The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 5th, 2014
Washington State University will pay a former journalism professor
$120,000 to drop a free-speech lawsuit against four administrators,
according to a news release from the American Civil Liberties Union.
David K. Demers, who filed the suit in 2009, said he had faced illegal retaliation
for statements he made about the Edward R. Murrow College of
Communication’s leadership structure, among other things. Washington
State’s administration argued that employment-related statements were
not protected by the First Amendment. The case eventually made it to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which ruled in Mr. Demers’s favor.
“I am extremely pleased with the settlement,” Mr. Demers said in the
ACLU release. “It sends a strong message to university administrators
that those who intend to violate professors’ free-speech rights will be