RALEIGH, N.C. —
The University of North Carolina-Wilmington must face a lawsuit brought against it by Alliance Defense Fund attorneys on behalf of Mike Adams, a criminology professor at the school who also writes nationally syndicated columns. A federal court denied most of UNCW’s motion to dismiss on Monday, holding that Adams raised legitimate arguments regarding the possibility that the school refused to grant him full professorship status because of his religious beliefs and conservative political viewpoint.
"Christian professors should not be discriminated against because of their beliefs. No university should refuse promotion to a gifted and accomplished professor simply because it disagrees with his religious and political views," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Steven H. Aden.
Adams frequently received accolades from his colleagues after the university hired him as an assistant professor in 1993 and promoted him to associate professor in 1998 when he was an atheist. However, interrogations, accusations, and refusals for promotion followed his conversion to Christianity in 2000, even though the quality of his work and conduct at the university never wavered.
ADF attorneys representing Adams sued UNCW on April 10, 2007
, arguing that he was harassed and denied a promotion because his Christian beliefs did not coincide with the liberal political and philosophical stance of his superiors.
"An institution of higher learning is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas, so it should cherish differing religious and political beliefs as the Constitution requires, rather than use them as a litmus test for promotions," Aden said.
The order denying UNCW most of its motion to dismiss the case Adams v. The Trustees of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Southern Division, is available here.
The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is defending religious freedom at America’s public universities. ADF is a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and litigation.