The University of Illinois’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on Thursday to dismiss a tenured engineering professor on the Urbana-Champaign campus who has clashed several times with the administration, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The board concluded that there was “clear and convincing evidence” that the professor, Louis Wozniak, an associate professor of engineering, could no longer be relied upon to perform his duties, according to a written statement released by the university. The board said Mr. Wozniak’s misconduct was so severe that it justified his immediate dismissal.
“The university awards tenure very selectively, and it is rare for situations to emerge in which revocation of tenure is considered,” the board said in the statement. “We do not consider revocation of tenure lightly.” University officials believe it is likely that Mr. Wozniak’s tenure-review case is the first in the institution’s history to reach the board, according to the newspaper.
Mr. Wozniak received tenure in 1972 but was relieved of his teaching duties three years ago. His suspension followed a series of incidents that included accusations that he violated university policy by using a sexual reference in an email to students, for which he apologized. He has also fought with the administration over a student-selected teaching award that he believed he had been wrongly denied. He sued the university in 1998 in a previous dispute over his classroom duties.
Mr. Wozniak told the Tribune on Wednesday that he had begun clearing out his office after hearing from his lawyer that he was likely to be dismissed.
“I am sad because I really liked teaching and I really like my students,” he told the newspaper. “How many people have done for 52 years what they always wanted to do? I got to do that. I am delighted over that, but not delighted that it has ended, and ended this way.”