Terminating a Tenured Professor at a Private University Requires Compliance with Contract

In Haegert v. University of Evansville, 977 N.E.2d 924 (Ind. 2012), the Supreme Court of Indiana discussed the legal hurdles that a private university had to leap before it could terminate the employment of a professor who was working for the school pursuant to a tenured contract.  Apparently, simply saying “Jetson, you’re fired!” may not have been enough.

The Court recognized that cases applying Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or state-law equivalents were not relevant since an employment contract was in place that explicitly provided the terms, procedures, and policies for firing a tenured professor.  In this instance, the University was seeking to terminate the professor due to conduct that was characterized as harassment or sexual harassment.  The Court found that the employment contract, along with the Faculty Manual, clearly defined what constituted sexual harassment, and that the professor’s conduct fell within such definition.  By following the procedures for the investigation and firing, as outlined in the employment contract, the Court held that the university had afforded the professor adequate notice and process regarding the claims against him and his termination.

About Curtis T. Jones

Curtis Jones (CUJO) is a Partner in the Appellate, Litigation and Insurance Groups at Bose McKinney & Evans LLP (BME). ~Before joining BME, I served for two years as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Theodore (Ted) R. Boehm in the Supreme Court of Indiana. Since 2006, I have worked extensively on a number of complex business and commercial litigation matters and have handled numerous appeals in the Indiana Appellate Courts and Seventh Circuit. I have also assisted insurers, wholesalers, agents, brokers and insureds in the insurance industry analyze, litigate and/or resolve coverage issues.~ For more information about Curtis T. Jones: http://www.boselaw.com/people.cfm/staff/219
This entry was posted in Appeals Attorneys, Appellate Court Indiana, Indiana, Indiana Courts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Terminating a Tenured Professor at a Private University Requires Compliance with Contract

  1. It’s hard to come by educated people in this particular subject,
    but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

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