Wolfgang Hirczy de Mino

Dr. Wolfgang Hirczy de Mino received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Houston, Houston, Texas (UH) and was employed for many years as a part-time adjunct faculty member on its Downtown campus. He was an advocate for adjunct faculty rights and was faced with the UH administration's denial of his own first amendment rights when he attempted to support a colleague's grievance.

When Hirczy de Mino challenged the restrictions placed upon his ability to communicate with other adjuncts, the university responded by not renewing his contract for the fall, 2001 semester. His attempt to reclaim his job through legal action as a pro se was initially dismissed in court [1]. However, as a result of a preliminary injunction hearing in January 2002, he was reinstated by the university and continued to work as a faculty member at UH on a part-time basis [2].

Unable to resolve the freedom of speech issue with the UH administration, Hirczy de Mino, on May 24, 2004 sued the responsible UH official in U.S. District Court. That complaint, Civil Action No. H-04-2127, contains information that should be of interest to all adjunct faculty and reveals the behavior of university administrators [3].

The court found for the UH official, granting him summary judgment (see PDF), and the case was dismissed on July 13, 2005.

As explained by the Faculty Rights Coalition:
[I]n Texas, many rights that are otherwise taken for granted cannot be enforced because of the state judiciary’s adherence to the doctrine of "sovereign immunity," the modern-day equivalent of the absolutist maxim that "The King can do no wrong" because he is the Sovereign and thus above the law. This judicially established doctrine protects agencies of the State, including public universities, from suits regardless of merit. It requires trial courts to dismiss such suits for lack of jurisdiction unless the immunity is waived by the Texas Legislature. [4] (Bold emphasis added.)

The significance of judicial and legislative actions that deny the rights of professors and adjunct faculty as employees of state institutions is discussed further on the Faculty Rights Coalition Web site [4]. Wolfgang Hirczy de Mino is a member of the Texas Bar Association and now works for a law firm [2].

  1. Wolfgang Hirczy de Mino v. The University of Houston, Case No. 03-03-00311-CV (Texas Court of Appeals, Third District on appeal from the District Court of Travis County). The final appeal was dismissed without prejudice on October 15, 2004. The case is available at: http://www.morelaw.com/... , accessed 02/12/06.

  2. Wolfgang Hirczy de Mino, personal communication, February 16, 2006.

  3. Faculty Rights Coalition, et al., v. Hossein Shahrokhi, Civil Action No. H-04-2127 (5th Cir. 2004).

  4. See: http://www.faculty-rights-coalition.com, accessed 02/08/06.

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Summary Judgment Against the
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