Fired professor restored after arbitration

A faculty member in the School of Business Administration who was fired has won her job back after the professors’ union entered into arbitration with Portland State.

The arbitrator ordered that she be reinstated at the beginning of the next academic year and receive back pay and benefits.

Julia Getchell, the coordinator for the PSU chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), initiated the grievance on behalf of the faculty member after “informal resolution talks with the Dean [of the School of Business Administration] broke down.”

The AAUP functions as both a professional association and the exclusive collective bargaining agent for full-time faculty.

The grievance was filed under the collective bargaining agreement, the legal agreement between the AAUP and the university, which is renegotiated every two years.

In an e-mail, Getchell said the arbitrator, Sylvia Skratek, found that the university violated the agreement by not providing the grievant with an annual review until after her fourth year and that “the University’s claim that it can terminate a tenure-track faculty member for any reason by providing timely notice is without merit because the University must adhere to provision of the Agreement.”

The grievant, who did not want her name used for fear of jeopardizing her career, declined to comment.

Both Scott Dawson, the dean of the School of Business Administration, and Michael Driscoll, vice provost for academic personnel and budget, also declined to comment on the matter, saying that they could not comment on personnel issues. However, Dawson did characterize this dispute as an iteration of conflict between the provost’s office at Portland State and the AAUP rather than merely a specific issue regarding the grievant and the School of Business Administration.