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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