Linfield University has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by former Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner for $1,037,500 in compensation for emotional distress, lost wages, and attorney fees. Pollack-Pelzner was a tenured professor who was fired after he accused President Miles Davis of making antisemitic remarks, including jokes about Jewish noses and the gas chambers. He also accused the board of trustees of sexual misconduct. Rather than simply rebut the allegations, Davis and the school stripped Pollack-Pelzner of tenure and fired him with little due process or warning. Indeed, Pollack-Pelzner was not even aware of his termination until he tried to access his work account and received an automated response that he was no longer employed at Linfield.
The University insists that it is not admitting guilt and only wants to avoid further loss of “time and energy from the mission of the institution.” If so, it found a weird way of doing it. They have litigated this weak case for two years and were compelled to reach a seven figure settlement.
Once again, there seems to be no accountability for this costly case. Two things stand out in the wake of the settlement. Professor Pollack-Pelzner will not return to the school and Davis will remain as president. (Pollack-Pelzner is now visiting at Portland State University).
This was a clear violation of the due process and free speech rights of a faculty member. The lack of due process was shocking. Indeed, the case was so egregious that it landed Linfield on the list of the “10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech” of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE). As president, the most important duty of Davis is to preserve free speech and academic freedom on his campus. He not only failed to do so, but was the driving force of this abusive action.
An investigation by the American Association of University Professors found that Linfield violated several policies by dismissing Pollack-Pelzner without due process, violating his academic freedom, and then denying him severance pay or notice of termination.
Linfield’s actions (and failure to acknowledge its abusive actions) seriously undermines its status as an academic institution. The President and the board cost the school dearly in their conduct and should resign in the interests of the institution. Moreover, the faculty should demand such action to restore the university’s standing as an institution of higher education.
28 thoughts on “Linfield University Settles Free Speech Case with Professor Who Complained of Antisemitism”
A paltry amount whe considering the dreadful behaviour of the University.
You say it’s paltry, and someone else below suggested it’s tantamount to winning the lottery because all that happened is the plaintiff had to hear a couple bad jokes.
For my part, I don’t know if it’s adequate compensation or not, but it should not be overlooked that two years of litigation can take five years off the end of one’s life. That, plus being fired from a tenured position with no due process.
“The University insists that it is not admitting guilt and only wants to avoid further loss of “time and energy from the mission of the institution.” If so, it found a weird way of doing it. They have litigated this weak case for two years and were compelled to reach a seven figure settlement.
Once again, there seems to be no accountability for this costly case. Two things stand out in the wake of the settlement. Professor Pollack-Pelzner will not return to the school and Davis will remain as president. (Pollack-Pelzner is now visiting at Portland State University).”
No settlment admits guilt and the reasons for settling are myriad. If you truly want vindication, you have to got to trial and have a jury find for you, the judge confirm it and the appellate court deny the inevitable appeal. That takes time and money. I feel for the prof but if he wanted vindication it’s in the courtroom. If he wants cash, it’s in the banking account of his tormentor. And really the latter solution hurts them, too.
Well well. I sense absolutely little sympathy for this Jewish man. That is what is so dangerous in our society
these days. Of all ethnic groups, it’s a shame that we don’t take the same attitude toward the truly savage killers in our midst who are wantonly assassinating clergymen in their own churches on Sunday, or burning and trashing property to defend the name of a drugged up thug, attacking innocent people for not being vaccinated.
What I know is that a trip to the Met Opera in NYC reveals a wall of Jewish names of contributors to culture and music, and artists, scholarly pursuits, scientific achievements, etc. The actions of Davis were disgusting. Of all groups who have known such abuse themselves, it would seem they have not learned anything. That to me is actually one of their problems.
OT: It’s interesting that of all the culture war battles being waged by Democrats and the Left, they never bring up the topic of eugenics. BLEXIT is exposing them and their Planned Parenthood connection. I used the link below to see how or if the black % of the US population has changed over the years. And wouldn’t you know, since 1973, the % has barely moved from 11.3 to 13.6. The “Other” demographic went from 1.6 to 10.7. White dropped by nearly 10% and mostly replaced by the non-black “other” demographic. So while the US population increased by 57%, White went down, Black grew by only 2% and all others went up by over 9%. The black community doesn’t need reparations to improve their lot in life. They need to get as far away from the Democratic party that has been “helping” them since their 1964 Jim Crow 2.0 was passed.
A mere million?
Most critical. Is it good for the Jews??? Certainly it is good. Very good indeed.What is most important is that the tiny 2% clan gets ever more money, already being the richest 2% grouping of the population , and that that poor suffering victimized cult which never in its life did even one wrong thing, and never will, gets ever more tearful sympathy from the “bad bad bad a– white me schnooks.
