CURRENTLY ACTIVE CASES

Case 1. In 1995 a tenured professor with a disability was summarily suspended from teaching duties during a term. The action was taken by the chair of the department, with the asserted reason that the professor was missing classes and not meeting obligations and hence should be forced to take a medical leave. Physicians were consulted and drawn out negotiations were conducted. There were serious questions about whether the University was obeying the Americans with Disability Act. Eventually the professor initiated a lawsuit against the University. Very recently, as the suit approached trial, a settlement was proposed and accepted orally. The final written settlement has yet to be accepted by both parties.

Case 2. A husband and wife research team came to the University in 1996 to take tenured positions in two departments, along with appointments to do research in a University research center. They reported a series of disagreements with the director of the center; in particular, on propriety of certain uses of research funds. They later asserted that the director was abusing his position to improperly take over some of their research, that the dean of the school concerned declined to take action, but did propose an ad hoc grievance procedure which, if accepted, would bar use of the regular grievance procedure. The two professors decided to leave the University and secured positions at another university. In the summer of 1999 there were difficult negotiations with the University on transfer of research equipment to the new location. The professors have now left the University, but intend to pursue the case just the same.

Cases 3 and 4. The two cases are reported together because, although they concern professors in different departments, the complaints are extremely similar. The professors are on tenure track appointments and assert that the chairs of their departments have failed to support and encourage their research; further, that they have suffered harassment because of race or sex. They report that they have been advised not to complain to the deans of their units. AAUP has advised each to consult with certain high level members of the University administration.

Case 5. A tenured professor reports that the department chair plagiarized a research proposal developed by the professor and colleagues and submitted the proposal to a foundation, which agreed to fund the proposal; that the chair then brought in a professor from outside the University to direct the research. The professor states that a complaint to the dean's office produced the response that the chair's actions were permissible.

Summaries of these cases have been prepared by Wilfred Kaplan (wilkap@umich.edu).

 


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