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Old 04-15-2005, 06:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Black Scholar in Politically Correct Academia

Why doesn't the media pick up on this stuff? With everything that went on with that professor from colorado why is there no mention of this tenured professor in the mainstream television media?

Quote:
The Strange Case of Professor Cobbs
A Black Scholar in Politically Correct Academia
By Dr. Carey Stronach

Dr. Jean R. Cobbs, tenured professor of sociology and social work, is one of the most eminent scholars on the campus of Virginia State University (VSU). A faculty member since 1971, a program director for 24 years, and department chair for 12 years, she earned her baccalaureate degree from Elizabeth City State University (NC), her master's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her doctorate from the College of William and Mary.

Dr. Cobbs, after joining the VSU faculty in 1971, advanced through the ranks to tenured full professor. She founded the Social Work Program at VSU, got it accredited (accrediting agency: Council on Social Work Education), and kept it accredited throughout the 24 years she directed the program. She also founded the VSU chapter of the Alpha Delta Mu social work honor society, which flourished under her advisement. And she was successful in soliciting grants for her department.

But Dr. Cobbs is a bit different from many VSU faculty, not to mention most in the sociology and social work disciplines. That is, she is a Republican and an objective scholar who takes a dim view of the political correctness scourge, and of those who use the classroom to indoctrinate students into radical (Marxist/black separatist) politics. For this she should be applauded, but instead, it has been the undoing of her career at VSU.

It should be noted that Dr. Cobbs received very high performance ratings from 1971 to 1993. Indeed, the militant/Marxist/separatist element of the faculty of the social sciences disliked her, but with fair-minded deans, provosts and presidents, they were unable to retaliate against her in an effective manner.

Enter Mr. Eddie N. Moore, Jr., who was appointed president of VSU in 1993 by a board of visitors chosen and coerced by then Governor L. Douglas Wilder. This same board had previously fired Dr. Wesley C. McClure, president of VSU from 1988 to 1992, a relatively apolitical mathematician with Republican leanings.

Mr. Moore has no earned doctorate, and had no experience in academia (which quickly became obvious). He is a CPA who had been state treasurer under Wilder, and is so proud of his combined SAT score of 920 that he put it on his automobile license tags.

Although the details are murky, it has become obvious that some sort of deal was cut between Mr. Moore and the militant/Marxist/separatist element of the faculty. The evidence is circumstantial but extensive. Almost immediately upon Mr. Moore's arrival, foreign-born faculty, conservative and Republican faculty and staff, and faculty who were heavily engaged in research began to have difficulties with the VSU administration.

For example, Dr. Emmanuel Amobi, a Nigerian-born conservative Republican and an eminent accounting professor, was turned down for tenure and fired (the dean who had strongly recommended him for tenure before Moore's arrival wrote a second contradictory letter that was highly critical of Amobi, after Moore arrived). Dr. Amobi sued the university and received an out-of-court settlement. Two tenured directors of major externally funded programs, Dr. Charles Whyte (an active Republican originally from Jamaica) and Dr. Fathy Saleh (a Republican originally from Egypt) had their programs (that were bringing millions of outside dollars into VSU) taken away from them.

The administration attempted to transfer control of these programs to African-American faculty, but did not succeed and the funding was subsequently lost. Dr. Godwin Mbagwu (a chemistry professor originally from Nigeria) had a grant taken away from him and was given low performance ratings (in sharp contrast to the treatment previously accorded him). Whyte left VSU and joined the US AID. Saleh and Mbagwu sued the university; the judgment against the University in their case is approximately $1.7 million.

Mr. Bernard Jones, an accountant on the university's fiscal staff, and a conservative Republican former policeman, was summarily fired for no apparent reason. Mr. Thomas W. Darby (then chairman of the Republican Black Caucus of Virginia), the VSU purchasing agent, and his wife Eileen (a secretary at VSU) were summarily fired also, but they went to court and were reinstated. Dr. Shaukat Siddiqi (originally from Pakistan, and an active Republican) was removed as chair of the life sciences department and was replaced with the most junior member of the departmental faculty (the only African-American), who immediately destroyed the herbarium that Siddiqi had been assembling for the previous twenty years. Siddiqi sued and received an out-of-court settlement.

Several white faculty were fired from the business school faculty, but this observer has little direct information about these cases. Also, numerous acts of petty harassment occurred which, for reasons of space, cannot be described here.

As reprehensible as all these actions are, they pale before the treatment accorded Dr. Jean Cobbs. A full narrative would fill a short book, but the main points are as follows:

* In 1994, when Dr. Cobbs was working on the reaccreditation study for the Social Work program, the provost ordered the secretaries who would normally type the study, not to provide typing support to Dr. Cobbs. Cobbs wound up paying a typist out of her own pocket. When she sent the typed report to the printers for duplication the University administration canceled the purchase order. Also, the VSU administration refused to pay Dr. Cobbs overtime for her work on the self-study report.
* In the summer of 1994, Dr. Cobbs was forced out of the sociology department chairmanship and was hit with a 25% reduction in salary.
* In November 1995, one month after riding on the Republican float in the VSU homecoming parade (the only African-American to do so), Dr. Cobbs was fired from the position of director of the social work program.
* Beginning in 1994, Dr. Cobbs began receiving "Unsatisfactory" performance ratings (as opposed to the "Outstanding" ratings she had received previously). She was placed in post-tenure review, under which she could have been dismissed. However, the post-tenure review committee ruled unanimously in her favor, but the VSU administration never acknowledged that finding.
* In April 1996, Dr. Cobbs (a tenured full professor) was given a terminal contract by the VSU administration. A close friend in the community, (ironically, the president of the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans), who knows former Governor George Allen well, contacted then-Governor Allen and, working through the Attorney General's office, forced the VSU administration to replace the terminal contract with one respecting her tenured status.
* In a secret meeting held without Dr. Cobbs' knowledge, the VSU administration banned the Alpha Delta Mu social work honor society from the campus. (Dr. Cobbs founded and served as faculty adviser to this chapter.) No reason has ever been given for this action.
* On March 2, 1997, one of the militant separatist faculty members (a large man almost twice Dr. Cobbs' size) physically assaulted her in the campus dining hall. No disciplinary action has ever been taken against her assailant.
* Dr. Cobbs has systematically been denied fair cost-of-living raises since 1994. In 1998 she received zero salary increase. In the other years since 1994 she has received a 1.2% increase or less. The university averages were about 5% for each year.
* Dr. Cobbs has been called "crazy" and "a traitor to her race" by militant faculty, and has been told to "watch your politics" by the chair of another department a few days after she attended a reception for Oliver North.
* Many acts of petty harassment have been committed against Dr. Cobbs. Her department chair refused to provide her with a computer (from grant money brought to VSU by Dr. Cobbs - computers were provided to every other faculty member in the department except Dr. Cobbs), then even refused to provide a new ribbon for the printer on her old computer, has given her the worst teaching schedule in the department (in the least desirable classrooms on campus), refused to order desk copies of textbooks for her classes, and refused to process routine travel requests for Dr. Cobbs.
* Under the new chair and social work director, the social work program lost the accreditation that Dr. Cobbs originally obtained and kept for 24 years. No action has been taken against these persons for loss of the accreditation.
* The University Office of Business and Finance has failed to reimburse her $500 for a course her daughter signed up for but dropped less than an hour later after her daughter's faculty adviser (from Old Dominion University) advised her that it was not the proper course to take.

What has Dr. Cobbs done to deserve all this? First, she is a conservative Republican who has been active in the Republican party. She put Republican signs in her front yard. She refused to donate $1,000 to L. Douglas Wilder's campaign, as she was asked to do so by a left-wing colleague. When department chair, she turned down an extremely militant social work faculty member for tenure, based upon unsatisfactory work performance and a failure to complete the doctorate within an expected time frame. And when serving as chair of the search committee for a new provost in 1992, she voted against another extremely militant faculty member who had applied. In this latter case the applicant confronted Dr. Cobbs and called her a "nigger".

