King recommended for termination

Finance professor Brett King could become the third professor fired in the past two years.

After administrative review, the university has recommended the termination of King. The university did not give details to King’s actions, which led to his termination.

“Pursuant to Faculty Handbook section 2.8, Dr. King has a reasonable amount of time to appeal the decision,” said Bryan Rachal, director of marketing and communications.

The faculty handbook states a tenured faculty member has the right to make a written request for the board to review adverse findings and recommendations of the president within 14 days of the president’s final notification.

University administrators placed King on paid leave Dec. 4, and he made $9550.65 between his removal from the classroom and the recommendation to terminate his employment, according to documents The Flor-Ala obtained.

The Flor-Ala could not reach King for a comment.

King is the second professor the university has terminated for violating school polices in the 2018-2019 academic year and the third in the last two years.

The university terminated Gregory Gaston, former geography professor, Dec. 17, after Title IX found him in violation of its sexual misconduct policy for sexual harassment and UNA’s policy on consensual relationships.

The first victim came forward with her claim in June 2018, and the university police barred Gaston June 22 from campus and all university-sponsored events. When The Flor-Ala asked for a reason why the university banned Gaston from campus, it said it was unable to disclose the specifics because it considered the situation a personnel matter, which it defined as a right to protect its employee’s privacy.

Catherine White, assistant vice president of human resources, denied The Flor-Ala’s requests for Gaston’s disciplinary and performance review records twice July 25 and Aug. 18. The Flor-Ala published an article Sept. 6 that detailed how the university’s denials of public records were in direct violation of the former Alabama Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ opinion.

Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Ross Alexander later told The Flor-Ala Oct. 9 that Gaston’s ban from campus was contingent upon the result of a Title IX investigation, after three more women came forward with sexual harassment claims against Gaston that date back to 2013.

The three additional Title IX claims came after the article about his trespass notice was published.

While Gaston was banned from campus as part of a Title IX investigation, the university paid him $34,377. 23, according to documents The Flor-Ala obtained.

In 2015, the university banned David Dickerson from campus after he became a part of a Title IX investigation. The university placed Dickerson on paid leave during the investigation, which required him to continue to conduct research.

The student who came forward with her claim, filed a lawsuit Aug. 10 that stated the university violated Title IX of the Education Act of 1972. The 17-page lawsuit cited the university violated the act after it did not terminate Dickerson and allowed him to finish his contract through May of 2016.

The lawsuit claimed the university failed to do a proper background check on Dickerson. The plaintiffs’ attorneys stated Dickerson had former charges for rape and assault on a 19-year-old, according to AL.com.

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