Professor, some moderation and banning of nutsos is OK
Must be terrible to wake up in the morning, slither out from that rock you live under, look in the mirror and see a antisemitic bigoted pile of sh*t and realized you’re looking at yourself.
How easy it is to put a label on someone and thereby dehumanize them. Seems to me you are guilty of the same sins that you accuse others of…
President Davis is an authority on entrepreneurship whose most recent work focuses on integrity, values and principles in the business world. He has also won recognition for his interfaith work from the Islamic Society of North American; President Davis is a much sought-after speaker on the topics of organizational change, ethical, moral and principled leadership.
Jokes about Jewish noses and gas chambers? And just yesterday Biden is chuckling about a Michigan mom who lost two sons to fentanyl, because they died while Trump was president. These people are sociopaths and yet they are applauded and supported for their abuse of power.
It takes another sociopath or truly useful idiot to defend them.
It’s wonderful how people work together respectfully to improve our country.
These people sure make it easier to decide which schools to send my kid to by eliminating themselves from the list with this kind of BS nonsense.
If said miscreant Davis made derogatory remarks about Moslems, there would be assassinations, death threats and riots. It is noted that a Moslem association finds Davis a sympathetic soul to their cause. Quelle surprise?
Davis is black. Black lives matter (more) right now. Check your victimhood at the door, y’all.
Bingo! In MD anti-Semitic acts were carried out and condemned by various news outlets. The perpetrators were identified only in that they were to receive some sort of punishment through “restorative justice” One gathers that they were not members of the Proud Boys
Nope. Probably just another cases of Jews committing yet more hate hoax crimes to garner yet more sympathy from the unwitting Gentiles.
“He also accused the board of trustees of sexual misconduct.” The entire board? That’s a board I may be interested in, the others have been rather drab.
Well, the Dr. Martin Luther King Award of Justice and NAACP Award of Service awards winner will be unscathed and the Jewish guy got his million dollars and other people reap what they’ve sown, and Linfield will remain a terrible place to send your kids and Portland State will remain a clown show – my god Oregon parents, have you seen where your “educators” are being “educated?”
As far as free speech and due process, what can you say? Miles Davis and Linfield are playing a bit loose with the rules – wonder where he learned that, Prof Turley:
Ph.D., management and organizational sciences, The George Washington University
One can only hope that the professor can overcome the actions of Linfield and become a functioning member of society…Good luck, professor, jokes can be debilitating, I’ve been told to know. Heck, $1M to hear some bad jokes….not bad. In B’more County, MD, being killed by the cops wrongfully only gets you $4M.
Heck, $1M to hear some bad jokes….not bad.
The way I read it – and I may be wrong – is that the $1M is compensation for being improperly stripped of tenure and then being fired with no due process.
To answer Anonymous the Stupid, Due Process is often in the rules of faculty tenure and contracts. In large medical groups there is nearly always a due process clause. I am sure that pertains to Law groups also. Some states require due process before firing while others say you are employed at the discretion of the employer and can be fired without cause. It is especially important in Universities where tenure is supposed to be protection against just this type of firing. Professors can be controversial in what they teach and tenure gives them protection to teach it. I think if you read and understood Professor Turley’s column over time you would clearly understand this. In non university settings, if you are given a handbook of employee duties, responsibilities and rights (especially as regards firing) then your employer is bound by those rules as an implied contract and generally must follow them.
Having said all that, it still surprises me how much antisemitism can occur and be spoken in Liberal-Progressive circles and suffer no consequences. I am not surprised by the antisemitism because it has been obvious to me for decades that the liberal-progressive community is often severely antisemitic. It is just the impunity with which it exhibits this antisemitism that continues to disturb me.
ATS must now have switched to the new liberal designed AI bot that has set the Google and Microsoft world atwitter (def – being in a state of nervous excitement. Twittering). This is included so the ATS bot can learn.
If the college president said anything negative about Islam or a seemingly Arab looking person, whatever that means, it would have been the president fired and not someone complaining about it.
Hi, Mr. Turley, there is an interesting story in Jacksonville, Florida, where the Queen of Angels Catholic store is suing the city due an ordinance. The suit claims the new city ordinance infringes upon its Right to free speech. Have you heard of it? Also, other cities like NYC have similar ordinances. The question is: When does protection from discrimination infringe upon the Right of free speech. Legal muddy waters for sure. Thanks for helping to protect free speech in this country.
Have you heard of the conspiracy theory that the Three Stooges will return as the antichrist because of their 6-shaped noses… 666. Something to consider…
Anonymous making some sort of joke about the noses of three Jewish men????? Someone please explain this to me.
A jew tries to deny a non-jew freedom of speech, and when the university asserts freedom of speech against the jew, it’s ranked as anti-free-speech?
why would due process apply to a private entity
Anti-semite, racist, transphobic, blah, blah, blah… SOS & more than tired of it all.