There are numerous other examples of mismanagement by the Moore administration that do not involve political persecution, discrimination and retaliation. These include loss of accreditation of several programs (other than Social Work) , the use of a slush fund created from unreturned student dormitory security deposits to supplement the president's salary, purchase of appliances for the president's residence that were made in violation of state purchasing policies and procedures, and provision of a lucrative consulting contract to the provost's daughter after said daughter had been convicted of theft.

An American Dreyfus affair? Indeed, it is fair to posit that the VSU militants and cowardly administrators would ship Dr. Cobbs to Devil's Island if it were in their power to do so.

In a syndicated column about the Cobbs case, "Virginia State University Tyranny," Professor Walter Williams asks the hypothetical question, "Wouldn't Virginia's Governor's office and Office of the Attorney General, the Virginia Council of Higher Education and the commonwealth's House of Delegates know what's going on at Virginia State University?"

And he answers it: "I guarantee that they all do, but they're timid and fearful of being labeled as racists if they take correction action. It might be worse than that. It could be that they hold a racist double standard, whereby predominantly black universities, their administrators and their faculty are exempted from the academic standards of conduct and decency to which predominantly white universities are held."

-- Carey Stronach is a professor of physics at Virginia State University and board member of the Virginia Association of Scholars, an affiliate of the National Association of Scholars, an organization that works to preserve academic freedom. See also Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
http://www.issues-views.com/index.ph...5/article/1082

Its because the elite media picks and chooses their stories and when one goes against their views they don't cover it. But once the story breaks there are still going to be people defending the university president's actions and rationalizing what happened because in their minds it is Dr. Cobbs views that are really whats wrong.
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Old 04-15-2005, 08:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The term "politically correct" no longer has any usefulness in today's world, and particularly not in regard to this story, but that's a separate issue...

My first reaction to your comments is "What about Fox News? They're not the 'elite media' and they should want to be all over this." The only explanation I can come up with for that is that there are no blood 'n guts involved. Maybe if somebody had physically attacked her, we'd already have seen it on Fox. I'll have more thoughts on the actual content of the article later.
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I predict it will be a non-issue here for the same reasons.

Personally, if what I read is correct, I am appalled.
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Old 04-15-2005, 09:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm skeptical that rude comments (seemingly directed at the left-leaning members in this forum by a mod) will elicit positive discussion.
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo
Why doesn't the media pick up on this stuff? With everything that went on with that professor from colorado why is there no mention of this tenured professor in the mainstream television media?



http://www.issues-views.com/index.ph...5/article/1082

Its because the elite media picks and chooses their stories and when one goes against their views they don't cover it. But once the story breaks there are still going to be people defending the university president's actions and rationalizing what happened because in their minds it is Dr. Cobbs views that are really whats wrong.
Some other reasons for "non=coverage" to consider:

At the bottom of the link to the "story", is displayed "copyright 2001"; author
Stronach's narrative is four years old.

An opinion of the 4th district US Apellate Court, concerning litigation referred to in the "story", reveals (highlighted in bold letters), that the author of the
"story", Stronach, was an active, and presumably strongly biased participant in the much wider conflict between certain VSU faculty and the administration, amd testified in the court case against the administration, as did Dr. Cobbs.

The copyright date of the article coincides with the
Appellate Court decision, also in 2001. There is no mention of political affiliation or of "conservatism" as grounds for discrimination against faculty in
the findings of fact.

