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UW Faculty Panel Declares Administration Made Illegal Changes to the Faculty Code

UW Administration Building

A jury of faculty hearing my case has now decided that the UW violated the faculty code.

A year ago January, I was falsely accused of using words like f—–g n—-r and f-g.

{QUOTES) “Among other things, Chapter 29 of the Faculty Code requires that proposed amendments be presented to and approved by a vote of the faculty, then presented to the President for approval. ….  It is uncontested that the amendment process established by Chapter 29 was not followed in the case of the February 2016 revisions to Section 25-71…..  the Panel finds that Professor Schwartz has sufficiently alleged harm resulting from the application to his situation of the February 2016 revisions to Section 25-71 rather than the prior provisions of that section. …. The Panel concludes that it has the authority to review the validity of the February 2016 revisions to Section 25-71, that it is the proper body to review the issue in the first instance, and that the determination of validity can be made based on the undisputed evidence in the record. ”  You can read the decision to the left but simply put, the Administration changed the Code to allow charges to be brought to  a cadre of lawyers, without any prior notice to the faculty member. This cadre, called UCIRO, has powers that far exceed anything the FBI has .. there is no Miranda rule, UCIRO can close labs, there in no right to an attorney, and the UW claims that UCIRO’s findings can not be appealed. The effects of the investigation itself can be devastating regardless of the findings. In my case they were unable to find anyone who could confirm the bizarre charges.

An investigation by the UW found no basis for these horrid charges but my Chair used this to do major and likely permanent damage to my reputation and to my grant.  Leaving Dr. Charles Alpers’ intent aside and ignoring the School of Medicine’s code that supposedly requires  him to show “collegial behavior, “ the effects of Dr. Alpers’ action violated any concept of justice.

The harm done and financial costs to my wife and me suggest that the Faculty Code at the UW may be meaningless.

The financial issue is very real.  When the UW does this sort of thing they employ a large cadre of lawyers … some working as legal advisers outside the ethical coverage by the state bar and others acting as attorneys under the Washington State Attorney General.  Neither individual faculty nor the UW Faculty Senate has any access to state paid attorneys.  The legal costs to any defense easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

This experience is not my first encounter with the UW’s misuse of lawyers.  Years ago, the then vice Provost wanted me to perjure myself in regard to an employee who had been mistreated.  When I refused he threatened my tenure and told me if I resisted that he would use the full financial resources of the U and the State against me.  Often UW administrators use these costs to threaten faculty and force actions that can be immoral and certainly are unprofessional.  Most faculty lack the willingness to resist but many contact the AAUP or me and tell stories like my own.  The dad thing is that even the Faculty Senate, supposedly our surpeme governing body, has no access to attorneys of its own.

At my age, my reputation matters a great deal to me.  With my wife’s agreement, we dipped into our retirement funds and followed the Faculty Code.  We hired an extraordinary attorney.  I say “extraordinary” because David Corbett has for many years taken an interest in the issue of faculty rights and the role of  the Faculty Code.  Now a jury of faculty hearing my case has  decided that the UW violated the faculty code.

In Washington State, this is equivalent to a decision by a Superior Court.  Next the faculty panel will evaluate the extent of injury done to me.

It is important to me to point out that I am very much a loyal member of the faculty and a believer in due process.  Early on, long before going to the Faculty for an adjudication,  I went to the Provost and the President to express my innocence and to say that the Code was being abused.  The President refused to meet with me.  Because of my respect for President Cauce, this made me very sad.

Now I am very proud of this decision.  Unfortunately,  President Cauce addressed the Faculty Senate in May.  The President was obviously distressed.   She admitted the changes made violated the UW’s own administrative law but seemed to see this as merely a technical, issue.  Later, in a public meeting, President Cauce tried to justify these changes, claiming they are necessary because her ability to deal with sex abuse is limited by shared governance and by tenure.

Now, we will be calling witnesses to testify under oath about their intent in using the faculty code in this abusive manner.

ORDER OF FACULTY PANEL
Order Regarding Professor Schwartz’s Motion for Partial Summary Disposition 8-21-18 SMS highlighting


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