At least one thing about Dong-Sheng Guo is indisputable: He taught physics at Southern University at Baton Rouge during the past academic year, just as he has done for two decades.
What is in dispute is whether Mr. Guo should have been in front of the classroom those two semesters at all.
University officials say that Mr. Guo was fired in May 2012, during a period of financial exigency that the institution said allowed it to cut tenured faculty members and programs in order to offset the effects of enrollment declines and shrinking state appropriations. (That view is disputed by the American Association of University Professors, which has censured Southern.)
But the chairman of the physics department, Diola Bagayoko, says Southern botched Mr. Guo’s termination process from the outset and that left him no choice but to allow his colleague to keep working.
However, Mr. Bagayoko said on Tuesday night that he had been told that day that the campus’s chancellor, James L. Llorens, had decided to strip him of his role as chair because of how Mr. Guo’s case played out. <Read more.>