Berkowitz, Harvard Face Off In Court

Harvard moved Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the University by a professor denied tenure two years ago.

Former Associate Professor of Government Peter Berkowitz has claimed that Harvard misapplied rules regarding tenure procedures when the Faculty's Docket Committee dismissed his grievances without sending them to an ad-hoc panel for consideration.

At a court hearing Wednesday, Berkowitz argued that the mishandling of his tenure application was a breach of his contract with Harvard, saying the University failed to follow its own procedures.


"[The grievance] should have moved on for consideration," said Berkowitz's attorney David Handzo. "The rule is they must pass it on unless it is completely without merit. They misapplied that rule."

But Harvard's attorney, G. Marshall Moriarty, argued that the University handled Berkowitz's complaint correctly.

"There are grievance procedures followed by the University," Moriarty said. "The Docket Committee is empowered to dismiss grievances that are clearly without merit. They did so find and did so act."

Moriarty asked the judge to dismiss the case, saying Berkowitz had no substantive claims against the University.

"He must point to what in his contract was breached," Moriarty said. "He hasn't done it, and can't do it."

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