HMM: Court Filings Reveal Contradictory Accounts Of Dean’s Exit At Texas Southern Law School.

Officials at the Historically Black University were tight-lipped about Joan R.M. Bullock’s dismissal in June, but recently filed court documents cast light on the turmoil within the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Bullock is suing the university, its regents and other leaders, alleging that she was stripped of her position and tenure without cause.

The attorney general’s office, which is representing the public university, outlined in a federal court filing some of the reasons for why they said the former dean was fired. They also argued a motion for the case’s dismissal Wednesday and denied that Bullock was ever granted tenure—a highly protected status that provides educators job security and safeguards the freedom to teach and conduct research as they choose.

I find that highly implausible. In every deanship search I’ve ever heard of, the new dean gets faculty tenure when hired. Thus, even if they resign as dean they become a regular faculty member. (The dean position is like a coach, there’s no guarantee you’ll keep the job as dean if you’re unsuccessful.) I can’t imagine anyone taking a deanship without tenure.