The Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit recently heard oral arguments for my appeal of the lower court’s decision on the motion to dismiss. (Our appeal; NCSU response; our response. FIRE and the Pacific Legal Foundation filed amicus briefs). Comments from the judges were mixed; one seemed sympathetic, while another said something along the lines of “He still has tenure and a salary, so what’s the issue?”
Unfortunately universities are relying on that kind of attitude to retaliate against faculty. They know that outright firing someone will likely backfire, as it did with Charles Negy, who was reinstated to his position with back pay after being fired for some tweets. Instead, universities engage in what my attorney, Samantha Harris, calls “death by a thousand cuts,” by leaving salary intact but altering other aspects of the job to punish tenured faculty. (Non-tenured faculty typically fail to have their contracts renewed.) Recent examples include removal as the editor of a music journal that the faculty member founded and removal as curator of collections, both due to public expression of unpopular views.
There should be a decision on my case in a few weeks.