Attorneys for Oregon State University filed a massive trove of documents in Benton County Circuit Court on Friday in the case of Morrie Craig, a tenured professor who is challenging his Oct. 30 firing on grounds that he bullied two students and sexually harassed a student and a faculty member.
The filings include five exhibits totaling 1,165 pages that constitute the record of termination proceedings against Craig, a toxicology expert who was employed by the university for 40 years.
In a Dec. 5 ruling called a writ of review, Benton County Circuit Judge Matthew Donohue ordered OSU to produce the records. He also directed the university to restore Craig to his position until he could evaluate the termination, which Craig claims was unfair and violated his right to due process.
OSU has never provided a full account of the allegations against Craig to the public, claiming that records of the investigation and termination proceedings contain “protected information” about students and faculty members that is exempt from disclosure under state and federal law.
Donohue agreed during a court hearing last week to issue a protective order that would shield most if not all of those records from public view. The documents produced on Friday were filed under a cloak of confidentiality.
In a two-page cover letter that is accessible to the public, the university’s outside counsel in the case, Cody Elliott and Michael Porter of the Portland firm Miller Nash, said OSU denies Craig’s assertions that he was improperly sacked.
“After a two-day evidentiary hearing that was conducted in accordance with the University’s faculty conditions of service, a committee of petitioner’s peers (the “Committee”) determined that petitioner’s conduct violated the University’s sexual harassment and bullying policies and recommended the termination of petitioner’s faculty appointment,” the document reads in part.
Craig’s attorney, Dan Armstrong of Heilig, Misfeldt & Armstrong in Corvallis, told the Gazette-Times he plans to challenge that claim in court.
“We’ll be discussing how the university violated its policies, how it hid its evidence and how it refused to give Dr. Craig a fair hearing,” he said.