nose dive in the last couple of decades. Many universities and colleges, which ought to show strong leadership in encouraging free speech, have adopted policies that actually discourage freedom of expression, and that punish dissent. The University of North Carolina at Wilmington recently was recently shot down in flames by a federal appeals court decision that concluded that the university had grossly violated First Amendment rights of one of its star professors by denying him a promotion to which, by any reasonable standard, he was entitled. The "problem" with this professor, Dr. Mike Adams, was his espousal of politically conservative views that did not line up with the ideologies of some of his superiors.
Adams won BIG TIME. He got back pay, a promotion, and guaranteed future raises in pay. The court awarded his counsel over $600,000 in attorney fees to be paid by the university. The university announced that it would not appeal to the Supreme Court--a wise decision on their part, given the hit they took at the initial level of appeal.
Here is a summary of the issue:
<<<Dr. Mike Adams, a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, frequently received accolades from his colleagues after the university hired him as an assistant professor in 1993 and promoted him to associate professor in 1998. At the time he was an atheist, but his conversion to Christianity in 2000 impacted his views on political and social issues. After this, he was subjected to intrusive investigations, baseless accusations, and the denial of promotion to full professor even though his scholarly output surpassed that of almost all of his colleagues. In a lawsuit filed against the university on Adams’ behalf, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys contended that the university denied Adams a promotion because his nationally syndicated opinion columns espoused religious and political views that ran contrary to the opinions held by university officials.>>>
Adams had some powerful support from certain sectors of the academic and political community . The American Association of University Professors, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression joined his suit as "friends of the court" (amici curiae). http://www.adfmedia.org/News/PRDetail/4103
Here is the Court's verdict:
Here is the settlement agreement:
I would not agree with some of Dr. Adams' political and religious views, but I believe he is as entitled to express them as are his colleagues of a less conservative persuasion. Other universities need to take note of this case as they deal with matters of alleged "political correctness."
Let freedom ring!