Hartman Charges Unfairness In Appeal Case Procedures
A former assistant professor at the Graduate School of Design who is appealing his contract termination charged last week that the procedures established by a special faculty committee to hear his appeal are "structurally biased" in favor of the GSD Administration.
Chester W. Hartman '57, whose GSD contract was terminated two years ago, said the hearing procedures established in November by the five-member special committee indicates that the goup "seems to go along with what the GSD demands."
The appeal committee--headed by Donald G. M. Anderson, professor of Applied Mathematics--was elected last May by the GSD faculty. Its formation followed several abortive attempts by the GSD to create a group to judge Hartman's case.
Both Anderson and Maurice D. Kilbridge, dean of the GSD, yesterday declined comment on any aspect of the Hartman case. Kilbridge said that both he and Hartman had agreed "not to discuss this matter with anyone."
Hartman said that his June 1970 contract termination was prompted by personal and political considerations and constituted a breach of academic due process.
He said last week that the committee suggested a set of hearing procedures to him last August, and that he immediately objected to what he termed their over-confidential nature.
"The committee's proposal amounted to a decision arrived at secretly based on secret information," Hartman said.
Hartman said he then recommended to the committee that only information not provided by either the GSD administration or himself be permitted confidentiality.
He said he also recommended two other procedural items: a single confrontation session after the committee's investigation was over; and, permission for both parties to the dispute to comment publicly on the committee's final report.
Hartman said the committee told him they would transmit his proposals to Kilbridge and that Kilbridge rejected them in late October.
Hartman said he then wrote the committee in November and charged that the GSD's position was "self-protective and sought to fudge the issue of responsibility."
"It seemed ridiculous to think a fair hearing could be held if I were not even fully informed of the School's reasons and supporting materials." Hartman said.
The committee made its ruling on December 1, Hartman said. Although Hartman said the committee described its decision as a compromise between the GSD and Hartman, he called it "a totally misleading description."
Hartman said the committee will ask Kilbridge to submit a summary of the reasons put forth by the Design School for not renewing his contrast. He said the summary is the state within the limits of confidentiality the pertinent factors involved in the case.
The committee acknowledges that the GSD will submit a substantial amount of supporting evidence in confidence, Hartman said. He said the decision means the Design School "can plead confidentiality almost, at will; which structurally biases the preceding enormously."
"I simply will have no way of knowing what the other side is saying in full, therefore I will not be able to make an adequate response or rebuts," he said.
Hartman declined comment on his response to the committee's decision, although he said the progress of the case thus far indicates that it may have a "sour ending."
Hartman said last May that if he felt he did not receive a fair hearing before the appeal committee, he might go to the courts for redress