The law school dean retaliated against a professor

DENVERPOST

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An investigation conducted by the University of Colorado Boulder found that a dean of the campus’s law school violated university policy by retaliating against a professor who reported discrimination.
Paul Campos, a law professor at CU Boulder, filed a complaint with the university in 2022 reporting he faced discrimination and retaliation from Law School Dean Lolita Buckner Inniss.
Campos filed a lawsuit against the university and Inniss in June of 2023.
OIEC finalized its conclusion of the investigation on Feb. 19, about six days after the lawsuit wrapped up.
In the settlement agreement, CU Boulder denied any wrongdoing.
“The settlement process and the OIEC investigatory process are two independent processes and serve independent functions at our university,” CU Boulder spokesperson Nicole Mueksch said in a statement.
With respect to the OIEC investigation, Mueksch said the university upheld its responsibility to investigate reported behavior that may violate university policies or state and federal laws.
Faculty, staff and students can file a complaint to OIEC and it will determine whether to conduct an investigation.
OIEC reviewed the discrimination allegations separately and did not find grounds to pursue a formal investigation.
“Now that the university itself has reached this conclusion, my attorney and I are asking a simple question,” Campos said.

According to an investigation by the University of Colorado Boulder, a dean of the law school on campus was found to have retaliated against a professor who had reported discrimination, in violation of university policy.

A complaint about discrimination and retaliation from CU Boulder Law School Dean Lolita Buckner Inniss was filed by Paul Campos, a professor of law, in 2022.

In June of 2023, Campos filed a lawsuit against Inniss and the university. Both parties signed a dismissal of all claims on February 22, following the conclusion of negotiations toward a settlement. Thirteen.

“The university released a statement upon the announcement of our settlement, refuting any allegations of misconduct. As a result, Dean Inniss would continue to hold her role,” Campos wrote via email. The university’s own 18-month investigation into Dean Inniss’s actions revealed that she had broken federal civil rights laws, which guard against people being punished for reporting illegal discrimination, almost immediately after the university released that statement. “.

Through CU Boulder’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, the university carried out its investigation. The OIEC concluded the investigation on February. 19, or roughly six days following the conclusion of the lawsuit. CU Boulder denied any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement.

A spokesperson for CU Boulder, Nicole Mueksch, said in a statement that “the settlement process and the OIEC investigatory process are two independent processes and serve independent functions at our university.”. “OIEC complaints are looked into by the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance on the CU Boulder campus, and lawsuits and settlements are handled by the Office of University Counsel overall. “.

According to Mueksch, the settlement’s terms are upheld, including the university’s denial of any wrongdoing. Mueksch stated that the university maintained its duty to look into any reported behavior that might be in violation of state or federal laws, or university policies, with regard to the OIEC investigation.

Inniss chose not to address the topic.

Policies pertaining to harassment and discrimination must be put into effect and enforced by OIEC. OIEC will decide whether to launch an investigation based on complaints from faculty, staff, and students.

After conducting an inquiry, OIEC publishes a report titled “Determination regarding Responsibility.”. The findings of Campos’ investigation, which were made available through a public records request, stated that “Inniss is found to have violated the University of Colorado Boulder Discrimination and Harassment Policy by the OIEC.”. “.

Inniss fired Campos from his faculty committee post, according to the report, after he accused the company of discrimination and threatened to file a lawsuit. As demonstrated by a low annual review score, Campos claimed he was penalized for taking paternity leave and that he was subjected to discrimination by Inniss and the university because of his Latino ethnicity. OIEC conducted a separate review of the discrimination claims and determined there was insufficient information to launch a formal investigation.

In the report, Campos claimed that Inniss had damaged his capacity to carry out the service component of his faculty position by refusing to offer him another assignment following his dismissal from the faculty committee.

“My lawyer and I are posing a straightforward question now that the university has come to this conclusion,” Campos stated. “After a faculty member reported discrimination to her, how can the deanship of the university’s law school be held by someone who broke the most fundamental provisions of federal civil rights law?”.

Nothing is done right away in response to the OIEC ruling. Before any final decisions or corrective measures are implemented, both parties will have the chance to file an appeal and submit any additional pertinent information.

Following the appeal process, Provost Russell Moore, human resources, and the OIEC will determine what will happen if it is determined that Inniss violated university policy.

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