Category Archives: Legal

Higher education in the courtroom.


Princeton Will Pay $18 Million to Settle Suit Over Property-Tax Exemption

Princeton University has agreed to pay more than $18 million over the next six years to settle a lawsuit brought by local homeowners who challenged its property-tax exemption, the university announced on Friday.

About $10 million of the settlement funds will go toward property-tax relief for homeowners, and $1.25 million toward assistance with the housing needs of economically disadvantaged residents of the town of Princeton, N.J. The university will also make two additional voluntary payments, …


Concert Promoter Pleads Guilty for Role in U. of Hawaii’s ‘Wonder Blunder’

A concert promoter who had no concert to promote but was paid $200,000 by the University of Hawaii-Manoa to set up a performance by the pop star Stevie Wonder pleaded guilty on Tuesday to wire fraud, the Associated Press reported.

As The Chronicle’s Jack Stripling put it in his account of the bizarre scandal, “The deal was signed and sealed, but Stevie Wonder was not delivered.”

In his guilty plea, in federal court in Honolulu, Marc Hubbard admitted he had lied about organizing the concert. Afte…


Supreme Court Won’t Hear O’Bannon Fight Over NCAA’s Amateurism Model

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear two related cases in a legal fight over the NCAA’s amateurism model and compensation for college athletes.

Last year a federal appeals court upheld a judge’s finding that the National Collegiate Athletic Association had violated antitrust law, but rejected the portion of the ruling that said colleges should be allowed to pay players up to $5,000 a year for the use of their names and likenesses.

The plaintiff in the case was Edward C. O’Bannon J…


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…