University caves as law faculty threaten Dean with no confidence vote

That would be the Creighton University law faculty. The Omaha World-Herald has the news here:

A professor at Creighton University has agreed to return to the law school today after he was temporarily suspended by the school’s dean.

Kenneth Melilli, who won the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement at Creighton last year, was suspended by the dean of law Wednesday evening, evidently after an argument this month with a senior associate dean of law.

… Letters obtained by The World-Herald show Melilli had support from numerous faculty members who intimated they would push for a vote of no confidence against Paul McGreal, dean of law, and Nicholas Mirkay, associate dean of law.

… A draft of a letter that was expected to go to Interim Provost Thomas Murray was signed last week by 11 tenured faculty members, including Melilli. The letter said law professors passed a motion recently reaffirming that a majority of law faculty members should rule over educational decisions in the law school.

The letter says that McGreal and Mirkay objected and that Melilli and Mirkay later argued over it. The letter says Melilli, a faculty member since 2000, made what was interpreted as a threat against Mirkay. McGreal “unilaterally suspended” Melilli after consulting the university human resources department, “which has no jurisdiction over faculty discipline,” the letter says.

The letter also states that Melilli received no due process and that the way his suspension was handled violated the Creighton Faculty Handbook. The faculty members wrote that only Creighton’s president can suspend a faculty member. Even the president must first consult the academic freedom committee, and the suspension can proceed in this situation “only after a finding that there is a threat of physical harm.”

 

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