This blog contains information about the legal case, Terri Ginsberg vs. Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina (UNC). Please visit regularly for updates.
The case alleged a series of First Amendment speech violations by North Carolina State University (NCSU) pertaining to Ginsberg’s scholarship and teaching on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, that culminated in the impermissible rejection of her candidacy for a tenure-track position and the ensuing termination of her employment as a visiting professor at NCSU.
This case began as a grievance Ginsberg filed at NCSU in March 2008. On false grounds that her formal claim of speech violations and discrimination was untimely filed, NCSU refused to grant Ginsberg a campus hearing. After thrice appealing the perfunctory dismissal of her grievance–first to the NCSU Chancellor, then to the UNC Board of Trustees, then to a local arbitration court–Ginsberg had exhausted all campus remedies, whereupon she acquired a right-to-sue-letter from the EEOC and filed a lawsuit against the UNC system (NCSU’s “parent company”) in the Superior Court of North Carolina.
The lawsuit commenced officially with Ginsberg’s filing of a Complaint and the issuance of Summons on October 8, 2009. Her Complaint alleged violation of her freedom of speech, rights of conscience and right to equal protection. Following a week of deposition hearings in June 2010, NCSU filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on all of her claims on September 8, 2010. The Honorable Shannon R. Joseph, NC Superior Court Judge, heard arguments on the Motion on October 25, 2010. A judgment and order dismissing the case was issued on November 1, 2010 and filed November 4, 2010. Ginsberg subsequently filed a Notice of Appeal on December 1, 2010. One of Ginsberg’s attorneys, Rima Najjar Kapitan, was granted pro hac vice admission to the Court of Appeals on January 13, 2011. The Record on Appeal was settled by agreement of the parties on April 19, 2011. The Record was stamped as filed in the NC Court of Appeals on April 28, 2011 and docketed on May 23, 2011. Transmitted with the Record was Ginsberg’s Deposition, Volumes I and II. She subsequently filed an Appellate Brief in the Court of Appeals on June 24, 2011. On August 26, 2011, NCSU filed a Response with the Court of Appeals. On September 26, 2011, the Court of Appeals issued a decision to consider her appeal without oral argument. An Appeal Hearing was held on October 26, 2011, with the Honorables Linda Stephens, Wanda G. Bryant, and Rick Elmore presiding. On November 15, 2011, the appellate panel issued a decision, authored by Judge Elmore, to affirm the lower court’s decision to dismiss the case. On December 20, 2011, Ginsberg filed a Petition for Discretionary Review with the North Carolina Supreme Court. And on June 19, 2012, the Court decided to reject the Petition and closed the case.