Texas Faculty Association News

Austin, Texas
Feb 2, 2000 

On Dec 20, 1999 Federal Judge Sam Sparks ruled in favor of the plaintiff
(see below) citing Texas A&M for harassment and due process violations.
Also cited malicious prosecution coupled with illegal search and seizure.
Texas A&M vowed to appeal this initial ruling. The preliminary findings
by the court also include evidence of racial animus. A jury trial is set for
May 2000 in Austin, Texas.

In a separate development the final report just issued on Jan 17, 2000
by National science Foundation exonerated Prof. Dhiraj Pradhan
of all charges.

"In TAUP's  opinion, Texas A&M has used the internal audit as means of
harassing Dr. Pradhan and attempting to ruin his career", said Dr. Lawrence
Snyder TAUP's Grievance Consultant. "The nexus between Dr. Pradhan's
opposition to post-tenure review and the attack against him by means of
an audit report could not be clearer".

"We never anticipated anything like this. Frankly, Texas A&M is disappointed in
the fact that the Austin court ignored potential new charges against Prof.
Pradhan" said George Peterson, Executive Dean of Engineering hinting on the
latest purported allegations that Prof. Pradhan photocopied research papers
without proper approval.

In response Charles Orsburn attorney for Prof. Pradhan says" It is incredulous
that any academic institution will consider photocopying published research
material as illegal. However we had been anticipating retaliation ".

"Isn't it time that Texas A&M, at last, acknowledged that it was a mistake
and bring this odious harassment to an end?" asks a Chair Professor
at A&M on condition of anonymity.

"This indictment of Texas A&M by a federal court is a wake-up call to
Deans and Presidents elsewhere, that if they commit similar atrocities
they could also be brought to justice one day", John Brewer, President,
Texas Association of University Professors.


August 20, 1998--Dr. Dhiraj Pradhan, a professor at Texas A&M
University--College Station, filed a seventy-five million dollar lawsuit
today against the University and the Texas A&M University System.  The
lawsuit was filed in federal court in Austin by his attorney, Charles Orsburn.

Dr. Pradhan, one of the nation's outstanding experts in the field of
computer science, alleges abridgment of his free speech rights in speaking
out against post-tenure review at Texas A&M University.  Dr. Pradhan, who
is a native of India, also alleges racial discrimination based on his
treatment as a faculty member.  He complains that his intellectual
property, stored within Texas A&M University computers, was seized by Texas
A&M University auditors and has never been returned, even after repeated
requests.  What is more, Dr. Pradhan complains of the lack of due process
afforded him when Texas A&M University removed him from his appointment as
a professor and an endowed chair.  His lawsuit seeks reinstatement before
class begin at Texas A&M on August 31.

The Texas Faculty Association has followed Professor Pradhan's
case with great interest, said Dr. Charles Zucker, Executive Director of the
Association.  It appears that siccing university auditors on professors
who are critics of the university's policies is becoming the preferred
method of administrative retaliation in this state.  Dr. Pradhan received
very little in the way of due process at A&M.

Indeed, Zucker continued, Dr. Pradhan's experience at A&M during this
long ordeal smacks of a Franz Kafka novel.  No faculty member in any
university in this country should be treated the way he has been treated.
Zucker added that TFA will monitor the lawsuit carefully and may seek to
file amicus briefs in support of Dr. Pradhan's position before the court.

TFA is committed to ensuring that the due process rights and
constitutional rights of all faculty members in the state's colleges,
universities and medical schools are protected.  TFA is aware that the
American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has communicated
regularly with the Texas A&M University administration  to express grave
concern over Texas A&M's treatment of Dr. Pradhan during this controversy.
Though TFA and AAUP are different organizations, there is no difference
between the two when it comes to issues of academic freedom and tenure,
Zucker concluded.

For more information about the lawsuit, contact Gaines West,
Dr. Pradhan's attorney.  Mr. West's telephone number is (409) 694-7000.

Transmitted by:
Shirley Goldsmith
Texas Faculty Association
6021 Westcreek Dr.
Fort Worth, Tx. 76133
fax 817/361-8838
TFA Web site:  http://www.tsta.org/statewide/tfa/tfa.html
Updated March 4, 2000
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