Loretta Capeheart Academic Freedom Case Settled at N.E.I.U.
Loretta Capeheart was in a long-running legal battle with Northeastern Illinois University (N.E.I.U.) to support progressive causes, to deter charges of slander, to advocate for peace and justice and to assert her academic freedom. Dr Capeheart is a member of the council of the Illinois Conference of the American Association of University Professors and serves on its Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure. She released this statement on January 26, 2014:
Dear Colleagues, Friends, Comrades, and other Supporters of Free Speech,
I am happy to report that my case against Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) has settled. I am pleased with the settlement and will continue to fight for free speech, academic freedom, worker’s rights, and affirmative action.
My name has been cleared. The university provided this statement: “Any suggestion that Professor Capeheart engaged in ‘stalking’ is without any basis, and the University regrets that such suggestion was communicated to anyone.”
While the terms of the settlement are confidential, I am entirely free to write what I want to say to you all: THANK YOU! Without your support, I would not have been able to keep up this fight. It required resources well beyond my own. It required more financial resources than I had. It also required more political and personal resources. Your support, whether it was financial, political, personal, or all three, was absolutely necessary in this fight. I was far more often overwhelmed with gratitude at the outpouring of support that I received from you than I was by the attacks and pressures heaped on by the NEIU administration and their legal team. It was that balance of support from people of principle, such as you, that made all of the difference. I hope to someday put this experience into more words, but for now, please know that you were absolutely essential to the resolution of this case and to my ability to keep up the fight. Your support was transformative and will be forever cherished. I thank you.
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