It has dragged on for some seven years, but the Valdosta State case is finally over. The absurd vendetta the president of the university pursued against a student who had the temerity to criticize his plans for a new parking garage (the student was expelled on the grounds that he posed a safety threat!) led to a $900,000 settlement. That amount will be divided between the plaintiff for his illegal treatment and the legal team that upheld his rights. I write about the case in this Forbes piece.
The only way the ending could have been happier would have been if the president had to bear some or all of the costs himself. As it is, the costs will fall mainly on Georgia taxpayers and the insurance company covering the state's tort claims fund. I would like to see contracts with higher ed officials include a clause stating that they will have to indemnify the state for losses they cause by actions that violate the procedural and constitutional rights of students.