We are saddened to learn of the sudden death of Professor Mike Adams. He was a longtime friend of the National Association of Scholars, a frequent writer for our journal, Academic Questions, and always on call to speak at our conferences, which he did most recently in December.
Although Professor Adams was a criminologist by training his unsung work was that of a freedom fighter. For a decade, Mike Adams was forced to make his institution, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, live by its stated principles of academic freedom. That case, in his own words, “may be the first case in the history of American jurisprudence in which a conservative professor successfully won a jury verdict against a public university over alleged First Amendment retaliation.” Even more historic, his case helped establish that a public employee has a right to speak as a citizen on matters of public concern, and that the case upon which the state had tried to deny his promotion (Garcetti v. Ceballos) did not apply to the service, scholarship, or teaching aspects of a public university professor.
Professor Adams was an outspoken critic of his university, those that would uphold the subjective over objective in scientific study and argument, and well-intentioned movements that ultimately took up radical objectives.
His family and friends are in our prayers. Professor Adams will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.