Jury Orders Former College President to Pay Expelled Student $50,000

A federal jury on Friday awarded $50,000 in damages to a former student at Valdosta State University, in Georgia, in a long-running court battle with the university’s former president. Thomas Hayden Barnes was expelled from the university without a hearing in 2007 after clashing with the president, Ronald M. Zaccari, over an effort the president supported to build a parking deck. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia reversed the student’s expulsion in 2008, though Mr. Barnes went ahead with a lawsuit after receiving assistance from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. A federal judge later rejected Mr. Zaccari’s effort to have the case thrown out. Last year a federal appeals court allowed Mr. Barnes’s lawsuit against the former president to proceed. The jury’s verdict specifies that Mr. Barnes is not entitled to punitive damages.

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