Since the Apellate Court opinion details findings of fact in the case that tend to expose the contrived descriptions in Stronach's "story" of persecution of faculty that is predicated on their republican political affiliations and their conservatism, and the obvious bias of Stronach, I question the relevance of
an extremely factually flawed, aged, and slanted piece being used as a thread starter on this forum.
Quote:
<a href="http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/992137.U.pdf">http://pacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/992137.U.pdf</a>
or <a href="http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:Mixkk3Od5soJacer.ca4.uscourts.gov/opinion.pdf/992137.U.pdf+forum+Dr.+Jean+R.+Cobbs+Eddie+N.+Moore&hl=en">html page link</a>
UNPUBLISHED
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
ü FATHY M.A. SALEH; GODWIN O.
MBAGWU,
Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
JANESHWAR UPADHYAY,
Plaintiff,
v.
EDDIE MOORE, JR., in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as President of Virginia State
University; MARTHA DAWSON, in her
individual capacity and in her
official capacity as Provost of
Virginia State University; LORENZA
W. LYONS, in his individual capacity No. 99-2137 ý and in his official capacity as Dean
of the School of Agriculture,
Science and Technology of Virginia
State University; FLORENCE S.
FARLEY, in her individual capacity
and in her official capacity as
Professor of Virginia State
University; THOMAS H. EPPS, in his
individual capacity and in his
official capacity as Chairperson of
the Department of Chemistry,
Director of the MBRS Program and
Associate Professor at Virginia
State University,
Defendants-Appellants,
and ţ
ü VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY; GERALD
Z. DEMERS, in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as Chair of the Department of
Engineering Technology of Virginia
State University; EDWARD J. MAZUR,
in his individual capacity and in his
official capacity as Vice President
of Administration, Business and
Finance of Virginia State
University; RICHARD BOOKER, in his
individual capacity and in his
official capacity as Director of
Extension Services of Virginia State
University; REGINA KNIGHT MASON,
in her individual capacity and in her ý
official capacity as Assistant
Professor at Virginia State
University and in her individual
capacity and her official capacity as
Interim Chairperson of the
Department of Life Sciences at
Virginia State University; WINFREY
S. CLARKE, in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as Associate Dean for Agriculture
and Director of Research of the
School of Agriculture, Science and
Technology of Virginia State
University,
Defendants. ţ
2 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
ü FATHY M.A. SALEH,
Plaintiff-Appellant,
and
GODWIN O. MBAGWU; JANESHWAR
UPADHYAY,
Plaintiffs,
v.
EDDIE MOORE, JR., in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as President of Virginia State
University; MARTHA DAWSON, in her
individual capacity and in her
official capacity as Provost of
Virginia State University; LORENZA
W. LYONS, in his individual capacity No. 99-2188 ý
and in his official capacity as Dean
of the School of Agriculture,
Science and Technology of Virginia
State University; FLORENCE S.
FARLEY, in her individual capacity
and in her official capacity as
Professor of Virginia State
University;
Defendants-Appellees,
and
VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY; THOMAS
H. EPPS, in his individual capacity
and in his official capacity as
Chairperson of the Department of
Chemistry, Director of the MBRS ţ
3 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
ü Program and Associate Professor at
Virginia State University; GERALD
Z. DEMERS, in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as Chair of the Department of
Engineering Technology of Virginia
State University; EDWARD J.
MAZUR, in his individual capacity
and in his official capacity as Vice
President of Administration,
Business and Finance of Virginia
State University; RICHARD BOOKER,
in his individual capacity and in his
official capacity as Director of
Extension Services of Virginia State
University; REGINA KNIGHT MASON, ý in her individual capacity and in her
official capacity as Assistant
Professor at Virginia State
University and in her individual
capacity and her official capacity as
Interim Chairperson of the
Department of Life Sciences at
Virginia State University; WINFREY
S. CLARKE, in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as Associate Dean for Agriculture
and Director of Research of the
School of Agriculture, Science and
Technology of Virginia State
University,
Defendants. ţ
4 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
ü FATHY M.A. SALEH; GODWIN O.
MBAGWU,
Plaintiffs-Appellees,
and
JANESHWAR UPADHYAY,
Plaintiff,
v.
EDDIE MOORE, JR., in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as President of Virginia State
University; MARTHA DAWSON, in her
individual capacity and in her
official capacity as Provost of
Virginia State University; LORENZA
W. LYONS, in his individual capacity No. 00-1744 ý and in his official capacity as Dean
of the School of Agriculture,
Science and Technology of Virginia
State University; FLORENCE S.
FARLEY, in her individual capacity
and in her official capacity as
Professor of Virginia State
University; THOMAS H. EPPS, in his
individual capacity and in his
official capacity as Chairperson of
the Department of Chemistry,
Director of the MBRS Program and
Associate Professor at Virginia
State University,
Defendants-Appellants,
and ţ
5 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
ü VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY; GERALD
Z. DEMERS, in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as Chair of the Department of
Engineering Technology of Virginia
State University; EDWARD J. MAZUR,
in his individual capacity and in his
official capacity as Vice President
of Administration, Business and
Finance of Virginia State
University; RICHARD BOOKER, in his
individual capacity and in his
official capacity as Director of
Extension Services of Virginia State
University; REGINA KNIGHT MASON,
in her individual capacity and in her ý
official capacity as Assistant
Professor at Virginia State
University and in her individual
capacity and her official capacity as
Interim Chairperson of the
Department of Life Sciences at
Virginia State University; WINFREY
S. CLARKE, in his individual
capacity and in his official capacity
as Associate Dean for Agriculture
and Director of Research of the
School of Agriculture, Science and
Technology of Virginia State
University,
Defendants. ţ
Appeals from the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Virginia at Richmond.
Robert E. Payne, District Judge.
(CA-97-460)
6 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
Argued: November 2, 2000
Decided: May 31, 2001
Before WIDENER and KING, Circuit Judges, and
Margaret B. SEYMOUR, United States District Judge for the
District of South Carolina, sitting by designation.
Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
COUNSEL
ARGUED: Bradley Brent Cavedo, SHUFORD, RUBIN & GIBNEY,
P.C., Richmond, Virginia, for Appellants. Samuel M. Brock, III,
MAYS & VALENTINE, L.L.P., Richmond, Virginia, for Appellees.
ON BRIEF: Robert A. Dybing, SHUFORD, RUBIN & GIBNEY,
P.C., Richmond, Virginia, for Appellants. James S. Crockett, Jr.,
Richard F. Hawkins, III, MAYS & VALENTINE, L.L.P., Richmond,
Virginia; Beverly C. Powell, Mark E. Herrmann, EURE, KINCER &
BELL, P.C., Richmond, Virginia, for Appellees.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. See
Local Rule 36(c).
OPINION
PER CURIAM:
These appeals were consolidated for oral argument pursuant to
U.S. Ct. of App. 4th Cir. Rule 12(b). Appeals Nos. 99-2137 and 99-
2188 XAP involve the merits of the underlying employment discrimination
actions. Appeal No. 00-1744 involves the issue of attorneys’
fees. We address the appeals on the merits first, since our disposition
7 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
of the issues presented influences our determination of the appropriate
award of attorneys’ fees.
I.
Appellees Fathy M. A. Saleh (Saleh) and Godwin O. Mbagwu
(Mbagwu) (together "Appellees"), tenured professors at Virginia State
University (VSU), brought employment discrimination actions
against several VSU administrators, including the University President
and Provost, in their individual capacities. Both Saleh and
Mbagwu alleged race and national origin discrimination under 42
U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, conspiracy to interfere with their civil
rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and state law claims for conspiracy to
injure them in their reputation, trade, business, or profession under
Va. Code Ann. §§ 18.2-499 & 500. Saleh also alleged retaliation for
the exercise of First Amendment Rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, state
law claims for tortious interference with contracts allegedly inuring
to his benefit, and defamation. Appellees claimed that, because of
their race and national origin, they were given lower annual evaluations
and correspondingly lower annual raises from 1994 to 1998, and
were denied other professional opportunities incident to their employment
at VSU.1
The cases were consolidated by the district court for discovery and
trial. Appellants Eddie N. Moore, Jr. (Moore), President of VSU; Dr.
Martha Dawson (Dawson), University Provost; Lorenza W. Lyons
(Lyons), Dean of VSU’s School of Agriculture, Science and Technology;
Dr. Florence S. Farley (Farley), Professor of Psychology; and
Dr. Thomas H. Epps (Epps), Chairperson of the Chemistry Department,
each moved for summary judgment as to all of Appellees’ claims.2
1Two other VSU professors brought related claims against VSU
administrators; however, their claims are not a part of this appeal.
2Farley was named as a defendant in Saleh’s case only. Epps was
named as a defendant in Mbagwu’s case only. Both Saleh and Mbagwu
sued Moore, Dawson, and Lyons. Saleh named three other VSU administrators
as defendants: Gerald Z. Demers, Chairperson of the Department
of Engineering Technology; Edward Mazur, Vice President of Administration,
Business and Finance; and Richard Booker, Director of Extension
Services. The district court granted the summary judgment motions
of Mazur and Booker and dismissed them as defendants. Saleh’s discrimination
and retaliation claims against Demers were presented to the jury
and a verdict was returned in Demers’ favor.
8 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
The district court granted summary judgment as to Appellees’ conspiracy
