After seven years, Mike Adams won his lawsuit against University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW).
Professor Mike Adams, a criminology professor, sued UNCW in 2007 after he was discriminated against because of his conservative, Christian views.
Adams was hired in 1993 and promoted to full professor in 1998. He became a Christian in 2000. After becoming a Christian, he experienced, “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,” according the press release.
The Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed suit on his behalf, and “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.”
This month, a settlement defending Mike Adams’ First Amendment freedoms was decided in his favor. “The outcome of this case reaffirms that public universities must respect the First Amendment freedoms of their professors regardless of the viewpoints they express,” stated ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Travis Barham. “The university has chosen the right course in opting to stop defending its unconstitutional actions, to right the wrong done to Dr. Adams by granting him the promotion he has long deserved, and to protect him against future retaliation. Other universities watching this should understand that disagreeing with an accomplished professor’s political and religious views is not an acceptable reason to deny him a promotion.”
“This victory is not only good for Dr. Adams but for all who value academic freedom,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot.
In the settlement, the University agreed to drop its appeal, and to promote Adams to the position of full professor. The also agreed to pay him $50,000 in back pay- as ordered by the court, to adopt procedures protecting Adams from renewed retaliation, and to pay $615,000 in attorneys’ fees.
“This victory is not only good for Dr. Adams but for all who value academic freedom,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “It sends a strong message to all public universities not to engage in this type of injustice and think there will be no consequences.”