Theresa Cameron was a tenured associate professor at Arizona State University. She was accused of misconduct by the Dean and Associate Dean for, among other things, allegedly plagiarizing syllabi of other faculty in the construction and use of several of her own course syllabi. The Dean, Associate Dean, and Provost asked the university President to terminate Dr. Cameron for “just cause” under University and Board of Regents policies, and he did so. Professor Cameron appealed her termination to the ASU Faculty Senate, Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure (“CAFT”) which found that even though Dr. Cameron admitted she had plagiarized her syllabi, CAFT unanimously recommended that she be reinstated and undergo a post-tenure review to assist her with construction and use of syllabi. The university President, however, rejected CAFT’s recommendation, and Dr. Cameron filed suit. Both the trial and appellate court ruled in favor of the University and Professor Cameron has filed a petition for review by the Arizona Supreme Court.
The AAUP filed an amicus brief in support of Dr. Cameron’s petition for review, drafted by Arizona State University law professors Joseph Feller and Paul Bender and joined by fifteen ASU law school faculty. The brief primarily argued that the sanction of dismissal was grossly disproportionate to a finding that Dr. Cameron copied portions of syllabi from other sources without attribution and therefore deprived Dr. Cameron of her position without proper due process.
The Arizona Supreme Court issued an order on October 30, 2012, denying Professor Cameron’s petition for review.