Colorado Won’t Allow Outside Observer at Barnett’s Hearing (updated)

A faculty group is concerned that David Barnett, the tenured University of Colorado philosophy professor fighting for his job [previously] will not be allowed to have an outside observer at his dismissal hearing next week.

Barnett and the Colorado conference of the American Association of University Professors sought to have one of the group’s members watch a closed-door faculty hearing in Barnett’s dismissal case.

University policy, however, says that only a handful of specific people may attend dismissal hearings. Two professors involved in faculty grievance cases, including Laurie Gaspar, who is expected to oversee Barnett’s hearing in front of his peers, denied the requests, according to the association.

Read the rest at The Daily Camera.

UPDATE (12/2/14): The hearing began today. “A uniformed CU police officer escorted the six panel members to the hearing room inside the Regent Administrative Center on the Boulder campus. Another uniformed officer stood guard outside the closed-door hearing.”

University of Luxembourg Philosophy
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9 years ago

“David Barnett, we move to dismiss you for questioning the impartiality and accountability of The Star Chamber. To ensure the fairness and impartiality and freedom from outside interference of your dismissal, we will conduct your hearing in The Other Star Chamber.”

Does anyone know how full and redaction-free the ‘official’ transcript they’re promising is required to be? Given what we know of the Colorado admin I’m expecting something along Oregon-basketball-emails lines, but maybe there’s something better-faith going on.

Kathryn Pogin
Kathryn Pogin
9 years ago

At first I thought this was a pretty awful decision by the CU-Boulder administration–violating due process rights would be a terrible thing. But then it occurred to me that (depending on to whom they would disclose the transcript that results from the hearing) disallowing observers may be to protect the confidentiality requirements of the underlying Title IX case. And then I looked through the AAUP documents cited, and while I do see a recommendation that independent observers be allowed when request in the Recommended Institutional Regulations (here:, I don’t see anything about this in the cited Statement on Procedural Standards in Faculty Dismissal Proceedings (here:

Given the titles of the documents, the Recommended Institutional Regulations look like recommendations whereas the Statement on Procedural Standards looks like a set of standards; if that’s right, then claiming that due process rights are being violated seems like not the right response by the lights of AAUP standards, and even a misleading one.

Spencer Case
Spencer Case
8 years ago

I thought it might be worth mentioning that despite being quoted about what I intended to say, I never did end up testifying. Wes Morriston and I were slated to testify and waited outside the conference room, but were abruptly told that time had run short and we were being cut from the line up. I believe the same may have happened with Bob Pasnau, but I am not sure. In any event, I was pretty surprised that the university lawyers ever had any interest in having me report on this conversation I had with Barnett some months ago. There was obviously nothing incriminating about it. That I was ever in the queue to testify is strange.