Archive for Thursday, September 13, 2012

Judge’s ruling supports KU tenure decision

September 13, 2012


Douglas County District Judge Robert Fairchild has ruled in favor of Kansas University in a lawsuit contesting KU’s decision to deny tenure to Albert Romkes, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

The decision, handed down last week, strikes down a lawsuit filed in May 2011 by Romkes, who alleged that KU denied his tenure application even though two university committees recommended its approval. In the decision, Fairchild wrote that KU’s decision to deny tenure was “supported by substantial evidence and is not arbitrary nor capricious.”

Jack Martin, KU spokesman, said in a statement released Thursday, that “the court examined the record and determined the University of Kansas acted appropriately in denying Dr. Romkes tenure based on what the University Promotion and Tenure Committee called ‘a research record that does not demonstrate the development of an independent scholarly agenda and a sustainable research program.’”

Romke’s attorney, Albert Palmer, declined comment on the case.

A website,, was created in support of Romkes’ tenure application, containing several arguments and documents in support of his position. The site states that Romkes was the only openly gay faculty member in the school. Romkes said that, as far as he knew, he was one of the first openly gay faculty in the school. He added that while he had never experienced open acts of discrimination at the school, he felt he couldn’t rule out the fact that his sexual orientation might have been used against him in the tenure process.


begin60 5 years, 7 months ago

We shall overcome! Even wrongheaded KU officials and the thuggish cops and local law enforcement system they hold in their wallets do not have the final word about justice-- except to tell what twisted visions of fairness and equity many in the backwoods hold.

lawslady 5 years, 7 months ago

Get a life Adrian R. OR more mental health assistance. Your response to anything on any topic is always the same, even with the many names you use. Your style of writing and phrasing is consistently the same (backwoods, abuse, confidentiality, thugs, yokels, etc.), on ALL topics.

voevoda 5 years, 7 months ago

If you don't know Dr. Romkes, observant, why do you choose to malign him?

Bob Forer 5 years, 7 months ago

It's KU's loss. Romkes is an accomplished educator. No doubt a university of higher stature will snap him up, realizing the denial of tenure came from the University of KANSAS.

justoneperson 5 years, 7 months ago

Based on your post it seems probable that you are not an administrator or a faculty member at a college or university.

  1. If you are denied tenure at a college or university, it's highly unlikely that a higher ranked institution is going to hire you as you were not deemed sufficient at a lower ranked institution.

  2. If you are denied tenure it becomes a bit harder to find a job at any institution because other departments wonder why (and don't like taking risks).

I don't know the person in question or their work, but I do understand the complexities he now has to deal with related to being denied tenure. Good luck to him.

Tomato 5 years, 7 months ago

Who's going to want to hire a guy who sued his last employer for discrimination?

They're not even going to want to interview him, for fear that he'll sue them for not hiring him.

He'll probably have to know someone on a hiring committee at another university for them to so much as glance at him.

lawslady 5 years, 7 months ago

Tenure is not a God given (or legal) right. And getting it at a research institution (like KU) is hard for some people (who may be great minds, teachers and people) because it often requires a very high level of publication (which is not always easy for some people or in some fields). It is one of the ways such larger universities get designations as research instutitions, accredited and attract research scholars. The smaller colleges do not place or have as much emphasis on publications, so that is why such colleges sometimes get excellent teachers who spend more time teaching and not writing articles etc. Individuals who do not produce the expected amount of published articles often fail to qualify for tenure at a research institution.

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