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James Tracy vs. FAU trial illustration

What I learned covering the federal lawsuit the former professor brought against FAU ... by Joe Pye, Editor in Chief: Early on in the fourth day, Tracy took the stand. FAU’s defense attorney G. Joseph Curley questioned Tracy on whether he received funds for his blog, titled MemoryHoleBlog. All FAU faculty have to report any outside activities, paid or voluntary, which FAU says Tracy failed to properly carry out. The university stood behind a defense that around the same time Tracy lost his job, another Arts and Letters instructor was fired for failing to properly report an outside activity. 

[Academic Affairs advisor] Alperin said she stood by the university’s decision to terminate Tracy due to their claim he was noncompliant in filing the proper paperwork to report his outside activities — something he had done in previous years, while serving as faculty union president. “We never stopped him from working on his blog or teaching in the classroom,” Alperin said. “We believe in the First Amendment. We never stopped his speech.” One of Tracy’s attorneys Matthew Benzion replied: “No, you just fired him.”

Following Tracy’s firing at the beginning of 2016, an FAU dean circulated an email that read “for the record, Tracy was not fired because he didn’t report things,” the lawsuit said.  Read more here.