Thursday, October 16, 2003

Updating the fired dean story 

The StarTribune and AP are also broadcasting the story about our dean that was terminated. The spin always comes back to the fact that he was individually named in the anti-Semitism suit that was settled last year. I do not believe that is an accident, nor do I think it's an invention of the reporters at the StarTribune and St. Cloud Times.

The provost stated in our college meeting that discussed our future without Dick -- a meeting that lasted less than fifteen minutes -- that the former dean's office is in a room without a phone. And yet ...

The university said in a statement that Lewis, formerly dean of the College of Social Sciences, will coordinate special projects for Michael Spitzer, provost and vice president for academic affairs
Wouldn't coordination work better with a phone?

I have learned from several sources that Dr. Lewis' belongings were boxed and put outside his office last Friday afternoon. The meeting, held Monday at 1pm, was called at 3pm the previous Friday. I have never seen this done before, particularly in the middle of a semester.

The dean is a former member of the faculty and worked at SCSU since 1976. The disdain for his long service displayed in the shabby handling of his termination is the most shocking aspect of what has happened (so far.)

Given our long history of lawsuits (as noted by a reader at the Times Monday) and the fact that Lewis is represented by a well-known lawyer with expertise in dealing with at-will employment -- Lewis was employed under this contract -- it should be another bumpy ride for the folks in the administration.

I am still developing this story.

UPDATE: The software the St. Cloud Times uses for archiving causes all the URLs to change daily, making linking to their stories nearly impossible. That's relatively new. I'll copy over some parts of the article and post them here later.