claims under federal and state law, as to Saleh’s tortious interference
and defamation claims, and as to Mbagwu’s race
discrimination claims. The district court denied summary judgment as
to the national origin discrimination claims under § 1983 and as to
Saleh’s race discrimination and retaliation claims under § 1983. The
district court determined that the underlying factual allegations were
subject to Virginia’s two-year statute of limitations. However, the district
court found that evidence respecting the time-barred allegations
was relevant to prove discriminatory intent as to the claims surviving
summary judgment.
The matter was tried before a jury. The jury rejected Saleh’s
national origin and racial discrimination claims, but found that
Moore, Dawson, Lyons, and Farley had retaliated against him. The
jury awarded Saleh $97,769.00 in compensatory damages and
$19,580.00 in punitive damages. In Mbagwu’s case, the jury found
that Moore, Dawson, Lyons, and Epps had discriminated against
Mbagwu on the basis of his national origin. The jury awarded
Mbagwu $194,829.00 in compensatory damages and $35,714.00 in
punitive damages.
Appellants moved at the conclusion of trial for judgment as a matter
of law in both cases, as well as for a new trial and for a new trial
nisi remittitur in both cases. The district court denied Appellants’
post-trial motions. They now appeal the denial of their motions for
judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial. In addition, Appellants
except to the compensatory damages awarded in both cases as
excessive. Finally, Appellants argue that the district court committed
reversible error in admitting Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 395, a chart that
summarized faculty hiring practices at VSU. On cross-appeal, Saleh
argues that the district court erred in granting summary judgment on
his claims for conspiracy to injure another in his business or profession,
and for tortious interference with his alleged contracts.
II.
In April 1993, the Auditor of Public Accounts of the Commonwealth
of Virginia reported to the VSU Board of Visitors (BOV) that
VSU’s finances were in disarray. The BOV elected Moore, then Trea-
9 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
surer of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to be President of VSU, and
assigned him the task of reforming VSU’s finances. Moore hired
Dawson as University Provost, and appointed Lyons as Dean of
VSU’s School of Agriculture, Science and Technology (AST School).
Moore, Dawson, and Lyons are African-American.
Shortly after Moore’s election as VSU President, the Virginia General
Assembly issued a "restructuring" mandate to all state-sponsored
academic institutions in the Commonwealth. The restructuring process
required state-sponsored colleges and universities to eliminate
wasteful expenditures of taxpayer money.
As part of the state mandated restructuring process, VSU implemented
a new faculty evaluation process known as "pay for performance"
to establish faculty members’ annual raises. Under the pay for
performance guidelines, VSU faculty are rated in three categories:
teaching, research, and service to VSU. Faculty are rated either "unsatisfactory,"
"satisfactory," "noteworthy," or "outstanding" in each
category. Until 1998, the department chair averaged these ratings into
an overall rating and then recommended a pay raise from an increment
range prescribed by the pay for performance guidelines. For
example, in 1995, a faculty member receiving an overall rating of
"satisfactory" could receive a raise of between one and one-half and
two percent, at the discretion of the department chair. In 1998, the
system was changed so that all persons receiving the same overall rating
received the same pay raise.
A.
Saleh was born in Egypt in 1949 and moved to the United States
in 1976. He is of North African racial and ethnic origin. Before working
at VSU, Saleh was a tenured professor and the Director of the
Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Southern University
in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In 1989, VSU president Dr. Wesley
McClure invited Saleh to VSU to establish a similar center there.
Saleh accepted a tenured position as an associate professor in VSU’s
Department of Agriculture; however, Saleh was not required to teach
classes, since his planned role at VSU was to establish a research
facility.
10 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
Moore reorganized and restructured VSU, among other ways, by
eliminating several centers at VSU and by requiring all faculty to
teach. In a letter dated April 6, 1994, Lyons informed Saleh:
[Y]our new contract will be a full-time teaching appointment
within the Department of Engineering Technology [in
the AST School]. There will not be any state funding available
to support the Center for Energy and Environmental
Studies, effective May 15, 1994. By a copy of this letter to
Dr. Martha Dawson . . . I am recommending that all of your
new initiatives relate to your area of expertise and be consistent
with the goals and objectives of the Department of
Engineering Technology.
In April 1994, Moore mailed Saleh a contract for the upcoming
1994-95 school year that described Saleh as "Associate, Engineering
Technology." Saleh changed the contract by typing in the words "Professor
of Environmental Engineering, Center for Energy and Environmental
Studies," and sent the contract to Lyons. By letter dated
December 9, 1994, Lyons provided Saleh with a list of courses he was
expected to teach in Spring 1995, and requested that Saleh contact
Gerald Z. Demers (Demers), the Chair of the Department of Engineering
Technology. Saleh testified that he did not receive this letter
until the middle of January 1995. In any event, Saleh did not assume
his teaching load at the start of the spring semester. Dawson wrote
Saleh in February 1995, after the spring term had started, threatening
him with termination if he failed to assume his teaching duties. Saleh
eventually agreed to teach one class for the remainder of the semester.
<b>
On July 6, 1995, Saleh and Carey Stronach (Stronach), a white
American Physics professor at VSU, presented a paper entitled "Recent
Acts of Racial Discrimination Against White and Foreign-
National Faculty and Academic Staff at Virginia State University"
("Recent Acts") at a BOV meeting attended by Moore and Dawson.
The document listed alleged acts of discrimination against white and
foreign-born VSU faculty; almost all were alleged to have been
directed by Dawson and Lyons. The document was unsigned; however,
Saleh and Stronach discussed and concurred with its allegations
at the BOV meeting.</b>
11 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
Approximately fifteen minutes after this presentation, Saleh was
instructed to report to Dawson’s office. Dawson informed Saleh that
she intended to sue him for defamation for the "lies" contained in
"Recent Acts." According to Saleh, she also told him, "you and your
friends are going to be reprimanded, you will never do research
again."
The presentation of "Recent Acts" was discussed at a July 12, 1995
meeting of the VSU Faculty Council, a body that presents the official
opinion of the faculty on policy matters. A transcript of that meeting
reveals the following discussion:
Farley: If the name is Salla [sic], I know how Salla got here.
Salla has tenure and nobody knows that the tenure ever went
to the Board of Visitors. We have yet to find it. I was
Interim Dean when he came . . . . And if I go under my bed
in some boxes, I’m going to find a copy of the A21 [personnel
action form]. That was not signed by the Vice President
of Academic Affairs, because I keep everything for this kind
of day.
See but that’s the way he came. He came with his rank and
he came with tenure. He walked in the door with tenure, and
nobody in the Ag department acted on it. And it’s my understanding
that as of Monday morning they can find no Board
minutes that said that he was given tenure by the Board of
Visitors.
Counsel [sic] member: But then he doesn’t have tenure.
Farley: As far as I’m concerned he doesn’t have tenure. As
far as I’m concerned, he doesn’t have tenure.
Moore subsequently reported to the BOV that, in his opinion, Saleh
had been hired in a manner inconsistent with VSU policy. The board
determined, however, that Saleh had tenure. Moore purportedly told
Saleh in December 1995, "you make me work hard for you, I have
to check your file. You don’t have tenure. And I went to the board
and the board wouldn’t let me take your tenure."
12 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
Saleh testified that in October 1995 he entered into a consulting
contract with Resources Group of Virginia (RGV), an agricultural
business venture, although no contract was ever produced at trial.
Raymond Golden, who formed RGV, testified that financial support
for the project was contingent on his ability to obtain technical assistance
from VSU’s Cooperative Extension Service, headed by Richard
Booker. Golden testified that Booker told him over the telephone that
the Extension Service could not work with RGV "because Dr. Saleh
and Eddie Moore had a problem," and told him in person that "Eddie
Moore didn’t like Dr. Saleh and he could not work with me." Booker
denied making these statements, however. Another witness, Bernard
Jones, testified that, in the fall of 1995, Booker "said that I was going
to find myself in trouble hanging out with Dr. Saleh." In any event,
the RGV project never materialized.
In late October 1995, Demers evaluated Saleh’s performance for
the period beginning January 1, 1995 and ending August 30, 1995.
Demers gave Saleh an overall rating of "unsatisfactory" and recommended
no raise, citing Saleh’s failure to assume his teaching responsibilities
at the beginning of the semester. Saleh objected to this
evaluation, arguing that his failure to assume his teaching responsibilities
was due to the confusion resulting from his transfer to the
Department of Engineering Technology. At Dawson’s direction,
Demers changed the rating to "satisfactory," and recommended a one
and one-half percent raise. Saleh continued to object to this evaluation,
arguing he merited an overall rating of at least "noteworthy."
Demers refused to change the rating further, and explained this
refusal by telling Saleh that he perceived an "aura" surrounding Saleh.
This "aura," Demers acknowledged at trial, stemmed from the fact
that Lyons and Dawson were unhappy with Saleh.
There was evidence that Demers felt Saleh was not at fault for failing
