Lawsuits often paint a dire (and sometimes exaggerated) assessment of what will happen if the party doing the suing does not get its way.
But there was no hyperbole when Paul Quinn College noted in the lawsuit it filed Tuesday against the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, in its assertion that "the college will suffer catastrophic and irreparable harm ... [i]f the revocation of the college's accreditation is not reversed and its membership in SACS is not reinstated.... SACS's improper act could be the college's 'death knell.' "
When in doubt, sue. That philosophy has become an expected part of American society and (to the frustration of many in higher education) academe as well. A new book -- The Trials of Academe: The New Era of Campus Litigation (Harvard University Press) -- combines humor and history to examine the impact (most of it negative) of academic disputes landing in court. Amy Gajda, the author, is assistant professor of journalism and law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.