Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Regents Followed Procedure in Marder Firing, Supreme Court Finds

The state Supreme Court sided with the UW System Board of Regents in a decision released today regarding the firing of former tenured UW-Superior prof John Marder.

Marder, who was hired in 1987 as a professor UW-Superior's Department of Communicating Arts, was dismissed in 1999 by Chancellor Julius Erlenbach on multiple charges of misconduct.

The opinion, written by Justice Patience Roggensack, states that the Board correctly employed state statutes in the firing, and dismissed Marder's claims that ex parte communications between Erlenbach and former Regent Toby Marcovich compromised the process.

However, the justices upheld an appeals court decision to send the case back to circuit court to determine if new facts were presented when Erlenbach met with the Board of Regents in closed session immediately before the board voted 11-3 to fire Marder.

"Based on the record before us, we cannot determine whether in the communication between the chancellor and the Board, which occurred immediately before the Board voted to terminate Marder, the chancellor presented new facts to the Board upon which its decision to terminate Marder was based," Roggensack writes.

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley did not participate in the decision.

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