Media Moves

Appeals court throws out suit by Columbia biz journalism professor

November 15, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Columbia JournalismA New York State appeals court on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit by a business journalism professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism who had accused the school of misdirecting $4.5 million in funds tied to her endowed professorship, reports Christine Haughney at the New York Times.

Haughney writes, “Ms. Nasar said in her lawsuit that because she complained about the funds, she was ‘intimidated and harassed,’ by the dean at the time, Nicholas Lemann. Reached late Friday, Mr. Lemann said, ‘I’m very pleased with the verdict.’

“In December, a lower court dismissed Ms. Nasar’s lawsuit. In Thursday’s ruling, the court said the agreement between the Knight Foundation and Columbia gave the university ‘full discretion to choose the holder of the endowed chair, and to spend monies from the fund.’

“Elizabeth Fishman, a spokeswoman for the journalism school, said in an email, ‘We don’t comment on matters related to litigation.’

“Ms. Nasar said in a phone interview on Friday that she was disappointed with the ruling.

“‘These endowed professorships like the Knight chair are really crucial,’ Ms. Nasar said. ‘When somebody is privileged to hold one of these chairs and sees that go wrong, they should do something about it, and that was what I was trying to do.'”

Read more here.

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