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Apr 5, 2015 - 1:35:20am
For attorneys or those who know the SLC legal scene:
(posted from a mobile device)
A good friend of my was a tenured professor at Dixie State University with 15 years' experience. Based on one incident and one complaint he was fired in December.

Apparently it is common practice to use a technique called resistance training in theater classes. If a student had a role where they are supposed to be annoyed and angry, but they are monotone or milquetoast, after trying some other things it is common to purposely annoy the student to get them to express anger or annoyance. The training can include poking the student and flipping their hair in their face.

The theater prof explains to his students at the beginning of the semester, and repeats it over the course of the semester, that all a student has to do is ask to stop if any exercise is too much for them b

One girl was extremely quiet and milquetoast, so the prof employed the resistance training technique during a class period. He asked the girl more than once if she was annoyed or uncomfortable. She said "no" every time. She never succeeded in showing emotion in delivering her lines.

After class she went to the Dean of Students to complain. He went to the new President of DSU (who goes by "Biff" even though that isn't his given name - but that's a subject for another time), and an immediate decision was made to terminate the prof.

The University Police investigated the incident and determined no assault happened. The prof asked for a faculty review of the situation because he had tenure. At the faculty review he presented evidence, including statements from other theater profs in Utah, that this technique is common and accepted. The faculty review voted 5-0 to reinstate his employment.

Biff then had a period of time in which he could do one of three things: 1) Accept the determination of the faculty review board, 2) ask the board to reconvene and reconsider, or 3) overturn their decision because it was not based on the evidence presented.

Biff waited until 4:45 on the last day possible and sent a university police car to the prof's house saying he was overturning the decision and the prof was fired. Biff gave no indication as to why. He did not say the faculty review board made the wrong decision based on the evidence presented.

Biff never spoke to the prof, even one time, to find out what he had to say.
Biff and other university officials have made vague statements about other complaints (their are none in the prof's personnel file) and other information that will come out that will back up his decision. When confronted with uncomfortable questions, the University hides behind privacy laws designed to protect the prof. But when it suits them, they leak things. They leaked that the girl's parents had asked the county DA to prosecute the prof for assault. Last I heard, the DA is investigating.

Long story short, the prof needs to sue the pants off Dixie. I think he needs counsel from Salt Lake.

Who do you recommend? (I'm more looking for recommendations from those who have a basis to assess a lawyer's ability with this kind of case than a recommendation that your bishop is a lawyer and a good guy.
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Aug 8, 2001
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