Laid Off UTMB-Galveston Faculty Not Having A Lot Of Luck With Appeals

The Scientist, a magazine that takes a skeptical look at goings-on in the medical industry, has a new report out on UTMB-Galveston's treatment of faculty in the wake of Hurricane Ike.

Color them unimpressed. (Free registration may be required.)

Or, maybe impressed -- just not in a good way. If you're tossing around terms like "show trials," it's generally not too positive a report.

Only a couple of the former University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) faculty members who challenged their terminations made in the aftermath of last year's Hurricane Ike have won their appeals in what some are calling "show trials," although some of the defeated professors have been rehired to the same or similar positions.

"The way that the whole thing was set up and executed, I think it was a farce," Roger Vertrees, a former non-tenure track associate professor of surgery who had his appeal denied, told The Scientist.

UTMB's layoff of thousands of its employees included about 120 professors; 30 appealed their pink slips, The Scientist reported. Of the 18 cases heard so far, only two professors have won.

One fired professor called the proceedings a "kangaroo court" and set up a website that includes the audio of the hearing.

Of course, much of this is likely to end up in the court system, since the whole post-Ike period was a cock-up, as the Brits say, for the historic facility.

And getting rid of older, experienced people in favor of cheaper, younger ones is not exactly limited to the medical industry.

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Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly