Dr Healy, a computer science professor who was suspended from teaching following the discovery of his presence at the Unite the Right Rally, has sued Furman University.
Within the complaint filed on December 15 Healy's lawyer Stephen H. Brown, stated that the professor's paid suspension violates the terms of his tenure contract, saying: "Furman University breached its employment contract with Professor Healy on September 30, 2022, when it suddenly and immediately placed him on paid administrative leave, 'while the university commences an investigation into the circumstances surrounding recent Twitter posts'... The Defendant expressly suspended him from teaching his classes, banned him from campus, and prohibited him from engaging with Furman University students in any manner, all without providing him the due process procedures to which he is entitled according to his Contract of Employment."
The court summons continues to detail more ways in which Furman is believed to violate the tenure contract, including claims of not providing Dr. Healy documents describing the university decision on his employment, what he is suspended for, no initiation of due process, and a lack of platform to share his version of the events that occurred.
President Davis initiated Dr. Healy's suspension on September 30, 2022, based on a string of Tweets from Sunlight AFA placing the computer sciences professor at the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since then, the professor has been on indefinite paid administrative leave while Furman University investigates the allegations. In her email sent out on the same day of Dr. Healy's suspension, President Davis made her stance on the issue clear.
"Furman University is stronger when we embrace and celebrate diversity, and when we denounce racism, exclusion and hatred," said Davis in her official statement to the student body.
On October 5, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) published a letter to President Davis outlining why Dr. Healy should remain an active professor at Furman, and not be on suspension. The letter includes citation of South Carolina law, which prohibits the dismissal of teachers/professors for their political beliefs and activity, as well as the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.
In response to the lawsuit, Davis emailed the university with resources to contact and a statement saying: "We have heard... this past semester that students, faculty and staff are feeling hurt and betrayed... that understandably raise in their minds concerns about inclusivity and belonging at Furman--concerns that transcend politics, cutting to the very core of decency and mutual respect... You matter to us. You belong here." Davis then went on to infer the future of more open discussions on furthering community and DEI on-campus, but did not make a statement about the upcoming lawsuit.
The Paladin will continue to report on the case as more details arise.