Judge orders UNCW to promote Adams & pay $50,000 in back pay

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Submitted: Thu, 04/10/2014 - 3:46am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A federal judge has ordered UNCW to promote an associate professor and give him $50,000 in back pay.

The ruling comes after a federal jury found the university discriminated against Mike Adams due to his religious and political views.

It took seven years for Adams to win his battle with UNCW.

“People often say every man has his day in court, but after this experience I am more inclined to say every man has his decade in court,” said Adams.

It started in 2006 when the associate professor of criminology wanted to make a move up to full professor.

“If you never obtain the rank of full professor, that can be harmful to the career path,” he said.

But the University put a roadblock in that path by denying him the promotion.

“There is a prestige associated with that and obviously a pay raise,” said Adams.

In 2007 he took UNCW to court while continuing to teach at the school.

“I believe the University took a dangerous position on free speech,” he said. “I don’t think that it’s a battle we should have to have fought.”

But it is a battle Adams is winning after a judge ruled in his favor and denied UNCW’s motion for a new trial.

“If a professor writes a column and then goes out there and gives a speech and somehow mentions it in a promotion application, which they do routinely; that’s a normal thing professors do. The University can’t then say we are not going to allow you to obtain the rank of full professor,” said Adams.

Chancellor Gary L. Miller sent an email to facility and staff in response to the judge’s ruling which reads:

Dear Colleagues:
I am writing to you today to address the outcome of the Adams v. UNCW case and to reiterate some key points that were, and remain, in the spotlight.

I’m sure most of you are aware of the verdict handed down by a federal court in Greenville, in which a jury supported one of Dr. Mike Adams’s three original claims against the university, that of speech retaliation. Previously, the district court granted summary dismissal of two of Dr. Adams’s original claims finding that there was no evidence of religious discrimination nor a basis for an equal protection violation. These two summary dismissals were upheld on appeal. While the Office of the Attorney General consults with us regarding our own options for appeal, I felt it necessary to clarify some critical issues involved here.

This university is committed to a number of fundamental values, among them academic freedom; freedom of speech; and the essential nature of peer review, based on merit, within the faculty evaluation process. We have steadfastly supported and will continue to support the right of Dr. Adams and all faculty to express those beliefs openly and without fear of retaliation. This case has sparked passionate debate both within and outside the university, and rightfully so. In the broader sense, UNCW, and universities in general, have an obligation to both initiate and nurture civil discourse around important issues. Thus, I am eager to foster conversations on our campus about the issues involved with this case and how we will move forward as a university.

UNCW’s reputation and success are built around our people, programs, and academic endeavors and exploration. I am confident that we as a community will proceed with great pride in our accomplishments, respect for one another’s beliefs, and a continued commitment to our students’ educational experience. Thank you for joining me in that journey.

Adams says lawyers will now debate who will pay attorney fees.


  • Guest000000 says:

    Why pay for college, when you can hear the same crap Professor Adams spews just by reading the comments section of the WWAY News Forum. A University is a place to go for enlightened opinions, not the knuckledragging crap they can pick up from any right wing redneck with an AM radio. I’ll make sure my child avoids “Professor” Adams when it’s time to register for classes.

  • Cheryl Cole says:

    Congratulations to Dr Adams for a long deserved promotion…
    It’s ludicrous what he had to go through to be recognized.
    I attended UNCW in the last decade as a non trad student. The school caters to young, white wealthy kids. The school will go to any lengths to control negative information (facts) about the school or it’s officials from being released. There is an “in group” of professors. One of which included the tenured professor that taught Race/Ethnic Relations in the Sociology curriculum. He referred to Obama prior to the 1st Presidential elections as “Half Obama” for the entire semester. When confronted about the matter, “he said to me he was tenured and untouchable and could do as he pleased. How a blind eye was turned to him and yet Dr Adams experienced what he did is an episode for the “Twilight Zone.”

    The school officials conduct themselves as entitled, does as it pleases, and has done so since far prior to the last Chancellor. Dirty stuff. Don’t give them your money and Do Not send your children there.

  • Martin Smith says:

    Good for Adams. Standing up for his belief in the face of institutional bias. It saddens me to think that in the midst of such good people we have in Wilmington an out of control liberal left wing college that is supported by the State. Womens studies and the like are not academic subjects but progressive pogroms that seek to silence anyone that disagrees. Good for you Adams.

