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Courts Will Enforce Administrative Exhaustion Requirement in Claims Relating to a University’s Decision Regarding Tenure and Promotion of its Professors

In the case of Chen v. Univ. of Dayton, 2023-Ohio-4002, an appellate court held that a professor failed to exhaust the administrative requirements for the professor’s appeal regarding the denial of tenure.

In this case, the professor argued that the professor did not seek an internal appeal due to the university shutting down because of COVID and because such an appeal would be in vain. In response, the university argued that the process for appealing the denial of tenure is in the employee handbook, which the professor admitted to reading and knowing. The appellate court agreed with the university.

In support of its decision in favor of the university, the appellate court explained that an agreed-upon process for appeals is preferred because it avoids bogging down the courts with litigation. The appellate court further explained that administrative exhaustion is similar to arbitration agreements that are also favored by courts, and that the doctrine of administrative exhaustion has been expanded to private universities as it relates to decisions regarding tenure and promotion.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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