ERIC Number: ED303067
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Dismissals of Tenured Faculty for Incompetence: An Analysis of Litigation Patterns. ASHE 1988 Annual Meeting Paper.
Helms, Lelia B.; Seal, Julienne
The status of litigation involving dismissals of tenured faculty for reasons of incompetence, broadly defined, is evaluated. In practice, there is no consensus within higher education as to what constitutes adequate cause based on incompetence for dismissal of faculty members. The following issues are explored: (1) the pattern of increasing litigation; (2) patterns of litigation by institutional type; (3) forums for disputing these litigations; (4) prevailing parties to the dispute; (5) procedural issues that have been litigated; (6) substantative issues that have been litigated; (7) subcategories of behavior alleged to be incompetent; and (8) the role of the court in resolving disputes over faculty dismissals. All recorded court decisions which resulted in the dismissal of a tenured faculty member in a postsecondary institution for reasons of incompetence from January 1960 through March 1988 were surveyed. The resulting patterns of litigation are discussed, providing perspectives about the court's role in disputes over evaluation of tenured faculty. The growing judicial involvement--state and federal--in such decisions, and variation in litigation by type of institution are discussed. The fairly strong position of institutions involved in litigation is confirmed. The caselaw illustrates the importance of procedural issues in litigating. Classification of the cases on dismissal for incompetence into three subcategories (incompetence, insubordination, and neglect of duty) sheds some light on litigation patterns and strategies. Contains 55 references and 9 tables. (SM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: ASHE Annual Meeting; Incompetence
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (St. Louis, MO, November 3-6, 1988).