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Dorfsman terminated for ‘gross disregard’ of others

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, May 3, 2013

Updated: Friday, May 3, 2013 02:05

The University of New Hampshire has fired Marco Dorfsman, associate professor of Spanish, under grounds of moral turpitude effective May 17, 2013, for altering a colleague’s student evaluations.

Provost John Aber announced the termination of Dorfsman after receiving the recommendation of the Professional Standards Committee of the Faculty Senate, Erika Mantz, director of UNH Media Relations, said in a press release.

“Dorfsman admitted to intentionally lowering the student evaluations of another faculty member,” Mantz said in the press release.

Student evaluations are used by UNH when making tenure, promotion and salary decisions for instructors.

The contract between the AAUP-UNH, UNH’s union for tenure track faculty, and UNH says that when, in this case the provost, chooses to dismiss or suspend a union member without pay for moral turpitude, the Professional Standards Committee needs to send a recommendation to the provost. Deanna Wood, grievance officer for AAUP-UNH, said.

“The PSC members unanimously agreed that Professor Dorfsman’s conduct constituted moral turpitude and ‘evinces a gross disregard for the rights of others, is a clear and intentional breach of duties owed to others and to the university by virtue of employment at UNH and membership in the procession, in which such an act is considered contrary to the accepted and expected rules of moral behavior, justice or honesty, and evokes condemnation,’” Mantz said in the press release.

The Professional Standards Committee ruled five in favor of sanctions other than dismissal, such as suspension without pay, and one in favor of dismissal, said Dorfsman.

Suspension without pay would be for a period of years, not months or semesters, according to Wood.

After the Professional Standards Committee sends their recommendation to the provost, the provost will review it and can proceed with either dismissal or suspension without pay, wood said.

If Dorfsman doesn’t feel that the action he committed warrants the provost’s decision, he can grieve the decision. Grieving will put the decision into independent arbitration. The decision of the independent arbitrator is final, Wood said.

“The provost’s decision reinforces UNH’s commitment to upholding and teaching ethical behavior,” Mantz said in the press release. “Professor Dorfsman’s conduct disregarded the rights of his colleague, undermined the evaluations submitted by our students [a prime source of data for employment decisions for all instructors] and corrupted an important process by which our faculty’s teaching effectiveness is measured.”

In an email sent to colleagues by Dorfsman, he apologized to Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Kenneth Fuld, the rest of his colleagues and the unnamed colleague whose student evaluations were altered.

“I want to apologize to the students as well,” Dorfsman said. “I was definitely wrong.”

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6 comments

Anonymous
Tue May 7 2013 11:05
And, if you look even deeper, you will see that it was Dorfsman himself (then on the Faculty Senate and Union) who worked on behalf of his good friend and colleague, Larkin, to get him reinstated. The corruption in Murkland Hall is pervasive. New leadership needed!
Anonymous
Sun May 5 2013 17:10
Does anybody know whose evaluations he tampered with?
Anonymous
Sat May 4 2013 14:16
Isn't it ironic that the same professor who was terminated this week was a member until last February of the Professional Standards Committee of the Faculty Senate that heard his case? I wonder whether the dismissal vote was cast by his replacement. Shouldn't the other members have recused themselves from the proceedings? The fact that the professor stated how the voting went should answer some of our questions about him.
Anonymous
Fri May 3 2013 21:26
I wonder why no reporter is asking/investigating the most obvious question: why did he do it? What did he want to accomplish? To exercise his 'power' over junior faculty and fire a person he did not like?
Anonymous
Fri May 3 2013 14:58
UNH did not and does not believe that flashing your weiner is less offensive than tampering with student evaluations. If you look back at the Ed Larkin debacle you will notice that UNH wanted the disgusting penis flasher GONE. It was the Faculty Union that defended Larkin and it was the arbitrator that ruled against UNH's firing of Ed and his penis. I think if UNH got its way Larkin would be standing next to Dorfsman in the unemployment line.
Anonymous
Fri May 3 2013 07:32
So I am clear, flashing your weiner in front of underage little girls is OK but doing harm to a fellow employees evaluations is grounds for termination. Logical. Said noone ever.




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