result in an arrest. Colleges that try to ban officers from checking someone’s immigration status could be fined up to $25,500 a day.

The bill’s s…


Jury Awards $1.4 Million to Former Senior Female Athletics Official at U. of Iowa

A state-court jury awarded $1.43 million in damages on Thursday to Jane Meyer, a former senior associate athletics director at the University of Iowa, ruling in her favor on all five claims in her discrimination lawsuit against the university, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.

Ms. Meyer — whose partner, the fired field-hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, is also suing the university — had been the highest-ranking woman in the athletics department and second in command over all before she was …


Judge Rules Against Marquette Professor Over Public Rebuke of TA

Marquette University was justified in disciplining a professor who had publicly rebuked a graduate teaching assistant over her handling of classroom discussions of homosexuality, a state judge ruled on Thursday.

The judge rejected the argument by John McAdams, a tenured associate professor of political science, that academic freedom had given him the right to attack the graduate teaching assistant by name in a blog post. Noting that the student subsequently received threatening emails from the b…


NLRB Clears the Way for Resident Advisers to Unionize

In an unprecedented decision, the National Labor Relations Board has held that undergraduate resident advisers are eligible to unionize, in a case involving George Washington University.

For more on the decision, as well as reaction and analysis, see this new article from The Chronicle.

In a decision handed down on Friday, Sean R. Marshall, acting regional director at the NLRB’s Baltimore office, accepted the labor organizers’ argument that the resident advisers are technically university e…


Berkeley Settles Suits With Law Dean and Assistant Who Accused Him of Harassment

Updated (4/15/2017, 8:10 p.m.) with further comment from Ms. Sorrell.

The University of California at Berkeley has settled lawsuits with Sujit Choudhry, a former law-school dean, and Tyann Sorrell, a former executive assistant who accused him of repeatedly sexually harassing her, the Associated Press reports.

Under the terms of the settlement — which was reached in March but not disclosed until Friday — Mr. Choudhry will pay $50,000 to Ms. Sorrell’s lawyers and another $50,000 to a charity of he…


Cheerleaders at Coastal Carolina U. Were in ‘Escort Service,’ Police Say

Updated (4/7/2017, 3:27 p.m.) with comment from the university.

Coastal Carolina University’s police department investigated members of the recently suspended cheerleading team in March and found that some members had gone on dates for pay, newly released documents show.

It’s unclear if the university suspended the cheerleaders for using SeekingArrangement, which calls itself a “leading Sugar Daddy dating site.” A spokeswoman for the university, Mona Prufer, wrote in an email to The Chronicle t…


Penn State Trustee Apologizes for Comment About Sandusky’s ‘So-Called Victims’

A Pennsylvania State University trustee, who recently said he was “running out of sympathy” for Jerry Sandusky’s sexual-abuse victims, gave a parsing and defiant apology on Monday.

Albert L. Lord’s comments about victims, which he made in an email to The Chronicle, provoked national outrage. In a statement provided to The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student newspaper, Mr. Lord said, “I apologize for any pain the comment may have caused actual victims.”

Mr. Lord’s statement draws a distinctio…


Anti-Clinton Lawyer Apparently Is Tapped for Key Civil-Rights Post

A lawyer who helped the Trump campaign organize an event last fall with several women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct says she has accepted a top civil-rights position at the Department of Education, according to reports by Politico Pro and The Washington Post.

The lawyer, Candice E. Jackson, wrote on her personal website that she had accepted “an appointment” in the Education Department and would no longer be practicing law. The Pepperdine School of Law reported more specific…