Board of Regents of State Colleges v. Roth


Plaintiff was hired for one year under a simple contract that was expected to terminate at the end of the one year period.  While there was a possibility of being hired, there was in  no way a contractual guarantee.  He was not hired at the end of the contract.  Roth argued that the real reason his contract wasn’t renewed was because he spoke out against the university at some point.  More importantly, he claimed that the university’s failure to state a specific reason for why his contract wasn’t renewed constituted a violation of his due process rights.


Whether a university’s failure to state a reason for non-renewal of a one year teaching contract violates procedural due process rights.


No.  The court held that Roth had no protected interest maintaining his employment status and therefore was not entitled to a reason, nor was he entitled any sort of procedural due process.  His contract term was completed and there was no right owed to him at the end of such a contract.  Roth was a non-tenured, contract teacher.  Had he been tenured, there could have been an issue as to whether he had a property right to his tenure; but that is not what occurred in the instant case.  Roth cannot show that non-renewal deprived him of a property or liberty interest and therefore cannot argue that he’s entitled any procedural due process under the constitution.

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