CHICAGO (CN) – Northeastern University refused to allow a tenured professor to become chair of its Justice Studies Department, though her colleagues elected her to the post, because it objects to Prof. Loretta Capeheart’s political activism: her criticism of the war in Iraq, and her protesting the presence of military and CIA recruiters on campus, Capeheart claims in Federal Court.
Capeheart also sued Northeastern Vice President for Student Affairs Melvin Terrell for defamation.
Her complaint states: “On Feb. 28, 2007, two members of the club that Capeheart advises were arrested for attempting to attend a meeting provided to the CIA for recruitment of employees hosted by NEIU. These arrests became the subject of campus and community interest.”
Capeheart said that at a meeting of the Faculty Council for Student Affairs, she questioned Terrell about the arrests, “as Terrell has supervisory responsibility for the campus police employed by NEIU as its public safety department.”
She claims Terrell retaliated for her criticism by saying “that Capeheart was a subject of interest for the police, stating that a student had filed ‘stalking’ charges against Capeheart with the campus police. In fact, no ‘stalking’ charges had been filed against Capeheart, and she has never been accused of ‘stalking’ any person,” her complaint states.
She seeks an injunction and damages for retaliation, defamation, and other counts. She is represented by Thomas Rosenwein.