September 15, 2008

Please do help... [USA]

I am a full prof. I am aware of misconduct, to put it mildly. I went from probably the most preferred faculty member to the most harassed. I did not formally blow a whistle. I face so much hostility from the admin, it cause a devastating physical illness (as can be documented). I am not a trouble maker.

It has gone on for three years, part of which I was on leave seeking medical help. I returned to pure hell. I am popular among the colleagues, and my courses are packed (even though they are hard). I run a doc program and feel very respected in my field. I don't get raises anymore (used to get huge raises that it was almost uncomfortable).

The sad part is, I just love being a prof and love my students. I have a hard time writing these days with the distraction of constant badgering, retaliation, rumors, being held against my will in meetings, asked to sign fabricated papers would compromise my ethics or coerce me into pleading guilty to false charges, or even incriminate me.

The last straw was that I met with ADA, and I already had a small reasonable accommodation for something else. They were very nice, as always. Now they want new documentation even regarding the old accommodation (which is incurable). So, the stress is making this all worse (although I have learned to meditate and deal with A LOT). Will it ever end?

ADA suggested an alternative strategy than the one determined by my doc. This is a major univ. I cannot believe what has gone on. I love being a prof, but not sure it's all it was cracked up to be... not here. I DO NOT want to leave. I like what I made for myself. I need to remain in this geographical location. I asked before, but I will ask again, since I have not made progress. WHAT KIND of LAWYER do I need? How does one find a university/higher ed, ADA, harassment, employment, and grant mismanagement fund atty? I need one and it cannot wait any longer.

The disgraceful, despicable and disgusting employers responsible for the current situation of our colleague above, are more than shame to the human race. One feels the pain and anguish of our colleague. If you live in the USA, perhaps you can offer some help. Email him at:


Anonymous said...

Have you been in touch with the AAUP (American Association of University Professors)? They are based in Washington DC but most campuses have local branches. They could perhaps help recommend a good lawyer. Sounds like you need a good employment lawyer at the very least. Are you a foreign professor in the US? I am a foreign professor in the UK and your situation is freakishly similar to my own in many, many details. Is there something about being a foreign professor that makes one a target?

Anonymous said...

The best thing is to get out as soon as possible.

One might be able to fight against being harassed and win, but that won't stop one's tormentors. They'll continue until they win, especially if there's a change in administration and they quickly make friends with the new people.

In situations like that, whoever flings mud first wins. It won't matter who's right.

Anonymous said...

I also suggest that you contact the American Association of University Professors. I do not think that you should look for any help within your institution yet because they don’t do anything for you. So, look for help outside if you can.

But, I do think that you may want to consider of looking at the workplace laws (such as non-discriminatory policies, anti-harassment laws, and workplace dignity policies) before you seek help. Since you are working at a major university, there should be some kind of institutional laws to protect university employees. It is always good to have a strong case when you talk with your lawyer.


Anonymous said...

Employment legislation might not be of much use.

Several years ago, I was in a similar situation. I was informed by a certain government official that I wasn't covered by labour law because of the contract the institution made with the academic staff. Because it was a private agreement, which both the institution and the staff association ratified, the legislation didn't apply. By working at that establishment, one agreed to the terms and conditions offered and covered by the contract.

Aren't legal loopholes wonderful?