THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011
Habib Sadid’s, formerly a tenured professor at Idaho State University, employment was terminated ostensibly for criticizing multiple administrations at ISU, letters to the editor, and paid advertisements in a local newspaper that did not bear favorably on ISU.
Nicholas Gier’s letter to the editor of the Idaho Statesmen did not list any of the aforementioned “actions of opposition” initiated by Sadid. Gier maintains Sadid’s free speech rights were violated. If Habib Sadid was frequently publicly critical of ISU, why didn’t he quit and move on? The right to free speech, like all other rights, can be abused and one has to wonder if Sadid stepped over the line with a paid advertisement criticizing ISU administration. I mean staring at the nice firm asses of the female college volleyball players is one thing, but constantly complaining about various administrators and policies is another.
Tenure is partially in place to protect faculty from the caprice of the various administrations under which they serve. It is not unusual for a long time faculty member to serve under, say, 7 administrations/academic deans. Tenure is not intended to give professors carte blanche to mouth off every time they feel the least bit slighted. I know plenty of underpaid and “mistreated” adjunct professors who would give their right arm for the cushy job that was once Sadid’s.
HABIB SADID CASE Unjust treatment for ISU professor
The Associated Press story on the Habib Sadid case conflates two lawsuits and contains errors. The first suit in 2008 was based on charges of retaliation and Idaho State University’s refusal to provide annual evaluations of Professor Sadid. As university bylaws are considered part of a faculty member’s contract, we believe that Sadid should have prevailed on these points.Retaliation is always difficult to prove, and we are content that the justices did rule that District Judge Nye misused the 2006 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Garcetti v. Cellos in denying Sadid free speech rights. This is a huge victory for faculty everywhere.The second suit filed this year in state and federal courts was for Sadid’s termination on Oct. 30, 2009. Here the issues are not only First Amendment ones, but also massive violations of due process. We are confident that we will win this case.My organization has raised over $151,000 for Sadid’s defense and we will support him all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court.
NICHOLAS F. GIER, president, Higher Education Council, Idaho Federation of Teachers, AFT/AFL-CIO, Moscow
Habib Sadid (“Plaintiff”) was a tenured professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Idaho State University. ? He began working for the University in 1991, was given full tenure in 1993, and became a full professor in 1999. ? During the period from 2001 through 2008, Plaintiff publically criticized successive University administrations in guest columns, printed comments, a letter to the editor, and a paid advertisement, all of which were published in a local newspaper.
On September 29, 2008, Plaintiff filed this action against the University and a University administrator alleging that they retaliated against him for exercising his free speech rights, that the University breached his employment contract, and that the administrator defamed him. ? He later amended his complaint to add as defendants the former and current Provosts, the former and current Deans of the College of Engineering, the current Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and the current University President.
The Defendants moved for summary judgment on various grounds, and the district court granted their motion. ? Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration, which the court denied. ? The court awarded the Defendants court costs as a matter of right, but denied their request for an award of attorney fees. ? Plaintiff appealed the granting of summary judgment, and the Defendants cross-appealed the denial of their request for attorney fees.