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Thursday, Nov. 2nd 2017


College and university professors are subject to both academic performance reviews and disciplinary reviews. This website has addressed post-tenure reviews but the subject of tenure reviews and disciplinary reviews deserves some comment. The pre-tenure review process focuses on the same 3-part analysis of a professor’s contribution in 1) teaching 2) research and publication and 3) service to the college or university. A less than satisfactory annual review for a non-tenured faculty member can lead to a denial of tenure and the affected faculty member should seek counsel at the earliest opportunity.

Cohen-Law-Firm-Professor-Appeals-Attorney-ChallengesDisciplinary reviews or proceedings typically subject a faculty member to potential dismissal for cause. Not all disciplinary allegations are about obvious misconduct such as criminal behavior, sexual harassment or dereliction of duty. Professors can be subject to disciplinary efforts as a result of being outspoken on issues of academic freedom or a First Amendment right to express one’s social and political views. It does make a difference if you are employed by a private college or university in being able to make a First Amendment argument.


The decision for representation to handle the professor appeals process is integral to winning your case, and the sooner the better.  The best time to seek legal advice is early in any process where you have received notice of an allegation of misconduct or failure to achieve a satisfactory evaluation. Grounds for an appeal usually are based on specific criteria, and must be followed exactly. The grounds for the appeal could be allegations of a violation of established procedures and practices of your department, or perhaps you feel your evaluation was influenced by unlawful discrimination or other factors unrelated to the performance of your professional responsibilities or position. Perhaps you feel the decision was inconsistent with the evidence in the record and is arbitrary. Whatever the reason, having an appellate attorney who is skilled and experienced to guide you throughout the entire professor appeals process could be imperative to receiving a winning outcome.


Mr. Cohen is experienced in all types of faculty proceedings. For a no cost initial consultation by email or phone: cac@studentrightslawyers.com or 785.979.7361


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