to assume a teaching load. In a letter to Lyons dated November
15, 1995, Demers wrote,
Dr. Saleh, according to documentation I have, was officially
assigned to this department in February 1995. All other
information to the contrary was verbal and subject to much
on-going discussion and controversy between Dr. Saleh and
the administration.
13 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
In the same letter, Demers reflected on his qualification to complete
the 1995 evaluation of Saleh. He wrote: "I was placed in a position
of rating a faculty member while probably being the least informed
person to do so. That makes me very uncomfortable!" There was evidence
that Demers felt constrained by Lyons and Dawson from giving
Saleh an overall rating higher than "satisfactory," as he wrote to Saleh
on this subject, "I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t! . . .
From where I sit, it’s a no win situation for me . . . ."
In December 1995, Saleh presented a research proposal that provided
for a program through which high school students would study
engineering at VSU during the summer. Lyons rejected this proposal
on the ground that it would compete with a similar program already
underway.
In May 1996, Saleh submitted a "Departmental Request for Personnel
Action" form, or "A21," requesting $19,750.00 in compensation
for summer employment on a grant project. Lyons determined that the
compensation requested exceeded that authorized by VSU policies,
and unilaterally reduced the compensation requested to $13,520.00
before approving the form. When he received a check for the smaller
amount, Saleh complained to Lyons, who referred the matter to
Moore. Moore instructed VSU internal auditor Jack Spooner to conduct
an investigation and prepare a report of his findings. Based on
his own review of applicable university, state, and federal policies,
Spooner concluded that Saleh had been overpaid for summer work in
the amount of $5,794.00, and that Saleh had committed a fraud by
failing to report the overpayment. Spooner also concluded that six
other faculty members had received overpayments in the 1995-96
academic year. Moore reported Saleh’s alleged fraud to state law
enforcement officials and subsequently wrote Saleh to demand repayment
of the $5,794.00 overage. No other faculty member identified
by Spooner as having received an overpayment was reported to state
police or asked by Moore to repay any money to VSU.
In September 1996, Saleh presented to Demers and Lyons a
research grant proposal relating to a Natural Resources Research
Institute (NRRI) project funded by the United States Agriculture
Department (USDA). Lyons rejected this proposal on the ground that
14 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
projects related to Agriculture could not be conducted in the Engineering
Technology Department.
In November 1996, Demers rated Saleh for the 1995-96 academic
year, awarding an overall rating of "satisfactory" and recommending
a two percent raise, which was approved by Lyons. Saleh’s was the
lowest raise in his department. When Demers was asked at trial
whether the "aura" he had referred to had disappeared when it came
time to complete the 1996 evaluations, Demers answered, "not that I
could tell."
In November 1997, Saleh was evaluated by Demers’ replacement,
Kenneth Burbank (Burbank), for the 1996-97 academic year. Burbank
gave Saleh an overall rating of "satisfactory" and recommended a
raise of three percent, which was approved by Lyons. This raise was
also the lowest in the department. On the evaluation form, Burbank
commented,
Dr. Saleh is a "square peg in a round hole." He is very talented
and has great energy. However, his expertise and
interest lie outside the goals and objectives of this Dept. His
strained personal relationships with some of the people on
campus limited his effectiveness to teach and to complete
tasks.
Saleh asserts that, when he met with Burbank to object to this evaluation
and corresponding raise, Burbank told him, "off the record . . .
you need to get a job somewhere else. It’s not worth it . . . you know
you have sued the administration . . . . They hate you. You are a thorn
in Dr. Lyon’s side."
In 1998, Saleh received an overall rating of "satisfactory" and the
fixed raise for that rating. This was also the lowest raise given in the
department.
B.
Mbagwu was born in Nigeria in 1936 and came to the United
States in 1977 to study chemistry at VSU. He is of African descent.
15 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
Epps, Chair of VSU’s Chemistry Department, hired Mbagwu as a
chemistry instructor in 1981. Epps is African-American. Mbagwu
attained tenure as a full professor at VSU in 1995. He is wellrespected
in his field for his prodigious accomplishments in the field
of cancer research.<b>
At trial, Mbagwu endeavored to convince the jury that the orders
to discriminate against white and foreign-born faculty at VSU were
part of Moore’s "vision" for VSU. Mbagwu presented evidence that
Moore and Farley harbored a discriminatory animus towards white
and foreign-born VSU faculty. Several witnesses testified that they
heard Moore and Farley make discriminatory remarks about white
and foreign born faculty. Dr. Jean Cobbs (Cobbs), a former chair of
the Sociology Department, testified that Moore told her after he was
elected VSU president that "there were too many foreigners in Life
Sciences, and he planned to do something about that." Cobbs also testified
that at a BOV meeting she overheard Farley refer to another
board member as "that white bitch." Stronach testified that he heard
Farley refer to a foreign-born VSU professor as "some of that African
trash that Benepal [another department chair] brought over here."</b>
Another witness testified that Farley referred to Saleh as "that Egyptian
that McClure brought here." Saleh and Florence Siddiqi, the wife
of Dr. Shaukat Siddiqi (Siddiqi), a Life Sciences professor and former
plaintiff in this lawsuit, both testified about a conversation between
Moore and Mary Usry (Usry), a BOV member, at a Christmas party
at Saleh’s house. Usry had written to Moore requesting information
related to various administrative actions during his tenure as president.
According to Saleh and Mrs. Siddiqi, Usry reported at the party
that Moore had told her he "had a problem with the number of foreign
faculty at Virginia State" because foreign faculty "could not relate
with our students."
There was also evidence that Moore desired to appease Farley, who
was a former dean, department chair, and mayor of Petersburg. Siddiqi
testified that Moore told him and his wife over dinner that he
"knows Dr. Farley, and he will do anything for her not to destroy his
presidency as she did several other[s] before him." According to Mrs.
Siddiqi, Moore stated he had heard that Dr. Farley "had been instrumental
in other presidential administrations failing and . . . [that]
[h]e’d be damned if she would do it to him or his administration."
16 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
When Moore arrived at VSU in 1993, Mbagwu was designing a
grant proposal in the field of cancer research, to be funded by the
National Institute of Health (NIH). The proposal included extra compensation
in the amount of $3,541.00, to be split between Mbagwu
and another faculty member for their work on the grant. The proposal
was due at the NIH office in Bethesda, Maryland by 5:00 p.m. on
October 1, 1993. Mbagwu delivered the proposal to the VSU Office
of Grants and Contracts around the middle of September 1993. On
Monday, September 27, the Director of that office, George Byrd, told
Mbagwu that Moore would not sign the proposal because of the extra
compensation included. Moore did not meet with Mbagwu to discuss
the proposal until noon on October 1, 1993, and this meeting lasted
almost three hours. Finally, Moore signed the grant proposal, backdating
his signature to September 29, 1993. Mbagwu drove the documents
to Bethesda, but was unable to reach the NIH office before it
closed. The proposal was not accepted.
Also in the fall of 1993, Mbagwu applied for a position advertised
by the VSU administration as "Associate Dean of Science and Technology."
A search committee interviewed applicants for the position
and selected Mbagwu and Stronach as the most qualified candidates.
After the committee informed Lyons of its recommendations, however,
he announced that there was no longer funding available for the
position. Lyons then requested permission from Dawson to appoint
Physics Professor Dr. James Davenport, who is African-American, to
the position of "Assistant to the Dean" of the AST School. Davenport
worked one semester in this capacity without compensation. However,
he received twenty-five percent release time the following
semester, and eventually received a twelve month contract at this
position.
In December 1994, Epps and Lyons nominated Mbagwu for the
"Giants in Science Award" for the 1994-95 academic year; Mbagwu
later was selected as the recipient of the award. In November 1995,
Epps, Lyons, Dawson, and President Moore nominated Mbagwu for
the Virginia Council of Higher Education’s Outstanding Faculty
Award for the 1995-96 academic year; Mbagwu was selected as the
recipient of this award as well.
17 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
The two other professors in the VSU Chemistry Department, Drs.
Beck and Foster, both were born in the United States.3 In October
1995, Epps evaluated Mbagwu for the period beginning January 1,
1995 and ending August 30, 1995. Epps gave Mbagwu a "noteworthy"
in teaching, an "outstanding" in research, and a "noteworthy" in
service, resulting in an overall rating of "noteworthy," and a recommended
raise of two and one-half percent, which was approved by
Lyons. Professor Foster also received an overall rating of "noteworthy"
and a raise of two and one-half percent. Professor Beck, however,
received an overall rating of "outstanding" and a three and eighttenths
percent raise. Epps commented on Mbagwu’s evaluation form
that Mbagwu did not receive an overall rating of "outstanding"
because he "is often away from campus [and] often attends class late."
In November 1996, Epps rated Mbagwu for the 1995-96 academic
year, awarding him a "satisfactory" in teaching, a "noteworthy" in
research, and an "outstanding" in service. Epps gave Mbagwu an
overall rating of "noteworthy" and recommended a four percent raise,
which was approved by Lyons. For the same evaluation period, Foster
received an overall rating of "noteworthy," with a five and one-half
percent raise, and Beck received an overall rating of "outstanding,"
with a six percent raise. Again, Epps complained that Mbagwu failed
