Trimble v. West Virginia Board of Directors
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
209 W. Va. 420, 549 S.E.2d 294 (2001)
Trimble (plaintiff) began working as an instructor of English at the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College in 1978. Trimble was granted tenure in 1984. In 1996, the college faculty unanimously issued a vote of no confidence for the college’s president, Kirkland, as a result of changes Kirkland attempted to implement. Later that year, Trimble organized the faculty labor union, WVEA, which was critical of Kirkland’s policy changes. One of those changes was to require the use of a software program called Instructional Performance Systems Incorporated (IPSI) for the writing of course syllabi. The faculty opposed this requirement. Mandatory informational meetings on the use of IPSI were held for faculty. Trimble missed several of these meetings and was notified in writing that continued nonattendance would result in a written reprimand. Kirkland ordered all faculty in the Humanities Division, which included Trimble, to prepare a course syllabus using IPSI by a specific deadline. Trimble refused and was advised in writing that his actions constituted insubordination. Trimble was ordered to appear in a vacant office at a specific time in order to complete the IPSI syllabus, and he again refused. Kirkland terminated Trimble effective May 30, 1997. Prior to the previous year, there had been no disciplinary action taken against Trimble, and he had consistently had favorable teaching evaluations. Trimble filed a grievance challenging his termination. An institutional hearing committee conducted a hearing and ruled in favor of Trimble, finding that he was not insubordinate. However, Kirkland rejected this finding and upheld his own termination. Trimble appealed to the college’s Board of Trustees (defendant), which upheld Trimble’s termination. Trimble then filed an appeal with the trial court, arguing that his termination was in violation of his First Amendment rights and that because he had a property interest in his employment, the Board should have implemented progressive disciplinary measures prior to terminating him. The trial court ruled in favor of the Board, and Trimble appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 709,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 709,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.