Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


Jury Orders San Diego State to Pay Fired Women’s Coach $3.35 Million

A former women’s basketball coach at San Diego State University won a wrongful-termination lawsuit on Wednesday, and a jury awarded her $3.35 million in damages, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The coach, Beth Burns, said in her lawsuit that the university had fired her after she complained of violations of Title IX, the federal gender-equity law, in the basketball program. Ms. Burns, the winningest coach in the university’s history, was dismissed in 2013 shortly after her team won more games in…


Governor Can’t Unilaterally Cut Colleges’ Budgets, Kentucky Justices Rule

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that the state’s governor, Matt Bevin, overstepped his legal authority in cutting public colleges’ budgets by 2 percent, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

In March, Governor Bevin, a Republican, ordered that the budgets of the commonwealth’s public colleges be cut by 4.5 percent — a number later revised to 2 percent. That prompted Attorney General Andy Beshear of Kentucky, a Democrat, to sue the governor, saying the order was “unconstitutional and illegal.”…


Jury Awards $367,000 in Tenure-Denial Lawsuit Against Saint Louis U.

A jury has ordered Saint Louis University to pay a former theology professor $367,000 for gender discrimination during her unsuccessful bid for tenure, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The faculty member, Cornelia Horn, was an assistant professor at the university from 2004 to 2012. In her lawsuit, she also accused the Jesuit institution of discouraging female faculty members from seeking tenure, and giving them less help than their male counterparts in preparing their tenure bids, the newsp…


Former Law Dean Accused of Harassment Sues Berkeley

[Updated (9/15/2016, 8:44 p.m.) with comment from the university.]

A former dean of the University of California at Berkeley’s School of Law, Sujit Choudhry, has accused the university system of violating his right to due process of law and equal protection, according to a lawsuit filed on Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit, which follows a grievance filed in April, states that the university tried to deprive him of his salary, employment, and r…


Owner of Ashford U. Is Ordered to Forgive $23.5 Million in Student Debt

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Bridgepoint Education Inc., owner of the for-profit Ashford University, to forgive all outstanding private student loans and to refund any payments already made on those loans.

According to a statement from the agency, Bridgepoint deceived its students by charging them higher-than-advertised monthly loan payments and now must refund or forgive more than $23.5 million in money paid or still owed. The bureau has also ordered the company …


Brock Turner Is Out of Jail After 3 Months

Three months after the former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in jail for sexual assault, he was released on Friday, NPR reports.

Mr. Turner’s original sentence drew criticism as too lenient after he had been found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a fraternity party on the campus.

At the time of the sentencing, a Superior Court judge, Aaron Persky, said that Mr. Turner “would not be a danger to others” and that a prison sentence woul…


CUNY Investigates Possible Misuse of $600,000 at City College of N.Y.

The City University of New York is investigating faculty concerns that a recent $500,000 donation to a fund that supports humanities and arts programs at the system’s flagship, the City College of New York, may have been improperly diverted, The New York Times reports.

With the donation, the fund — known as the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Fund for the Arts — should have contained roughly $600,000. But faculty members at the college learned this summer that the account held just $76. After gettin…


U. of Colorado Pays $40,000 to Settle Gender-Bias Case

The University of Colorado at Boulder paid a former staff member $40,000 to settle a federal gender-discrimination complaint three years ago, The Daily Camera reports.

The staff member, Robin Miglarese, a former associate director of operations in executive education for the university’s Leeds School of Business, filed the complaint in 2013, and the newspaper recently learned of the settlement through documents provided by the university.

Also under the settlement, the Leeds School’s dean, David…


Federal Judge Blocks U. of North Carolina From Enforcing ‘Bathroom Bill’

A federal judge has barred the University of North Carolina from enforcing House Bill 2, the state law that requires people in public buildings to use bathrooms that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificates, BuzzFeed reported on Friday.

Judge Thomas D. Schroeder of the U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem, N.C., said that he had barred the university from enforcing the rule after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the Obama administration’s interpretation of …


Education Dept. Cuts Off Federal Aid to New Students at For-Profit ITT

The U.S. Department of Education is barring ITT Educational Services Inc. from enrolling new students with federal financial aid, the department announced in a news release on Thursday. The department is also increasing the amount of cash ITT must send the department from just under $100 million to roughly $250 million, among other things.

The department’s move may be its most substantial action against an individual for-profit educator since its heightened scrutiny of Corinthian Colleges caused…