by Maxine Bernstein
February 6, 2023
Linfield University has agreed to pay just over $1 million to settle a whistleblower suit filed by tenured English professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, who accused the university of firing him for speaking out against alleged sexual harassment and discrimination by university board trustees and the president.
The university will pay Pollack-Pelzner a total of $1,037,500 to cover his lost wages, emotional distress and attorney fees.
The university disputed Pollack-Pelzner’s claims but agreed to the settlement, according to records obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Pollack-Pelzner, who began teaching at Linfield in 2010, had held an endowed chair in Shakespeare studies until he was abruptly fired in late April 2021.
“Ultimately, we hope his case sends a clear message that sexual harassment must not be tolerated on any campus and that institutions that seek to silence whistleblowers will be held to account,” said attorney Dana L. Sullivan, who represented Pollack-Pelzner.
Pollack-Pelzner, now a visiting scholar at Portland State University, said he’s pleased with the outcome and hopes it shows Linfield University and other universities that there’s “real consequences” for firing a tenured faculty member without due process.