University Paying Prof $1 Million for Dismissing Over Criticism of School President

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Linfield University officials didn’t like the fact that a professor was critical of their president.

So they fired him.

Now they’ll be paying him more than $1 million.

According to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, Linfield 2022 had the “dishonorable distinction” of being on the organization’s “10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech.”

In 2023, the Oregonian institution will start the year by paying out a total of $1,037,500 to Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a former English professor abruptly fired in April 2021, the FIRE reported.

“His offenses? Taking issue with remarks about ‘Jewish noses’ by Linfield’s president and raising concerns about student and faculty allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate contact by board trustees.”

The payment is the result of Pollack-Pelzner’s lawsuit against the school.

He had learned of his firing when he tried to send an email from a personal address to his Linfield email and got an automated response telling him he was no longer employed.

Linfield officials still contest some of the former professor’s claims, but nonetheless have agreed to the huge settlement.

“Everyone should be able to work and study without fear of discrimination or harassment, and everyone should be able to report their safety concerns without fear of retaliation,” Pollack-Pelzner said, in a statement released through the FIRE. “I’m grateful for the many students, alumni, and colleagues who joined me in demanding change and refused to be silenced when Linfield failed to uphold these essential principles.”

The foundation charged that the university’s president, Miles K. Davis, and others, “advanced a series of contradictory excuses, feigning ignorance regarding the rights of tenured faculty members” and more.

The foundation explained, “If ignorance is bliss, shelling out over $1 million as a result of your own misconduct must be more akin to a gut punch.”

The foundation had submitted a letter of support on behalf of Pollack-Pelzner in 2021, and the school lost a longtime donor and trustee who quit saying she no longer could serve “in good conscience.”

The professor’s lawyer, Dana Sullivan, said, “Ultimately, we hope his case sends a clear message that sexual harassment must not be tolerated on any campus and that institutions that seek to silence whistleblowers will be held to account.”

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