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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Four professors requestion dean"s resignation

Sept. 20, 1996

Four professors in the College of Engineering have submitted a letter requesting the resignation of Engineering School Dean James Thompson.

The letter was delivered to Thompson Wednesday by Sudarshan Loyalka, Robert Tompson, Tushar Ghosh and Mark Prelas, professors in the nuclear engineering department. The request for Thompson's resignation also was sent to Interim Chancellor Richard Wallace, Provost Ed Sheridan and the engineering school mediator Mike Diamond.

The four engineering faculty members requesting the dean's resignation have been reviewing Thompson's hiring practices over the past 18 months.

"We hope things can be smoothed out amiably," he said. "[However], we don't think things can be worked out with Dean Thompson at the helm," Tompson said.

No decision on Thompson's future has been made.

Connie Mitchell, of the MU News Bureau, said Wallace and Sheridan will have to review the letter before taking any action.

"Things are more or less up to the [interim] chancellor. The ball is really in his court," Tompson said. "We quite frankly don't really know [what is going to happen with this.]"

Thompson has had seven hiring irregularities since his appointment in 1994, Loyalka said. In addition, faculty have raised questions in the past seven months over Thompson's allocation of the school's supplemental fees.

"There are some very compelling issues out there, we find all this very unacceptable," Loyalka said. "The actions we take are all based on facts."

Last week, Wallace told The Maneater he hoped the issues between the engineering dean and faculty could be resolved without anyone leaving the department.

"We need to find win/win situations for everything," Wallace said.

Currently, the engineering school has been working with Diamond to work out any possible problems that might exist in the school.

Vellore Gopoalaratnam, the engineering policy council chairman, said the problems in the engineering school need to be resolved quickly.

The request for the dean's resignation was necessary, Tompson said.

"I believe that we said in the letter what we thought would be necessary to get things done," he said. "I don't want anyone to think we are doing this lightly."

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