The Kansas Supreme Court has taken the case of two fired tenured faculty of Emporia State under advisement.
In September 2022, ESU enacted the “Framework for Workforce Management,” allowing for the firing of 33 professors on campus, most of whom held a tenure or tenure track position.
On Feb. 23, Christopher Lovett and Amanda Miracle, tenured members of the Department of Social Sciences, Sociology and Criminology, petitioned the Kansas Supreme Court to stop the appeals hearings for the fired professors, believing them to be unlawful. The Court denied the request to immediately halt the hearings, but required all parties involved in the case to file a response.
The respondents – The Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), The Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR), and ESU – were required to file their responses by March 13 and the petitioners Lovett and Miracle had until March 20 to reply.
March 21, one day after the deadlines passed, the Kansas Supreme Court sent out an order that the case is under advisement.
Michael Smith, professor and chair of Social Sciences, Sociology and Criminology, explained that by his understanding, the Court has simply announced that the case is “still alive.”
“The idea that there would be a quick resolution appears not to be the case,” Smith said. “Now, at the next court hearing, for all we know, the court could say, ‘All right, we've considered the case and we're done here.’ But as of right now, the court is not moving toward a quick resolution of – and this is not a formal legal term – but basically throwing out the lawsuit and saying you just don't have a case. They are not doing that at this time.”
In essence, when a case is under advisement, the judge is looking over all the evidence provided in order to think about their decision, according to US Legal. This is the in between phase after evidence is brought forward and before a judgement has been issued.
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