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Why Is The UW Attacking Me?

Dear Colleagues,

This is an update for UW faculty and others who have been  following my story.  As a bit of background for those who may not know me: I am a tenured professor at the University of Washington and a very successful biologist.  Among other things, five of the UW’s current faculty graduated from my program and are currently chairs or directors of major programs here.   I am also the editor of THE-Ave.US. the only website intended to provide free speech on the UW campus.  In January of 2017, I was attacked with no warning by my chair, Dr. Charles Alpers.  He filed charges, since proven false, that I was a racist and a homophobe.  He has refused to apologize or even write a letter repairing my reputation. 

18 months after these disgusting charges, a year after the UWs own investigation exonerated me, the UW has continued to refuse to use its own Ombud, the faculty conciliation service, or HR to resolve the damage they have done.  Defending myself and demanding that the administration adhere to the Faculty Code has cost me tens of thousands in legal costs and now the tax payers of the state are paying private attorneys equal or greater amounts to defend the UW.

Why is the UW doing this?

I do not know why.  Perhaps someone dislikes my website?  Perhaps someone thinks I should not write abut the UW?  Or, perhaps this is all an example of a bureaucracy protecting itself.  I fear that we have an entrenched and not always competent bureaucracy.  Though most of these are very competent, I worry particularly about the large cadre of JDs who act as if they were attorneys even though under state law they can not legally represent the UW.  My belief if that, having made a major error, the UW administrators, especially these non attorney lawyers,  are trying to cover their tracks.

So, where are we now?  My Chapter 28 proceeding continues.  Chapter 28 is the on-campus part of state law that provides for a judicial proceeding.  The faculty panel has rejected  the UW attorneys’ effort to have the panel dismiss the charges I made against my Chair, the Dean, the Provost and the President (see order from 6/18 below).

Moreover, in a startling address to the faculty Senate, the President has now admitted that changes to the Faculty Code were made without the required review and consent of the Faculty.  You can watch Dr. Cauce’s comments on this video from May 17, the discussion starts at 1:18:18).   In other words, under the UW code, the administration used illegal procedures to attack my reputation and career.

To make matters worse, my Chair, the same person who filed the false charges, has gone on to describe me as “without merit” and escalated the problem by accusing me of calling him an “anti-Semite and a racist.”  Dr. Alpers has refused to provide the email he claimed I had written making these new and equally disgusting charges. I have repeatedly urged him to meet with the UW faculty conciliators, but he refuses.

Here is an update from my attorney, David Corbett:

This is an update of recent developments in the Chapter 28 proceeding I have brought on Sr, Schwartz’s behaf against President Cauce, Vice Provost Cameron, Dean Ramsey, and Professor Schwartz’s  chair (the “Respondents”). 

 On May 4, the Respondents filed a Motion for Summary Disposition, arguing that the hearing panel should not address claims related to the improper “housekeeping” amendment of Code Section 25-71.   The respondents also chose to reiterate the original charges brought by Dr. Alpers, even though these have been proven false by UCIRO.

Those of you who were present at the Faculty Senate meeting on May 17 may notice the tension between what President Cauce said to the Senate about how the issues regarding “housekeeping” should be addressed by the adjudication, and her attorneys’ arguments to the Chapter 28 hearing panel, made both before and after President Cauce spoke to the Senate.  Those of you who did not attend the Faculty Senate meeting can find a video of the Senate’s discussion of the AAUP resolution regarding the housekeeping to Section 25-71 here:   https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/101G0HbyNpM98gI-GOKIr7wN9xKbHpq1y (click on 5/17/18; discussion starts at 1:18:18).

We submitted our objections to the Respondent’s Motion on May 18, the Respondents replied on May 25, and the hearing panel issued its decision on June 18. 

The hearing panel denied most of Respondents’ motion to dismiss, so the matter will be proceeding.  The hearing panel’s decision on the housekeeping issue was carefully worded, and may have been designed to leave room for further Senate action.

All of the documents referenced above are attached to this posting.

Opposition to Motion to Dismiss (5.18.18)
Order Regarding Respondents’ Motions to Dismiss 6-18-18
Respondents’ Motion for Summary Disposition (1)
Respondents’ Reply in Support of Their Motion for Summary Disposition v 1 (1)

 

 


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