This is well written, and nicely argued. But it strikes me as overly optimistic. In this case the university (through possible negligence on the part of counsel), the definition of a deep-pocketed institution, exposed itself to legal liability. And it will, reasonably, pay the price. This will be part of the 2020 Case Handbook sent to university GCs, and, at the margin, university administrators will be a bit more careful in this area.
But David French is (if you’ll forgive me) engaging in a bit of David French-ism to argue that it goes any further than that, or makes any broader point. There was an “online shame mob,” he correctly writes. But its members are facing no punishment; Mr. French doesn’t even include their names. If the university administrators had lawyered up a bit more carefully, they would have escaped liability (and, given that there’s no mention of them being fired, they’ve escaped punishment as well).
Holding the university liable is the correct result, IMHO. But it would be incorrect to draw sweeping conclusions, at least ones that apply outside the 2020 Case Handbook, here.