Philosophical conflict cited

Kamariea Forcier

Testimony in U.S. District Judge David Doty’s courtroom continued Thursday as two University professors struggle to prove they were discriminated against by the University.
Early in the day, College of Veterinary Medicine Dean David Thawley took the stand and answered questions posed by attorneys for Dr. Patricia Olson and Dr. Shirley Johnston.
Olson claims she was discriminated against because of her sex. As part of that claim, she applied for a job that was given to Jeffrey Klausner. Olson has a doctorate; Klausner does not.
Johnston also claims she was fired because of her gender. She said she was eventually terminated as associate dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine because of her disagreements with Thawley during a meeting, according to her attorneys.
Terrance O’Leary, associate professor and former associate dean, took the stand Thursday and testified that both he and Johnston had a different philosophical style than that of Thawley. However, O’Leary was not fired from his position as associate dean.
O’Leary described the two differing philosophies as “collegial” and “command and control.”
He said “collegial” philosophy is a traditional style of University governance in which faculty members and administrators work in alliance. His philosophy of administration fits this description.
He said leaders who adhere to the “command and control” philosophy govern in a one-way chain of command.
Testimony continues Tuesday in the federal courthouse of Minneapolis.