to start his classes on time. When Mbagwu confronted Epps about his
evaluation and raise, however, Epps asked Mbagwu, "why should
[you] expect to receive outstanding in teaching when [you] have poor
oral communication skills . . . students and colleagues in the chemistry
department [have] difficulty understanding [your] English."
Mbagwu immediately accused Epps of discrimination and demanded
an apology. Epps responded that he was sorry if Mbagwu took
offense at his comment.
In November 1997, Epps evaluated Mbagwu for the 1996-97 academic
year. Epps gave Mbagwu a "noteworthy" in teaching, an "outstanding"
in research, and a "noteworthy" in service. Epps awarded
Mbagwu an overall rating of "noteworthy" and recommended a five
3In fact, there are three other professors in the VSU Chemistry Department,
including Epps. Mbagwu compares himself to Foster and Beck
because Epps evaluated them as well as Mbagwu. Epps, however, was
evaluated by Lyons.
18 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
percent raise, which was approved by Lyons. For the same evaluation
period, Foster received an overall rating of "noteworthy," with a four
and nine-tenths percent raise, and Beck received an overall rating of
"noteworthy," with a five and one-tenth percent raise. In 1998,
Mbagwu received an overall rating of "noteworthy" and the fixed
raise for that rating; Foster received the same rating; Beck’s 1998
evaluation is not part of the record.
III.
Appellants challenge the district court’s denial of their Rule 50(b)
motion for judgment as a matter of law and alternative motions for
a new trial as to Saleh’s retaliation claim and as to Mbagwu’s national
origin discrimination claim. We review a district court’s denial of a
Rule 50(b) motion for judgment as a matter of law de novo. Konkel
v. Bob Evans Farms, Inc., 165 F.3d 275, 279 (4th Cir. 1999). A Rule
50(b) motion should be granted if the district court determines that
there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to
find for the non-moving party. Id.; Cline v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 144
F.3d 294, 301 (4th Cir. 1998). In making our own determination
whether there was sufficient evidence for the jury verdict, we will not
set aside the jury’s credibility determinations in favor of our own.
Cline, 144 F.3d at 301 (citing Duke v. Uniroyal, Inc., 928 F.2d 1413,
1419 (4th Cir. 1991)). We will assume that all testimony in favor of
the non-movant is credible "unless totally incredible on its face." Id.
After a full trial on the merits, our "sole focus is ‘discrimination vel
non’—that is, whether in light of the applicable standard of review the
jury’s finding of unlawful retaliation [or discrimination] is supportable."
Id. at 301 (citing Jiminez v. Mary Washington College, 57 F.3d
369, 376 (4th Cir. 1995)). "[O]ur review is circumscribed with respect
to any facts the jury found, but plenary with respect to any legal conclusions
underlying the verdict." Price v. City of Charlotte, 93 F.3d
1241, 1249 (4th Cir. 1996).
A.
Saleh alleges that Moore, Dawson, and Lyons deprived him of his
First Amendment rights by retaliating against him after he presented
"Recent Acts" at the BOV meeting on July 6, 1995. To prevail on this
19 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
claim, Saleh "must first show that the expressions which are alleged
to have provoked the retaliatory action relate to matters of public concern."
Huang v. Board of Governors, 902 F. 2d 1134, 1140 (4th Cir.
1990) (citing Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S. 138, 146 (1983)). Second,
Saleh must show that the alleged retaliatory action deprived him of
some valuable benefit. Id. (citing Perry v. Sindermann, 408 U.S. 593,
597 (1972)). That is, Saleh must show that the employment actions
directed toward him were sufficiently adverse to chill a reasonable
person’s willingness to exercise his First Amendment rights. ACLU
of Md. v. Wicomico County, 999 F.2d 780 (4th Cir. 1993) (citing
Perry, 408 U.S. at 597). Third, Saleh must demonstrate a causal connection
between the presentation of "Recent Acts" and the alleged
retaliatory acts. Huang, 902 F.2d at 1140.
In order to determine whether Saleh was speaking on a matter of
public concern when he presented "Recent Acts" to the BOV, we
inquire whether Saleh was speaking as a private citizen on a matter
of public concern, or as an employee on a matter of personal concern.
Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 246 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing
Pickering v. Board of Educ., 391 U.S. 563, 568 (1968)). We have
explained that the answer to this inquiry "rests on ‘whether the public
or the community is likely to be concerned with or interested in the
particular expression, or whether it is more properly viewed as a private
matter between employer and employee.’" Id. at 247. Finally,
"[w]hether an employee’s speech addresses a matter of public concern
must be determined by the content, form and context of a given statement,
as revealed by the whole record." Connick v. Myers, 461 U.S.
138, 147 (1983) (citations omitted). While it is clear that personal
interest motivated Saleh in part to present "Recent Acts," we are convinced
that a presentation to the Board of Visitors of a state university
alleging a campus-wide campaign of racial discrimination in administrative
and employment decisions qualifies as a matter of public concern.
Appellants agree with this determination for the purposes of this
appeal. They contend, however, that Saleh is unable to meet his burden
as to the remaining two elements.
With regard to the second element of the Huang test, we have held
that "a showing of adversity is essential to any retaliation claim."
ACLU of Md., 999 F.2d at 784. We have defined the requisite adversity
as "some impairment of the plaintiff’s rights," id., and have not
20 SALEH v. UPADHYAY.........
...............31 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
administration . . . had supported me up to 1993. . . . The
stress has led to sleeplessness, insomnia. In the morning I
get up, I feel exhausted and tired. I feel stressed out, but I
still got to go to school because of my students. . . . When
I get to school, I feel ostracized, a sense that I do not belong
to the environment where I have made major contributions
. . . . So I feel betrayed, and sleeplessness, insomnia, you
can’t imagine what insomnia can do to you. It s 24-hour
problem, a 24-hour problem.
As in Saleh’s case, the jury was entitled to find that Mbagwu was
subjected to emotional distress throughout a period of approximately
four years. Unlike Saleh, however, Mbagwu presented no medical
evidence to corroborate his testimony about the emotional distress he
endured. Moreover, as was true of the plaintiff in Hetzel, Mbagwu
never sought medical or psychological care for his stress and insomnia.
A plaintiff’s testimony, standing alone, can support an award of
compensatory damages for emotional distress based on a constitutional
violation. See Price v. City of Charlotte, 93 F.3d 1241, 1254
(4th Cir. 1996). However, that testimony must competently demonstrate
a "genuine injury." Id. (quoting Carey, 435 U.S. at 264). Mbagwu’s
testimony, standing alone, simply does not support an award of
$150,000.00 for emotional distress. On the evidence presented, we
find that $75,000.00 in compensatory damages is the largest award
that could be sustained. We add to this the $47,667.00 in compensatory
damages for economic injury, for a total figure of $122,667.00.
Accordingly, we reduce Mbagwu’s compensatory damages award to
$122,667.00 and grant a new trial nisi remittitur at Mbagwu’s option.
VI.
Appellants argue that the district court committed reversible error
by admitting Plaintiff’s Exhibit No. 395. That document is a chart that
was composed by Appellants and produced by them in connection
with a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of VSU’s Director of Human
Resources. The chart lists several faculty members in VSU’s AST
School, and tells the race, birthplace, time of hiring, reason for selection,
and current position of each. Appellants objected to the chart’s
admission on the grounds that its probative value was substantially
outweighed by its potentially prejudicial effect. Fed. R. Evid. 403.
32 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
Decisions regarding the admissibility of evidence are peculiarly
within the province of the district court, and will not be reversed on
appeal absent an abuse of discretion. Martin v. Deiriggi, 985 F.2d
129, 137 (4th Cir. 1992). We agree with the district court that the
chart’s prejudicial effect did not substantially outweigh its probative
value. The chart’s probative value lay in its tendency to demonstrate
that it was easier for an African-American to find employment at the
AST School than it was for a white American or foreign-born individual.
Appellants argue the chart’s potential to confuse the jury was
"manifest" because the jury "did not know the qualifications of the
persons who applied for these positions, did not know whether any of
the applicants withdrew their names from consideration, and did not
know all the factors that went into each hiring decision." App. Br. at
48. However, Appellants were not prohibited from offering this information
into evidence in order to negate any inference of discrimination
that the chart created. We cannot say that admitting the chart
amounted to an abuse of discretion.
VII.
On cross-appeal, Saleh argues that the district court erred in granting
summary judgment as to his state law claims for conspiracy to
injure another in his business or profession, and for tortious interference
with alleged contracts. We have reviewed the record and the district
court’s opinion and find no reversible error. Accordingly, we
affirm on the reasoning of the district court. See Saleh v. Moore, No.
CA-97-460 (E.D. Va., Feb. 25, 1999).
VIII.
Appellants argue that the district court’s award of attorneys’ fees
to Saleh and Mbagwu is excessive. We disagree. We review the
amount of an award of attorney’s fees only for an abuse of discretion.
Brodziak v. Runyon, 145 F.3d 194, 195 (4th Cir. 1998). The district
court abuses its discretion when the fee award is "clearly wrong." Id.
We have reviewed the record and the district court’s opinion, and
find no abuse of discretion. In a thorough and well-reasoned opinion,
the district court arrived at an appropriate award of attorneys’ fees.
33 SALEH v. UPADHYAY
See Saleh v. Moore, 95 F. Supp. 2d 555 (E.D. Va. 2000). The decision
of the district court is affirmed as to this issue.
AFFIRMED
34 SALEH v. UPADHYAY

