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University Paid $504,000 to Get Rid of Professor

July 6, 2020
 
 

Jose V. Sartarelli, chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, said Thursday that the university had paid Mike Adams $504,000 to retire Aug. 1. The decision followed a tweet by Adams that offended many. Adams has been involved in a number of prior controversies.

Sartarelli, in a note to the campus, said he had three choices. "1) Have him continue as a faculty member and accept the ongoing disruption to our educational mission, the hurt and anger in the UNCW community, and the damage to the institution. 2) Attempt to terminate him, and face drawn out, very costly litigation, that we might not win, which was the case when Dr. Adams sued UNCW and won a First Amendment retaliation lawsuit in 2014. That legal process lasted 7 years and cost the university roughly $700,000, $615,000 of which was for Dr. Adams’ attorneys’ fees. Losing a similar lawsuit today could cost even more. 3) Negotiate a settlement when, as part of a conversation with me about his conduct and future at UNCW, I learned Dr. Adams was interested in retiring. This approach allows us to resolve the situation quickly, with certainty, and in the most fiscally responsible way. This is the best option for our university and our community."

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