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New Hampshire Court Upholds Professor's Firing

January 4, 2016
 

The New Hampshire Supreme Court in December upheld the University of New Hampshire's 2013 firing of Marco Dorfsman, an associate professor of Spanish, after he admitted to altering a colleague's student evaluations. Dorfsman admitted to altering the evaluations so the student reviews would appear lower than they really were. The university invoked a provision in the contract of the faculty union that "moral turpitude" is grounds for firing. An arbitrator agreed that Dorfsman's actions constituted moral turpitude but found that dismissal was too harsh a punishment.

The Supreme Court decision said that because the contract specifically allows dismissals for moral turpitude and the arbitrator did not contest that the altering of evaluations met that standard, there was no basis to question the university's decision. "In rejecting UNH’s chosen penalty for moral turpitude, the arbitrator substituted his views of the proper industrial relationships for the provisions of the contract," said the Supreme Court decision in the case. "The arbitrator may not rewrite the labor contract in such a way."

 
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