Last edited by host; 04-16-2005 at 12:23 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why should anyone be shocked at this? Pissed, yes, but shocked?

The atmosphere in the colleges will change soon enough. The aging Communist hippies are either dying out or retiring.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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i read through the article at the beginning of this thread and found to total lack of detail concerning the trials of dr jean cobb to be interesting. why is the explanation offered in the article--that all this happened because she was a republican--compelling if there is no detail offered?

how did it come about that the sequence of cliche floated in rightwingland about academic cultures, such as they are--you know, the pc nonsense, the endless redbaiting, the whining about the persecution of conservatives--have amounted to a set of assumptions about academic institutions that are accurate at all, much less that can function as adequate premises for evaluating particular situations to the exclusion of actual information about actual cases?

more broadly:
what exactly is the motive behind the conservative assaults on university-level education?
what do they hope to gain?
a country of absolute political monotony where no questions concerning the obvious problems that run from end to end of conservative ideology can be formulated?
do they want to extend the politically-motivated intellecutal and political handicapping of children, carried out in church basements and/or conservative homeschooling now, into universities?
is the assumption that if you cant make your ideology coherent, you can counter the problem by eliminating spaces where problems are raised and discussed?

of all the various elements of conservative ideology that tend toward the authoritarian, few are more obvious than the conservative loathing of dissent.
maybe it is the case that for the american right, democracy can be understood as many people talking--the question of whether they are all saying the same thing is secondary to seeing alot of people talking. that these people have no pwoer, can influence nothing is secondary to hearing the same thing coming from all quarters. all dissent is heresy.

this aspect of conservative ideology seems to me far more like the ideological component of stalinism than anything the right isolates about "the left" : dissent in america seems to the right to be what the "hitlero-trotskyite wrecker" was for stalin--an empty floating signifier that offered a pseudo-explanation for problems with the existing order, an enemy against which hyterical bile is directed, a signifier that justifies any and all types of repression?
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Why should anyone be shocked at this? Pissed, yes, but shocked?

The atmosphere in the colleges will change soon enough. The aging Communist hippies are either dying out or retiring.
I go to a pretty good college, and one that very, very liberal. There are no professors here, as in, zero, that are communist, and none that are hippies. Classes take all points of view into account, and there certainly is no indoctrination of any kind.

Do you really believe that colleges are full of ponytailed aging commy hippies? I mean, you know you sound like Eric Cartman, right?

Seriously people...
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
I go to a pretty good college, and one that very, very liberal. There are no professors here, as in, zero, that are communist, and none that are hippies. Classes take all points of view into account, and there certainly is no indoctrination of any kind.

Do you really believe that colleges are full of ponytailed aging commy hippies? I mean, you know you sound like Eric Cartman, right?

Seriously people...
I go to UT, in central Texas, and consistantly ranked among the top 10 schools in the nation. My Sociology teacher flat out ignored all other types of economic and sociological systems and preached Marxism and Communism... the entire semester. A french professor, staunchly opposed to the Iraq war, found out one day I was in the Navy... suddenly my grades went from high B's to F's.

Just because you dont see or experience it doesnt mean it doesnt happen.
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Seaver
My Sociology teacher flat out ignored all other types of economic and sociological systems and preached Marxism and Communism... the entire semester.
This wouldn't have been classical theory course, would it?
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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If this article were true i'd be appauled but it is hard to take the article as truth when it sounds so biased.
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Old 04-17-2005, 08:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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This wouldn't have been classical theory course, would it?
It was Intro to Sociology, 301 for us, but 101 for most people. You know, where you get the whole spectrum supposably.
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Old 04-17-2005, 03:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Seaver
It was Intro to Sociology, 301 for us, but 101 for most people. You know, where you get the whole spectrum supposably.
I want to make sure I understand you correctly:


If she taught you conflict theory, what sociological system did you feel you were missing exposure to?
Did your intro to soc professor teach you about Durkheim?

If she taught you communism, and she taught you marxism, what economic system did you feel you were missing exposure to?
Do you feel you need more exposure to capitalism to understand how it operates?


Unless your course numbering system is very different from the colleges I've attended, 301 would be upper division. Why is it 301 for you and 101 for others?

My upper division intro courses were focused on the develoment of the discipline. It makes sense to me that she would focus on Marx. I would like you to not just tell me what she did wrong, please tell me what you would have expected her to do had the course been appropriately taught.
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Old 04-17-2005, 04:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The last two numbers determine how advanced the class is. The first is the number of credit hours it counts for (301 = intro level, 3hr credit class).

And all he taught was Marxism and Leninism/Stalinism. No other political/economics were mensioned, I dont mind if they teach it there just needs to be balance. Teach capitalism as a sociological unit, then facism and the others.

What he SHOULD have done was do sociology and not economics. Something he never did.
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Old 04-17-2005, 05:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Seaver
The last two numbers determine how advanced the class is. The first is the number of credit hours it counts for (301 = intro level, 3hr credit class).

And all he taught was Marxism and Leninism/Stalinism. No other political/economics were mensioned, I dont mind if they teach it there just needs to be balance. Teach capitalism as a sociological unit, then facism and the others.

What he SHOULD have done was do sociology and not economics. Something he never did.

this sounds really strange to me. you seem to have a lot of concepts all jumbled around in your posts. I mean, you don't really answer my questions. I'm trying to think of some alternate information you should have been exposed to, but I'm not quite certain you have a firm idea of what it should have been. maybe that's all there is to intro to sociology. but if that's they way he taught it, it certainly sounds like a piss poor professor, regardless of political affiliation. I'm actually inclined to suspect he wasn't a leftists--most of us are pretty damn careful how to present the material in respect to the ways in which people believe certain concepts they haven't taken the time to study to be discredited, such as, and the inability to disentangle historical materialism from stalinism.

well, anyway, that's odd. please post, email, or provide a link to his syllabus/contact info. I have no idea what was going on in this course and I'm curious to ask. Now, you say this is a he. Earlier you mentioned that you had a problem with a she professor. Are all of the professors in sociology so slanted they can't teach in your view? Are you a sociology major?

If you don't mind, which texts were you using in your course? Did you read them, and were they as slanted biased as the professor toward a marxist perspective?

if they weren't, what did he say when you raised points from the texts? did he ridicule you in front of your peers?
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"The theory of a free press is that truth will emerge from free discussion, not that it will be presented perfectly and instantly in any one account." -- Walter Lippmann

"You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists." -- Abbie Hoffman
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:30 PM   #16 (permalink)
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well, anyway, that's odd. please post, email, or provide a link to his syllabus/contact info. I have no idea what was going on in this course and I'm curious to ask. Now, you say this is a he. Earlier you mentioned that you had a problem with a she professor.
There was no mension of a she in my post, I even scrolled up to make sure it wasnt a typo.

