Here’s a press release just issued by the Virginia Association of Scholars:
VSU Prof Wins $600K Settlement
Dr. Jean R. Cobbs, a tenured full professor of sociology and social work, who was fired by the Virginia State University administration two years ago, received a settlement of $600,000.00 last week. In a complaint filed with the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Cobbs alleged that she was fired for personal and political reasons that had nothing to do with her qualifications or performance. It is widely perceived on the VSU campus that Cobbs was fired because she is socially conservative and has openly supported Republican candidates for public offices.
The complaint, filed by Harris Butler of Richmond, found that VSU denied Cobbs due process by not following its own internal rules regarding dismissals, and by stating numerous falsehoods in her dismissal documents. Furthermore, Butler found that the provost of VSU who fired Cobbs gave her position to the woman with whom he is living out of wedlock. One internal VSU document showed that the provost intended to make this appointment many months prior to the firing of Dr. Cobbs.
As a result of the firing of Dr. Cobbs and one other former faculty member, VSU was censured by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP)in 2005. The censure remains in lace.
Cobbs received strong support from the National Association of Scholars (NAS) and its state affiliate, the Virginia Association of Scholars (VAS). These organizations, dedicated to traditional scholarship and high academic standards, set up a legal defense fund that provided Cobbs with necessary legal counsel. The VAS president, Carey E. Stronach, said “We are most pleased that Dr. Cobbs received this favorable settlement after being defamed by the VSU administration for the past twelve years. The taxpayers of Virginia should not have to continue to pay damages for the ongoing
misdeeds of this incompetent, racist and corrupt administration laced with nepotism and alcohol. A house cleaning is long overdue.”
Several years ago the VSU administration was found liable for discrimination and retaliation in a case brought by two foreign-born faculty members. The damages and legal fees paid by the Commonwealth in that case were in excess of $2,000,000.00. Currently, five cases of reverse discrimination (one of which also claims sexual harrassment) brought by white former VSU faculty
are at various stages of the legal process.