  • Tim says:

    The UNCW administrators and faculty that conspired to deprive Adams of his rights should all be fired by the trustees! The radical liberals who control UNCW have now gone too far. They must be punished for their despicable actions against a great professor.

  • Vog46 says:

    Liberal idea is the thought of having free speech ! Good for UNCW.
    Of course this “conservative” used TORT law to get what he deserved which is somehow USED by conservatives as needing “reform”.
    Or is Adams case somehow different? Does the end justify the means so long as it’s a conservative winning?
    Is voting ID law a means of “silencing some voters?” Could we be silencing conservative voters MORE than liberal voters? It would be interesting to see what conservative politicians would do IF it were shown that these laws hurt them more than it’s “perceived” they hurt Dem voters.


  • hurray says:

    Hurray for hedonism and obamaism. I suppose Bush Lite didn’t violate anything by going to war in Iraq with no reason and costing all those young American lives and also torturing people.
    People like you have very short and selective memeories.

  • Robert Green says:

    A small victory for conservatives despite the dominance of public universities being controlled by socialist mind controllers. Conservative opinions are not welcomed in these indoctrination camps. This particular case originated under the rule of Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo BUT was not righted by the newest liberal adiministrator , Gary Miller. Therefore your statement has no credibility by allowing a diversity of opinion. You had no choice but to make a insincere statement. In our current climate , the secular liberals are responsible for hedonism, the rise of socialism and Obama-ism. Time to cough up the 50k because you folks have no problem financing basketball coaches on the backs of hard working people. Liberals administrators love spending YOUR money and living above average lifestyles. They are also consulted on economic development opportunities while they have always lived in the Utopian, academic bubble. They mirror their current Bozo , community organizer , flagrant violator of the Constitution and President , Barack Obama. They push their luck until called out.

  • GuestMan. says:

    The only, excuse me, biggest bigot on this board is YOU.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    Let’s call this what it is. A defeat for thought Nazis and religious bigots.

  • Guest2020 says:

    In one breath they say they are discussing options with the AG on an appeal. The next breath they say what you quoted. They are so full of it.

  • Jon Sonn says:

    “This university is committed to a number of fundamental values, among them academic freedom; freedom of speech; and the essential nature of peer review, based on merit, within the faculty evaluation process.” If that were the truth then none of this would ever have happened! A man/woman/group/organization is known by it’s actions. It took almost eight years to get it right, UNCW should have followed their own “Fundamental values”. Hypocrites one and all!

  • Guest2020 says:

    Mike Adams is certainly deserving of this victory. I am so thankful that my daughter and her fellow students have him there. He fights for them as hard as he fights for himself.

  • Jim79 says:

    Holy cow! Mike Adams should be denied a full professorship because you oppose actions by G W Bush! This “logic trail” boggles one’s mind!

  • notsurprised says:

    I think he was just comparing illegal actions by presidents and which one’s actions had the most far reaching impact. I didn’t get that he was using the argument for the purpose you stated.

  • Bababaloo says:

    The fact that every topic on this board has to be twisted into a political debate is beyond reason. As a conservative student at UNCW i have never felt pressured by faculty or staff either way in party politics. In my experience all the discussion has been cognitive in nature. The real issue is that Dr. Adams felt his civil liberties had been violated by the schools selection process, and he was capable of proving his case in court. Congratulations to him! It is my understanding from my studies in the criminology department that he is a phenomenal instructor and he deserves the rewards for his work here. however, subjectively labeling the school as a platform for liberal agenda is an unjust leap. Every professor, every student, and every faculty member experiences different circumstances with the school.UNCW is growing and becoming more accredited and overall better. That does not make the system perfect. In some cases there need to be checks and balances and in this case, as in many cases, the court served that role.

  • Erlkoenig says:

    In typical lib fashion, Guestgenderdysphriasufferer, you have the accusation with no evidence. Why are you hating on me, sister?

  • Christine Neal says:

    So happy to see Mr. Adams prevailed over the liberal College…. Well done and here’s to freedom of speech!!!!!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    when compared with thesums being paid to Buzz.

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