Professors dispute negative tenure decisions all the time, but rarely do their cases end up in court. That’s because pursuing a legal case against an institution is time-consuming and costly and, most importantly, courts nearly always defer to colleges’ and universities’ initial judgments.
Not so though with an ongoing case at Cornell University. A state judge in November ruled that the university had so bungled a tenure review that he vacated the original decision against the professor in question and ordered a new one. Judge Rich blasted Cornell for ignoring its own rules and acting “capriciously… “The professor was entitled to due process. Cornell speaks of a level playing field but keeping the allegations secret from Vengalattore while having those allegations sour his tenure review creates anything but a level playing field and was arbitrary and capricious,”