HigherEdMorning.comProfessor says tenure denial was biased

Professor says tenure denial was biased

October 11, 2009 by Taylor Hannigan
Posted in: From the Courts, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News & Views

A professor claimed bias based on his national origin. But the university fought back.

Michael Sanders was an assistant professor at Kettering University. Sanders applied for tenure in 2004 and 2005, but both times his applications were denied.

To make matters worse, the university informed him in March 2006 that his faculty appointment would end after the 2006-07 school year.

Sanders sued, claiming the university denied him tenure and terminated his employment based on his Iranian heritage.

The court rejected his claim. His evidence of discrimination was weak: None of the allegedly biased comments made about him by colleagues mentioned his Iranian descent. Also, the university offered plenty of evidence showing he was a bad candidate for tenure. Evidence showed he was repeatedly absent from classes he taught, skipped important topics and failed to submit completed student evaluations.

The university also showed Sanders had:

  • Misrepresented the nature of a grant
  • Wrongfully listed himself as the primary author of an article, and
  • Misrepresented himself as a keynote speaker at a conference.

The court rejected the discrimination claim.

Cite: Sanders v. Kettering University.

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  • Dan Wittenberg

    It goes to show that if you are not a middle-aged white male, you believe that you should have an advantage in the workplace. Take it from someone who has been an object of reverse discrimantion in the past.

  • Tony

    God is in control.

  • Mary Beth White

    Really, Mr. Wittenberg? I actually think that this case goes to show that lawsuits not based in *actual* discrimination will be dismissed. Take it from a lawyer who has witnessed *actual* discrimination in action.

  • Bob L.

    It would be nice if Iranians finally realize that their homeland is Iran, not the US, and just go home.

    Our country was established by Europeans and should be preserved as a European-heritage country.

    The Diversity-Multiculturalism ideology is fundamentally wrong. Mixing races and nationalities can only lead to conflicts and accusations, just like the conflict presented here. Multiculturalism brings to us nothing good at all.

  • Ajay S.

    Dear Mr. Says,

    So your solution to any racial acrimony in a multicultural society is to “separate the races” and send back foreigners home. Using that logic, all Europeans should be sent back to Europe because the original inhabitants of this land were the Native Americans.

    Oh! but wait that would mean that you would need to leave. Now that’s not right. You live here so this IS your land. Right?


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