BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A former assistant LSU professor held a news conference Thursday morning to announce the filing of a lawsuit against officials with the university. The professor was fired over claims she created a hostile learning environment and "consequent sexual harassment through the use of vulgar language," according to officials.
Dr. Teresa Buchanan made the announcement at the Hilton on Lafayette Street in Baton Rouge at 10 a.m.
She said she filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against LSU President/Chancellor F. King Alexander and other top administrators "for violating her free speech and due process rights by firing her last year." The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday.
According to officials, Buchanan was fired from LSU in spite of recommendations from a faculty review committee.
"When I use language that people might deem offensive - which I've never been told was deemed offensive by anybody - it is to prepare them to be good teachers," Buchanan said.
The lawsuit states that in December 2013, Buchanan was told she would not be teaching the following spring semester because students alleged the professor made inappropriate comments during class. The suit goes on to say that Buchanan was told that she would also not be up for promotion to full professor.
During a meeting to discuss the allegations of profanity and controversial sexual terms used during her teaching, Buchanan says she told administrators, "no students or faculty member had ever formally complained to her." She says had she heard any of those complaints, she would have changed her teaching technique.
She added she wanted her students to be prepared for language they could hear from parents or children.
Buchanan would like to be reinstated at LSU.
"I will go to my grave proud of the job I did at LSU," Buchanan said.
A spokesman for the university said while officials have not been served with the suit, they are confident they did the right thing.
A faculty review committee did not find the allegations warranted Buchanan's dismissal and only recommended that she be censured. The LSU Board of Supervisors, at the recommendation of Alexander, fired Buchanan in June.