Architecture profs sue Dean Christoph Linder for age discrimination

Daily Emerald reporters Michael Tobin and Zach Price have the scoop here, read it all. Some snippets:

Three University of Oregon professors associated with the university’s Portland architecture program are suing UO and College of Design Dean Christoph Lindner for just under $4.3 million, alleging that Lindner and the university engaged in age discrimination and retaliation as well as breach of contract, according to court documents.

Professors Warren Gerald GastHans Joachim Neis and Donald Genasci, born in 1944, 1947 and 1938, respectively, all worked as architecture professors at the UO architecture program in Portland. According to the individual complaints filed by the professors, they “were the oldest three faculty members in the Portland Architecture program in 2017 and 2018.” [UOM: Click names for pdfs of the complaints, which are worth reading.]

The complaints say that the three professors received notices in May 2017 from Lindner notifying them that they would be relocated from Portland to the UO’s Eugene campus. The two other Portland architecture faculty members, who were under 60-years-old, were not asked to leave, according to the complaints.

… The complaints say that Lindner wanted the reassignment because the Portland program “needed ‘new energy’” and was “stale.” According to the complaints, Lindner “was motivated by his desire for ‘new blood’” and that the “‘reassignment’ had ‘nothing to do with budget.’”

The university disagrees with the claims made in the lawsuits, according to an email statement from UO spokeswoman Molly Blancett.

“As noted in their complaints, they filed similar claims with the Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI), and those claims were dismissed,” Blancett wrote on Friday. “In light of the pending litigation, we are unable to provide additional information at this time but will address the allegations in the court proceedings.” …

“Unable to provide additional information”? Come on. The university administration has regularly provided additional information about litigation, when they think it will help them.