Monday, March 30, 2009

Speaking as a Professor

From today's Chronicle of Higher Education:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held on Friday that a public-college professor’s statements can be considered job-related, and thus not “citizen speech” protected by the First Amendment, even if they were made in connection with activities not specifically covered by the professor’s contract. . . .

The university said it had fired him for doctoring student grades, and the appeals court described his First Amendment claims as “makeweight attempts” to fight his dismissal for violating the university's academic code. It held that he would have been fired even if he had not made any of the statements that he cited in claiming he was the victim of illegal retaliation.

Peter Schmidt, "Court Broadly Defines Job-Related Speech in Upholding Delaware Professor's Dismissal," Chronicle of Higher Education, 30 March 2009.

The court decision in the case is here.

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