Inside Higher Ed
October 31st, 2014
A college can’t fire an adjunct professor for criticizing it, so long
as the issues raised are matters of public concern and the adjunct has
reasonable expectation of continued employment, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday in a decision regarding Moraine Valley Community College in Illinois.
Adjuncts historically have struggled to find legal support when they
suddenly lose their teaching assignments, and the appeals court decision
represents a strong statement that they have First Amendment rights and
that their grievances are significant matters of public policy.
With its decision, the appeals court reversed an earlier, lower court’s decision
that Moraine Valley was within its rights to terminate Robin Meade, an
adjunct professor of business and president of the American Federation
of Teachers-affiliated Moraine Valley Adjunct Faculty Organization, for
writing an unflattering letter about the college to an international
community college group.