UND May Get Sued Over Wrongfully Treating Student Like A Criminal

North Dakota has a lot of problems in its higher education system, but there may be no more shameful episode than the expulsion of University of North Dakota student Caleb Warner.

Earlier this week I posted about UND overturning Warner’s expulsion (two years later and only after they were embarrassed by a Wall Street Journal column on the case), but according to the group representing Warner the matter may not be over yet. The kid is, apparently, considering a lawsuit and I (for one) hope it happens.

GRAND FORKS, ND – Last week the University of North Dakota overturned the expulsion of Caleb Warner almost two years after he’d been accused of sexual assault, but now a group representing Warner says he is considering remedies in civil court.

“That’s definitely a possibility,” said Vice President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Robert Shibley. “When you brand someone guilty in a case you can’t prove…what comes to the top of my mind is a defamation case.”

Shibley said Warner was still undecided on his next move, but noted that “all options are currently on the table.”

Warner was made to postpone his college career for two years, and suffer under false accusations of sexual assault that were no doubt detrimental to his reputation. The economic consequences alone are significant.

One could certainly understand this kid just wanting to move on with his life – I couldn’t blame him for that – but UND richly deserves to be drug through the mud over this.

We know North Dakota’s university system isn’t going to hold itself accountable, so we citizens must take that matter into our own hands.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Jimmypop

    good for him.

  • RCND

    If the SBHE won’t hold their universities accountable, then the courts may have to. Take em down, Caleb. Hopefully by the time you are done and reparations are made you won’t need a degree from UND anyways

  • bottineau bay

    Good luck to the kid, but to challenge sovereign immunity is a real pain in the butt.

    • ec99

      Good point.  Not only that, but unless he asks for a change in venue out of state, just about every judge is a UND Law School grad.

      • factczecher

        Thanks goodness, because you know this state hates outsiders.

        • ec99

          Yes.  I wouldn’t doubt that many NoDakers would secede from the Union is they could and set up a no immigration policy.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      So the resident higher ed apologist has nothing to say about UND treating this kid like a criminal for almost two years?

  • ec99

    I honestly believe administrators from K-12 on take stupidity pills.

  • Dakotacyr

    Let’s hear it for those trial lawyers and tort reform. 

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I don’t think any advocate of tort reform has ever suggested that defamation cases be taken off the table.

      We’re just against the sort of cronyism Heidi Heitkamp got up to with the trial lawyers.

  • Dennis Richardson

    Caleb Warner should negotiate the civil claims that if certain people at UND are fired from their job, he will consider a lesser amount to settle. Start with several million dollars.