A jury in Fulton County, Ga., has awarded $300,000 in damages and $105,000 in legal fees to a tenured professor who was laid off from her job at Clark Atlanta University, according to the Daily Report, a publication focusing on legal news in the Atlanta area.
Deborah Cook, a biology professor at the historically black institution, was one of dozens of faculty members who were laid off in 2009 as enrollments plummeted. The American Association of University Professors later censured Clark Atlanta after issuing a report that harshly criticized those cuts.
Ms. Cook’s lawyer presented evidence challenging the university’s claim that it had experienced an enrollment emergency, which is how the administration justified dismissing her and 53 other faculty members. The university’s lawyer declined to comment to the newspaper but said the litigation would continue.