Board Of Regents Of State Colleges v. Roth

408 U.S. 564 (1972)


The teaching contract of Roth (P) was not renewed for an additional year of teaching at Wisconsin University as a non-tenured associate professor. The University's (D) procedure for terminating an employment contract with a non-tenured professor required notice four months previous to the termination date. The employee has neither a right to receive a reason for the adverse decision nor an opportunity to protest the decision. P maintained that the University's decision not to renew his contract violated his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech because the decision was based on unfavorable statements he made about the administration. However, this issue was not addressed on Appeal. P also maintained that failure to provide him with a reason for the employment decision and denying him an opportunity to challenge his termination violated his Fourteenth Amendment Procedural Due Process rights. The District Court granted summary judgment to P on the Due Process issue. The District Court decided that procedural due process guarantees apply in this case by assessing and balancing the weights of the particular interests involved. It concluded that the respondent's interest in reemployment at Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh outweighed the University's interest in denying him reemployment summarily. The Appeals Court affirmed. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed.