A federal court ruled Wednesday that the University of North Carolina-Wilmington must promote Mike Adams and pay him $50,000.
Earlier the court found the university had retaliated against Adams for his conservative views by denying him a full professorship.
Adams, a former atheist, converted to Christianity in 2000.
Despite being published extensively in peer-reviewed publications and an overwhelming number of positive reviews from students, Adams’ application for promotion in 2006 was denied.
Colleagues of Adams had called him a “wannabe right-wing pundit,” a “pathological liar” and “mentally unbalanced.” David French, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, said that played a part in the outcome.
“This ruling sends a message to public universities,” he said. “Academic freedom isn’t just for the Left, it’s a constitutional right for all professors – even Christian conservatives.”
Featured on Townhall.com, Adams columns cover many topics, including academic freedom, abortion, homosexuality, religion and morality.
In 2011, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the First Amendment protects Adam’s right to his own opinion.
“No individual loses his ability to speak as a private citizen by virtue of public employment,” the judges wrote. “Such topics plainly touched on issues of public, rather than private, concern.”
“Disagreeing with an accomplished professor’s religious and political views is no grounds for denying him a promotion,” said Travis Barham, litigation staff counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom. “The court’s order rights the wrong done to Dr. Adams by granting him the full professorship he has long deserved.”
Adams said he’s just glad the case has come to a close.
“This has been a long seven-year legal battle, and I’m exhausted,” he wrote in a recent column. “Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.
They have helped me make it through another year and to end it with an incredible victory. We serve a mighty God, indeed. It is a lesson we must pass on to future generations.”