Settling Old Scores at Bennington

by TAA Staff BENNINGTON COLLEGE in Vermont agreed in December 2000 to pay 17 former professors $1.89 million. They were among the 26 whom the college’s president, Elizabeth Coleman, fired in 1994 for mediocre teaching. She justified her action as part of Bennington’s retrenchment amid a $1 million deficit and declining enrollment. Nineteen of the fired professors disagreed, filing a $3.7 million suit in Vermont court, asserting that Colemen had violated their academic freedom. Two of the 19 died during the nearly five-year ordeal that ended when the college offered the settlement and apologized to the plaintiffs. Bennington admitted that the […]
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