Two former deans ousted for supporting a faculty strike at the University of the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit yesterday to get their jobs back.
Raleigh H. Allen ad Emmanuel D. Chatman charged that their demotions to the ranks of the tenured faculty rank violated their rights under the U.S. Constitution to free speech and due process.
At a press conference outside D.C. Superior Court, were the lawsuit was filed, Allen and Chatman said university president Lisle C. Carter Jr. had moved against them as "a warning to others who may wish to dissent."
The men were ousted as deans following a two-day faculty strike at the university's Van Ness campus (formerly Washington Technical Institute) in early February.
Allen was dean of academic affairs and the official in charge of the campus. Chatman was dean of business and public administration.
The protesters objected to a city law that allowed the university to make temporary appointments while its which formerly were three senates colleges - were being merged. They said the measure threatened tenure and job protection rights, charges that Carter strongly denied.
Horace Harris, univeristy chief counsel, declined to comment last night on the lawsuit.
However, when Carter ousted Allen on Feb. 8, he declared that his action "was not a matter of free speech . . . As (an) academic administrator . . . (Allen) had no right to participate in any activities that might interfere with faculty and student attendance at classes."