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30-year anniversary of 5 year dispute that lead to academic freedom

AJ Neuharth-Keusch
aneuharthkeus@radford.edu

This Week in RU: 30-year anniversary of 5 year dispute that lead to academic freedomOn February 28, 1973 The Grapurchat, Radford College’s student run newspaper, reported on the outcome of a civil suit between two faculty members.
Dr. Edward D. Jervey, a former history professor at the College, won the case against Dr. Charles Martin, former president and Chancellor of the college.
According to the Grapurchat, Jervey claimed that he had been denied summer employment and wasn’t allowed to participate in social activities on the campus.
In 1968, five years before the case, Jervey wrote a letter about an article titled, “Why I Believe in Sex Before Marriage.”
The Grapurchat reported that in the letter, Jarvey said that he would “use portions of the article in teaching a class in social changes in America,”
The Grapurchat continued in their report, saying that RC administrators were “disturbed” by the letter and “feared the letter meant the professor was going to teach premarital sex in his classes.”
After the letter went public, Jervey was denied a raise of $1,200 and the right to teach summer school. Although the RC defendants claimed that the letter wasn’t the reason for these restrictions, Jervey and his lawyers felt differently.
The Grapurchat wrote that Jervey won the trial on the claims that “he had been denied academic freedom and due process of law in actions by the board and Dr. Charles K. Martin Jr.”
Jervey received a raise from his $13,000 annual salary to $16,000. He also received $9,000 in damages.
So, why is this important? Why am I telling you about something that happened at Radford College in 1973?
Radford College was what you now know as Radford University, the 40-year anniversary of the case article is on Thursday, and the Grapurchat is now your favorite newspaper, the Tartan.
With the St. Albans lawsuit in full-effect and the parking lot flood next in line, lawsuits are making headlines at RU.
With the way things are going, maybe you’ll be reading about these controversies forty years from now in Radford University’s student-run newspaper.

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