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U of I Trustees Dismiss Wozniak

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Illinois, Chris Kennedy

Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University of Illinois, Chris Kennedy speaks to board members during an University of Illinois Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 in Springfield Ill. The board fired Louis Wozniak, a tenured professor, Thursday, after he was charged with disseminating confidential student information and more. Wozniak had a 50-year career at the state's flagship school. (Seth Perlman/AP)

The University Of Illinois’ Board of Trustees fired an engineering professor on Thursday who had a 50-year career on the flagship campus in Urbana. U of I administrators say Louis Wozniak is the first tenured professor to be dismissed by the board.

Former University of Illinois Professor Louis Wozniak was fired Thursday, Nov. 14 during a vote by the U of I's Board of Trustees.In 2010, Wozniak was put on leave for allegedly harassing a student, improperly obtaining and publishing grades, and sending an email to students containing a sexual reference. U of I President Robert Easter says the board felt he threatened students' rights.

"This has been a long deliberative process governed by the university statutes and the goal throughout has been to give due process to the professor, and we've now arrived at a point where the board has made its decision," Easter said.

"In my history at the University of Illinois, I don't know a case where we've revoked tenure," Easter added. 

Wozniak said he is dissapointed by the board's decision, and he denies any wrongdoing. He said he has already spent $120,000 on attorney’s fees defending himself, but is not sure if he will continue that fight.

"You know I’m really, really pleased with the kids, just don’t like the administrators," he said. "They’re all corrupt. They’re all authoritarian. That’s the problem. Life is sweet on one side and bitter on the other.”

Wozniak said faculty should form a union to oppose what he calls an “authoritarian administration.”

Wozniak 's problems began when he investigated why he didn't receive a 2009 teaching award after getting the most votes.  Previous to the board's vote on Thursday, a faculty review committee had found Wozniak was in error in just one area, and said his three-year suspension was penalty enough.

Categories: Education