Friday, October 31, 2014

First Amendment Rights for Adjuncts

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.

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