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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug 11, 2008    #081
Contact: John Allen
816-235-1585

UMKC reaches agreement with professors Both professors will fulfill academic and research obligations

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has reached agreement with Professors Keith Haddock and Carlos Poston to resign from their tenured positions on the UMKC faculty, effective September 30, 2008. Haddock and Poston also agree not to apply for employment with the University at anytime in the future. Their agreement eliminated the necessity for the University to initiate proceedings to revoke their tenure and dismiss them from the University.

“This agreement provides the opportunity for all parties to move forward with the missions of educating students and advancing research without the distraction of a protracted proceeding before a faculty committee,” said Gail Hackett, Ph.D., provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

“This agreement provides the opportunity for all parties to move forward with the missions of educating students and advancing research without the distraction of a protracted proceeding before a faculty committee,” said Gail Hackett, Ph.D., provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

The terms of the agreement permit Haddock and Poston to fulfill existing academic and research obligations, and use necessary computers and equipment, so students and research sponsors will not be disadvantaged by their disassociation from the University. They will continue to receive their salaries through the end of their contract year, which ends on August 31, 2009. Under the University’s tenure regulations, Haddock and Poston likely were eligible for payment through that date even if their tenure had been revoked by what was anticipated to be a lengthy hearing process.

Haddock and Poston will be informed in writing of the results of an investigation conducted by Grace Hernandez, director of UMKC’s Office of Affirmative Action. The investigation followed settlement of a lawsuit brought by a former student and faculty member. The lawsuit, brought in 2006 and settled in July 2007, alleged a sexually hostile environment existed in the Health Research Group (HRG) Lab supervised by Haddock and Poston at UMKC. As part of her investigation, Hernandez interviewed approximately 70 students, faculty and staff. Hernandez did not attempt to weigh or assess the credibility of the witnesses and, because of significantly conflicting testimony among the witnesses, she felt the evidence was inconclusive as to whether or not there was a hostile work environment in the HRG Lab.

After the allegations surfaced, UMKC enhanced its sexual harassment prevention and awareness programs. All faculty and staff are now required to participate in training sessions for the prevention of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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