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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 22, 1988)
A story about the CBA Action Council (Nov. 11} was incorrect. Shennen Salzman said m
he would like at least 600 to 800 letters sent to Gov. Kay Orr Also. 30 percent of the
classes in CBA are taught by graduate assistants. In another CBA-related article (Nov.
18), State Sen. Bernice Labedz was mistaken for Sen -elect LaVon Crosby.
Tuesday, partly cloudy and mild, high in the low to ^gest.2
mrd 50s with SW winds 10-20 mptv Tuesday night. ^ £ Entertainment;; [ ] 7
partly cloudy, low around 30. Wednesday, mostly Sports 9
sunny, high 60-65. Classified ! ......... 12
November 22, 1988 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Vol. 88 No. 61
Former professor files complaint in court
By Victoria Ayotte
A former University of Nebraska-Lin
eoln associate professor has filed a
complaint in U.S. District Court alleg
ing he was denied due process in consideration
for tenure by three UNL officials.
Joseph Shlien, former associate professor of
mechanical engineering, filed (he complaint
Wednesday against Chancellor Marlin Mas
sengale, Robert Furgason, vice chancellor for
academic affairs and Stanley Liberty, dean of
the College of [Engineering and Technology.
Shlien said in the complaint that Liberty
recommended to deny him tenure because of an
unwritten criteria that Shlien did not generate
enough external funding for his research.
Shlien said he is a nationally-recognized
expert in the field of thermo-fluids and turbu
lence and was promised, when he was hired in
1982, that he would qualify for tenure if he
designed and developed a basic research labo
ratory within his field and taught the required
Shlicn completed these requirements, ac
cording to the complaint. Shlicn said he was
given the written requirements for obtaining
tenure, and nowhere was external funding for
research outlined as a condition of tenure.
The chairman of the mechanical engineer
ing department evaluated Shlicn in May 1985,
the complaint stales, and it was first implied
that an unwritten requirement of external fund
ing might become a precondition for tenure.
“Dr. Shlien must... have external funding,”
a quote from the evaluation says.
The National Science Foundation is the
major source of funding in his field, Shlien said
in the complaint. Shlien said lliat National
Science Foundation funding in his field was
“substantially reduced” between the time he
was hired and the denial of his tenure.
“The defendants, and each of them, prede
termined that they wished to deny plaintiff
tenure,” Shlien said in the complaint.
UNL officials allegedly went through the
tenure consideration process “to conceal that
predetermination,” he said.
Shlicn said the mechanical engineering
department chairman recommended to Liberty
that Shlien be granted tenure, although the
Promotion and Tenure Committee of the de
partment recommended against it. The advi
sory*committcc of the college voted against
tenure, according to the complaint.
Liberty wrote to Furgason in February' 1987
recommending against tenure, it stales.
Shlien said he was informed in April 1987
that tenure was denied, “because he had not
acquired outside funding for his research.”
Shlien said he was never informed of any of
the considerations. He then requested reconsid
eration for tenure.
In the reconsideration process of May 1987,
the Promotion and Tenure Committee reversed
its earlier decision and voted to recommend
tenure for Shlien.
The College Advisory Committee again
recommended against tenure “after being in
structed by Defendant Liberty to not consider
recent accomplishments of Plaintiff (Shlien),
such as publications in the leading journals in
his field and recognition by his peers nationally
that he had become an expert in his field.”
Liberty again recommended that tenure be
denied, and Shlien was informed by Massen
gale and Furgason that tenure was denied and
1987-1988 would be his final year at UNL.
Shlien filed a grievance with the UNL Fac
ulty Senate Grievance Committee, which con
cluded in December 1987 that the tenure con
siderations procedures “had been manipulated
and basic protections to which Plaintiff
(Shlien) was entitled had been denied.”
The grievance committee recommended
reconsideration, and that external funding
should not be a consideration for tenure. The
committee agreed an outside panel of profes
sors from other universities would review
Shlien’s qualifications and advise Liberty.
However, Shlien alleges, Liberty, Furgason
and Masscngalc “intentionally substantially
delayed any further reconsideration.”
Liberty again indicated that external support
for research was a consideration, the complaint
In July 1988, Liberty allegedly restructured
the college’s advisory committee to
See LAWSUIT on 6
'' » .. ■ ... 1,1 i
What they d like to see: j
New resents ponder goals
By David Holloway
hen the University of Ne
braska Board of Regents
meets Jan. 14, two new
members will sit on the board.
Robert Allen of Hastings, who
defeated 18-year board member
Robert Koefoot of Grand Island, said
he would like to see what could be
done to attract “more new talent” to
the staff and administration at the
University of Ncbraska-Lincoln.
Board chairman James Moy Ian, an
18-year veteran from Omaha, was
defeated by Rosemary Skrupa of
Omaha. Skrupa said her top priority
will be the “portability of credits from
the University of Nebraska-Omaha to
UNL.” Allen hopes to hold on to the
talent in faculty and staff at UNL but
attract some new professors.
“Something needs to be done in
salary enhancement for faculty and
administration,” Allen said.
William Swanson, a regent from
Lincoln, said he is “glad that Allen
supports the faculty salary increase.”
Faculty salaries are something the
board has supported for years, Swan
son said, and Allen could help push
the pay increase.
Allen said his top priority now is to
• . • f
Minority scholarships increasea
By David G. Young
The University of Nebraska
Lincoln will have five limes
the amount of money for
minority-oriented scholarships in
1989 as currently available, said
James Gricscn, vice chancellor for
“I would guess that we should have
in the neighborhood of S50,(X)() (next)
year for scholarships aimed specifi
cally at minority students,” Gricscn
Gricscn said the increase, which
was financed by “a number of gifts
from private donors,” comes as part of
a university effort to attract more
minority students to UNL. He would
not specify who the donors w ere.
‘‘This is the first year we feel we ’ ve
had a respectable amount of money
available,' he said. “Nebraska never
has aggressively recruited, with
scholarships, minority students with
particular academic ability.”
In order io4promotc the new schol
arship dollars, advertisements were
placed in the Omaha World-Herald
and the Omaha Star, a newspaper
targeted at black readers. Letters also
were sent to Nebraska high schools
which traditionally have a large
number of minority students, Gricscn
“On Wednesday, Nov. 9, 80 stu
dents from South High School visited
the university, the vast majority of
them minorities. 1 met with them in
^ the morning as part of a day on cam
pus. A number had already gotten the
word (about the scholarship pro
gram),” Grieuen said.
“My indications would be that if
the sample of 80 is accurate, that
when we tally them up this year, we
should have a significantly larger
manner 01 applicants, nu saiu.
Gricscn said minorities in Omaha
arc highly recruited by Iowa Slate, as
well as many other private schools.
He said this was partially because of
a lack of effort by UNL.
Jimmi Smith, director of the
Multi-Cultural Affairs Office, agreed
with Gricscn that the lack of funding
in the past has given the university a
“Examining the UNL experience,
it can he clearly said that for white
middle class and white low income
students, they arc served pretty well,”
said Smith. “The university was built,
was planned and was structured to
serve that type of person.
“How well has it responded to the
educational needs of racial minority
persons and groups? is quality of
education being received on an equal
basis as those other groups?”
Smith said the new scholarship
effort fils in one of the need areas
presented by the Appreciating Cul
tural Diversity Program.
Gricscn said that in the future,
more money would be added to the
fund, provided primarily by the Rick
Davis scholarship. Davis, who gradu
ated from UNL, difcd recently, leav
ing between $50,000 and $200,000
available for the future, Gricscn said.
Smith noted, however, that while
the scholarship program may be suc
cessful in attracting more minorities
to the university, efforts need to be
made to retain these scholars.
“It’s critical that the environment
be looked at,” he said. “If that scholar
finds he can’t succeed outside the
classroom area, he'll be frustrated, if
m inori ty scholars aren ’ t al lowed to do
that, it could cause them to leave."
Smith said the best way to assure
minority success outside the class
room is to fund minority organiza
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