Davis Malm Attorney Gary Feldman represented a distinguished tenured physics professor at a prominent Boston university in an arbitration proceeding concerning a disciplinary action. Our client initiated the proceeding to challenge a formal Letter of Reprimand for allegedly canceling classes without arranging for appropriate coverage while he was out of the country for a meeting relating to his National Science Foundation research in experimental particle physics. The professor also challenged the university’s use of the Reprimand to deny him a merit raise.

After seven days of evidentiary hearings, a day of closing arguments, and post-hearing briefs, the arbitrator found in our client’s favor, concluding that there was no “just cause” for the reprimand, that the university did not conduct a “careful investigation,” and that the denial of salary was unfair and inequitable, all in violation of the Faculty Handbook. The arbitrator stated that it was “inexcusable” that the university never spoke with our client, or the professor who covered his classes, during the investigation. This entire affair was allegedly prompted by student complaints. Notably, the university refused to identify the students, and failed to present any direct evidence as to their complaints.

The arbitrator ordered the removal of the Letter of Reprimand and ordered an adjustment of the professor’s current salary together with back pay.

For more information contact: Joanne Thorud; (617) 589-3894; jthorud@davismalm.com

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