Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Ole Miss hit with $218,000 verdict in tenure denial lawsuit.

A jury awarded $218,000 to Michael Wiggington, Jr. yesterday after he was denied tenure by Ole Miss.  Wiggington was an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice for six years.  His application for tenure was denied by the university.  He sued Ole Miss in U.S. District Court.  Judge Neal Biggers presided over the case.
This passage from the pre-trial order pretty much sums up the plaintiff's argument:

Plaintiff was employed as an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi (“University”) in the Department of Legal Studies for over six years. He joined the University’s Department of Legal Studies (“Department”) as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice on August 21, 2008. Under Plaintiff’s contract with the University, he became eligible for tenure and promotion during his sixth full year of employment. Upon eligibility in the 2013-2014 academic year, Plaintiff promptly commenced the tenure and promotion application process.

Plaintiff’s application for tenure and promotion was discriminatorily discredited because of his race, age, internal disagreement with his constitutionally protected free speech, and Defendants’ unlawful attempts to “clean house.” Ultimately, Plaintiff’s application was denied because of Defendants’ arbitrary and capricious decisions.

Specifically, on or about November 8, 2013, the Promotion and Tenure Committee for the Department of Legal Studies voted 5-2 in favor of Plaintiff’s tenure and promotion application. Subsequently, Defendant Lambert recommended denying Plaintiff’s tenure and promotion application, ignoring the Promotion and Tenure Committee for the Department. On or about December 4, 2013, an Advisory Committee to the Dean convened and recommended approval of Plaintiff’s tenure and promotion application by a vote of 3-2. Nevertheless, on or about December 9, 2013, Defendant Burton recommended that Plaintiff’s tenure and promotion application be denied, contradicting the recommendation of his own Advisory Committee. likewise, on or about January 13, 2014, Defendant Kiss recommended denying Plaintiff’s tenure and promotion application. On or about March 20, 2014,  Defendant Stocks also recommended denying Plaintiff’s tenure and promotion application.
Plaintiff appealed Defendant Stocks’ decision to the University Tenure and Promotion Appeals Committee (“Committee”) which held a hearing on April 14, 2014. In its April 17, 2014 decision, the Committee found that the University acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner regarding its review of Plaintiff’s tenure and promotion application. Despite the decision of the Committee, on May 1, 2014, Defendant  Jones  denied  Plaintiff’s  application  for  tenure  and  promotion   and refused to extend Plaintiff’s probationary period.
However, Ole Miss claimed:
After reviewing Wigginton’s tenure portfolio, the Chair of his Department, the Dean of his School, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the University’s Provost all concluded that Wigginton had not demonstrated sufficient evidence of research and scholarly activity to support an award of tenure.

Chancellor Dan Jones then reviewed Wigginton’s portfolio and the recommendations from the other University administrators and declined to nominate Wigginton for tenure and promotion. Chancellor Jones wrote that Wigginton’s “number of peer-reviewed publications is low and there is no evidence of scholarly impact.”  Wigginton appealed to the IHL Board, which took no action to overturn Chancellor Jones’ decision.
Attorneys Sam Begley and Mike Farrell represented Mr. Wiggington.


20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, lambshartz!!! You're having a GREAT year! On the bright side, the sanctions and show causes should be handed down soon.

Anonymous said...

Look at the bright side. Ole Miss is saving enough to pay this every 2 to 3 weeks from not having to pay Rev. Freeze.

Anonymous said...

I knew one of the leg jumpers could quickly create a freeze connection.

Anonymous said...

Tenure. Get rid of all of it.

Anonymous said...

In these types of cases, does the defendant have to pay the plaintiff's attorney fees?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want Ole Miss tenure anyway???

Anonymous said...

4:44. tenure is going away anyway--more and more you see 3/5 year renewable contracts. and with more adjuncts teaching, it's becoming a relic of the past

in this case, it would appear that the faculty granted it, and the administration thought otherwise. you have to document why someone wouldn't get it very carefully and throughly to avoid a lawsuit like this...

Anonymous said...

Basically, he didn't get tenure, because he's white, old, and Conservative? Is that the gist of this?

Anonymous said...

I've heard the term 'tenure', but, what's a 'leg jumper'?

Anonymous said...

5:41 PM Much the same as a bible thumper.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wiggington is a class act. He is a former Louisiana State Trooper, and retired from ICE (formerly US Customs). He taught his classes from the perspective of "being on the ground and doing it" unlike those that replaced him. If you see what gets tenure at Ole Miss you would howl with indignation that this man was denied for EXACTLY what 5:32 said...Old, White, and Conservative. Those three attributes are now despised on a university campus. And who was one of those administrators that denied him...the same man that was FIRED by IHL. Ole Miss got exactly what they deserved...reality check that we OLD, WHITE, CONSERVATIVE men are not going to go quietly into the night. Hell NO!

Way to go Mike!

Anonymous said...

Old, white and conservative
That explains why Dan jones was thumbs down

Anonymous said...

Ole Miss has long ago replaced good common sense with a bag of smelly horse dung (aka political correctness).

Anonymous said...

The grassroots are rumbling with the knowledge that the racial slur "Ole' Miss'" and the Hotty Toddy cheer will have to be sunsetted just like the flag and colonel rebel. The school is going to have to come to grips with it's past no matter what the bigoted and elitist alumni sentiment is for those outdated, racist references. The new head of the NAACP is an earnest and respected man from Mississippi, a hero of Katrina, with roots in Detroit. Get ready for a street fight that is long overdue.

Goober Done It said...

Some clubs are just tough to get into. There's always going to be Goober and the Black Marble Theory.

Anonymous said...

10:13. And they are not alone.

Anonymous said...

Sam Begley represented a white guy?

Lord times are tough.

And yes....Sam and Mike get reasonale fees under the statute.

Anonymous said...

Putting the word "tenure" in scare quotes in your own description of the case does not suggest a school that takes tenure very seriously. "Soooooo sorry he didn't get 'tenure' ..." (using fingers for air quotes).

Anonymous said...

7:09 a.m. -- "The new head of the NAACP is an earnest and respected man from Mississippi, a hero of Katrina, with roots in Detroit." -- Oxymoron -- look that up. Respected? NAACP? Hero? Detroit? None of these terms are related.

Also, SAME DERRICK JOHNSON??? What a standup guy!

http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2013/09/naacp-derrick-johnson-busted-for.html

Let me summarize this link for you: NAACP and Derrick Johnson busted for operating slush fund, oops, make that a "charity" -- he was fined but was able to make a TON of money from his operations.

Not quite sure about his moral high ground here!

Anonymous said...

$218,000? Chump change. UMMC/Ole Miss saves that amount of money every year by not buying replacement state flags.

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