Quote:
If you don't mind, which texts were you using in your course? Did you read them, and were they as slanted biased as the professor toward a marxist perspective?
This was 3 years ago, I didnt keep the syllabus. It was the only sociology class I took.

Class Home for SOC 302:
CHO, YOUNGTAE
INTRO TO THE STUDY OF SOCIETY
THE NATURE OF HUMAN SOCIETIES, SOCIAL PROCESSES, SOCIAL INTERACTION, AND THE SOCIOLOGICAL APPROACH.

The exact description of it. Yes I read the texts, it was a course packet of various exerps. It included Marx, Lenin, Mao, and one piece on Italian facism (though no discussion and not included in tests).

Quote:
if they weren't, what did he say when you raised points from the texts? did he ridicule you in front of your peers?
He never rediculed me infront of my peers, we butted heads on many issues (mainly the "freedom" that communism grants) and I'm sure there was no doubt I'd take it to the dean if he pulled anything like that.

But yes, he was a very bad professor. I've had as many professors that are as good as this one was bad. But to say there's no left-leaning in the college field is just blinding yourself.
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Well, perhaps I confused you with another member who posted he was failed by his professor because he was a white male.


I never argued that there are no leftists in academia. This thread is started on the basis that left-leaning academics have fired some people because of their party affiliation.

currently, I'm in a police and change course. the lecturer comes off with some real gems:
should cut off body parts to reduce crime rates
should cut off penises and sew them to the offenders' heads so you can see em coming
the day of the month when welfare queens get their check is called 'mother's day' by the police
on those days, especially when they are hot and/or the night is full moon, crime skyrockets

I just posted this wonderful piece as part of the official curriculum on the course website:
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/a...20050317.shtml
Quote:
Freeze! I just had my nails done!
Ann Coulter (back to web version) | email to a friend Send

March 17, 2005

How many people have to die before the country stops humoring feminists? Last week, a defendant in a rape case, Brian Nichols, wrested a gun from a female deputy in an Atlanta courthouse and went on a murderous rampage. Liberals have proffered every possible explanation for this breakdown in security except the giant elephant in the room – who undoubtedly has an eating disorder and would appreciate a little support vis-ŕ-vis her negative body image.

The New York Times said the problem was not enough government spending on courthouse security ("Budgets Can Affect Safety Inside Many Courthouses"). Yes, it was tax-cuts-for-the-rich that somehow enabled a 200-pound former linebacker to take a gun from a 5-foot-tall grandmother.

Atlanta court officials dispensed with any spending issues the next time Nichols entered the courtroom when he was escorted by 17 guards and two police helicopters. He looked like P. Diddy showing up for a casual dinner party.

I think I have an idea that would save money and lives: Have large men escort violent criminals. Admittedly, this approach would risk another wave of nausea and vomiting by female professors at Harvard. But there are also advantages to not pretending women are as strong as men, such as fewer dead people. Even a female math professor at Harvard should be able to run the numbers on this one.

Of course, it's suspiciously difficult to find any hard data about the performance of female cops. Not as hard as finding the study showing New Jersey state troopers aren't racist, but still pretty hard to find.

Mostly what you find on Lexis-Nexis are news stories quoting police chiefs who have been browbeaten into submission, all uttering the identical mantra after every public-safety disaster involving a girl cop. It seems that female officers compensate for a lack of strength with "other" abilities, such as cooperation, empathy and intuition.

There are lots of passing references to "studies" of uncertain provenance, but which always sound uncannily like a press release from the Feminist Majority Foundation. (Or maybe it was The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which recently released a study claiming that despite Memogate, "Fahrenheit 9/11," the Richard Clarke show and the jihad against the Swift Boat Veterans, the press is being soft on Bush.)

The anonymous "studies" about female officers invariably demonstrate that women make excellent cops – even better cops than men! One such study cited an episode of "She's the Sheriff," starring Suzanne Somers.

A 1993 news article in the Los Angeles Times, for example, referred to a "study" – cited by an ACLU attorney – allegedly proving that "female officers are more effective at making arrests without employing force because they are better at de-escalating confrontations with suspects." No, you can't see the study or have the name of the organization that performed it, and why would you ask?

There are roughly 118 million men in this country who would take exception to that notion. I wonder if women officers "de-escalate" by mentioning how much more money their last suspect made.

These aren't unascertainable facts, like Pinch Sulzberger's SAT scores. The U.S. Department of Justice regularly performs comprehensive surveys of state and local law enforcement agencies, collected in volumes called "Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics."

The inestimable economist John Lott has looked at the actual data. (And I'll give you the citation! John R. Lott Jr., "Does a Helping Hand Put Others at Risk? Affirmative Action, Police Departments and Crime," Economic Inquiry, April 1, 2000.)

It turns out that, far from "de-escalating force" through their superior listening skills, female law enforcement officers vastly are more likely to shoot civilians than their male counterparts. (Especially when perps won't reveal where they bought a particularly darling pair of shoes.)

Unable to use intermediate force, like a bop on the nose, female officers quickly go to fatal force. According to Lott's analysis, each 1 percent increase in the number of white female officers in a police force increases the number of shootings of civilians by 2.7 percent.

Adding males to a police force decreases the number of civilians accidentally shot by police. Adding black males decreases civilian shootings by police even more. By contrast, adding white female officers increases accidental shootings. (And for my Handgun Control Inc. readers: Private citizens are much less likely to accidentally shoot someone than are the police, presumably because they do not have to approach the suspect and make an arrest.)

In addition to accidentally shooting people, female law enforcement officers are also more likely to be assaulted than male officers – as the whole country saw in Atlanta last week. Lott says: "Increasing the number of female officers by 1 percentage point appears to increase the number of assaults on police by 15 percent to 19 percent."

In addition to the obvious explanations for why female cops are more likely to be assaulted and to accidentally shoot people – such as that our society encourages girls to play with dolls – there is also the fact that women are smaller and weaker than men.

In a study of public-safety officers – not even the general population – female officers were found to have 32 percent to 56 percent less upper body strength and 18 percent to 45 percent less lower body strength than male officers – although their outfits were 43 percent more coordinated. (Here's the cite! Frank J. Landy, "Alternatives to Chronological Age in Determining Standards of Suitability for Public Safety Jobs," Technical Report, Vol. 1, Jan. 31, 1992.)

Another study I've devised involves asking a woman to open a jar of pickles.

There is also the telling fact that feminists demand that strength tests be watered down so that women can pass them. Feminists simultaneously demand that no one suggest women are not as strong as men and then turn around and demand that all the strength tests be changed. It's one thing to waste everyone's time by allowing women to try out for police and fire departments under the same tests given to men. It's quite another to demand that the tests be brawned-down so no one ever has to tell female Harvard professors that women aren't as strong as men.

Acknowledging reality wouldn't be all bad for women. For one thing, they won't have to confront violent felons on methamphetamine. So that's good. Also, while a sane world would not employ 5-foot-tall grandmothers as law enforcement officers, a sane world would also not give full body-cavity searches to 5-foot-tall grandmothers at airports.
I suppose the moral you can draw from this is that even academia is not shielded from a small contingent of lunatics--just as non-academia.


From the quotes you placed around freedom, it appears that you weren't quite grasping the concepts of marx' species-being. still confusing communism with fascism, marxism with communism, and all kinds of everyday renditions of complicated social theory would seem to be what he was trying to counter. who knows. but your butting of heads may have been more related to a failure to grasp course material, argue on the merits of the concepts involved rather than your pre-conceived notions of the concepts, and not your political orientation.
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"You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists." -- Abbie Hoffman

Last edited by smooth; 04-17-2005 at 06:58 PM..
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