SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

News Feed Item

Distinguished Professor Files Free Speech Retaliation Suit Against Texas Tech

Professor blocked from dean search, prestigious honor over anti-tenure views

LUBBOCK, Texas, Dec. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A distinguished professor at Texas Tech University's Rawls College of Business has filed a federal lawsuit based on claims that school officials violated his First Amendment right to freedom of speech by blocking him from two high-profile promotions in retaliation for his views in opposition to tenure.

James C. Wetherbe, Ph.D., says his opinions on tenure caused Texas Tech Provost Bob Smith to drop him from a short list of four finalists to become dean of the Rawls College. In addition, the lawsuit says the provost and former Texas Tech President Guy Bailey actively blocked Dr. Wetherbe's nomination for a prestigious faculty honor known as a Horn Professorship.

Dr. Wetherbe, a Texas Tech distinguished alumnus, holds the Robert G. Stevenson Chaired Professor in Information Technology and is the founding director of the Institute of Internet Buyer Behavior at Texas Tech. He voluntarily resigned tenure at the University of Minnesota more than 20 years ago based on his principled belief that tenure's job-for-life protections for professors are a detriment to higher education. Dr. Wetherbe declined subsequent tenure offers at the University of Memphis as the FedEx Chaired Professor of Excellence, and again when he joined the Texas Tech faculty in 2000.

"As a keynote speaker and consultant to business leaders, I found resigning tenure enhanced my professional credibility when offering strategic advice to corporations, where there is no guarantee of having a job or a customer tomorrow," Dr. Wetherbe says. "I think society as a whole would benefit if higher education took a hard, critical look at the value and cost of tenure."

Despite being recommended by a search committee as a finalist for the Rawls deanship earlier this year, the lawsuit says Dr. Wetherbe was unilaterally removed from consideration by Provost Smith. The professor's lawsuit also says Provost Smith and former President Bailey ignored university policy and refused to forward Dr. Wetherbe's Horn nomination to the Texas Tech Board of Regents. Neither the Dean's position nor the Horn honor requires tenure. In fact, former Rawls College Dean Allen McInnes, himself without tenure, nominated Dr. Wetherbe for the Horn honor.

According to the lawsuit filed by attorney Holly Williams of the Williams Law Firm, P.C., in Midland, Texas, Provost Smith admitted under oath his belief that Dr. Wetherbe's views on tenure made him unfit for either position. In addition to stating that he thinks the contract the professor signed with the school 12 years ago is invalid based on the rejection of tenure, Provost Smith has threatened to strip Dr. Wetherbe of the professor title he has held for 30 years, according to the lawsuit, which seeks a judgment to enforce the contract going forward.

Dr. Wetherbe has a long history of fundraising and personal donations to Texas Tech, including $1.2 million that represents the majority of his compensation from his Chair endowment. Dr. Wetherbe plans to donate any gain from any monetary award from the lawsuit back to the university for student scholarships.

In a career spanning four decades, Dr. Wetherbe (wetherbe.ba.ttu.edu) has been recognized by numerous publications and professional groups as one of the top 20 consultants and/or scholars in the Management Information Systems field. More than 20 years ago, Information Week rated him as one of the top 20 lecturers and consultants in MIS. Last year, a Georgia State University study included him among the top 20 most influential scholars in MIS. He is the co-recipient of the first MIS Quarterly Distinguished Scholar Award. He also is the author or co-author of 32 books, including multiple editions, and is widely published in top journals, with more than 6,500 citations to his credit.

For more information on Dr. Wetherbe's claims against Texas Tech, please contact Robert Tharp at 800-559-4534 or [email protected]

SOURCE Williams Law Firm, P.C.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally. DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
ScriptRock makes GuardRail, a DevOps-ready platform for configuration monitoring. Realizing we were spending way too much time digging up, cataloguing, and tracking machine configurations, we began writing our own scripts and tools to handle what is normally an enormous chore. Then we took the concept a step further, giving it a beautiful interface and making it simple enough for our bosses to understand. We named it GuardRail after its function - to allow businesses to move fast and stay sa...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Media announced today that Sematext launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal with over 6,000 story reads over the weekend. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Sematext is a globally distributed organization that builds innovative Cloud and On Premises solutions for performance monitoring, alerting an...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's