University of North Carolina at Wilmington professor Michael Adams has won his discrimination lawsuit, in a jury verdict rendered today. The judge now will rule on damages.

The Jury Verdict form and Judgment are embedded at the bottom of this post.

Adams was the professor who wrote the viral response to another professor who called Adams an “embarrassment” to higher education.

The case involved claims that Adams was subjected to discriminatory retaliation for expressing his Christian religious and politically conservative views. We have uploaded the Amended Complaint and Answer to the Amended Complaint.

Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Adams, described the case as follows:

Dr. Mike Adams, a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, frequently received accolades from his colleagues after the university hired him as an assistant professor in 1993 and promoted him to associate professor in 1998. At the time he was an atheist, but his conversion to Christianity in 2000 impacted his views on political and social issues. After this, he was subjected to 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. In a lawsuit filed against the university on Adams’ behalf, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys 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.

The jury found that Adams’ “speech activity [was] a substantial or motivating factor in the defendants’ decision to not promote” Adams, and that the defendants’ would not have reached the same decision “in the absence of the plaintiff’s speech activity”.

Adams v UNC - Wilmington - Jury Verdict Form Answers

The Judge now will resolve the damages, as set forth in the Judgment:

Adams v UNC - Wilmington - Judgment

In response to the verdict, UNC issued the following statement, in part:

“UNCW strongly believes that its faculty properly applied their academic judgment in determining that Dr. Adams’ application did not merit promotion to full professor in 2006 and firmly denies that Dr. Adams’ political or religious viewpoints played any role whatsoever in the decision,” the statement read. “The university was, is, and will continue to be committed to the proposition that faculty are to be evaluated on their merit, regardless of their respective political or religious views or commentary.”

Adams v UNC – Wilmington – Jury Verdict Form

Adams v UNC – Wilmington – Judgment

(Added) Here’s Rush Limbaugh reading Adams’ viral letter:

(Hat Tip to reader SB for alerting me to this case.)


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