Law Professors

Was ‘satanic’ pay raise for law profs intended as retaliation for union activities?


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Law professors at Cleveland-Marshall who received a $666 pay raise were allegedly penalized for their union activities, according to an unfair labor practice charge filed with the state of Ohio.

TaxProf Blog links to the complaint (PDF). The document alleges that Cleveland-Marshall law dean Craig Boise was retaliating against members of the American Association of University Professors who were members of the bargaining unit. The complaint says six union organizers received raises of $666 and two others received no increase, though many of the profs had “exemplary scholarship and teaching scores.”

“In effect,” the complaint says, “Dean Boise has called AAUP’s organizers and AAUP Satan.”

Other faculty members received raises of $5,000 or $3,000, the complaint says.

TaxProf Blog quotes from a memo circulated by one of the affected faculty members. It says the figure “is a universally understood symbol of the Antichrist or devil—one of our culture’s most violent religious images. Implicitly, but unmistakably and obviously intentionally, [the dean] used his powers to set faculty salaries as an occasion to brand his perceived opponents as the Antichrist.”

Cleveland State University has argued in response to the charge that the $666 merit award was the result of mathematical division, not anti-union animus. It says there is no evidence the dean intended the figure as a “satanic merit pay amount.”

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