Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/4/2011 (3844 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
THERE will be no raise this year for a University of Manitoba professor embroiled in a public debate over the university's academic integrity.
Math professor Gábor Lukács learned this week he will not get an expected $2,000 salary bump.
Normally, the annual increase is due all U of M faculty of his rank and length of employment. But under its collective agreement, the university is allowed to cancel faculty members' increases if their performance is "found not to be satisfactory."
But the agreement also calls for the university to tell the faculty member about its decision, in writing -- and Lukács said he only learned he wasn't getting the raise when he saw his most recent pay stub.
"I received no letter, no justification," Lukács said on Friday. "I'm supposed to have some way to respond."
The university could not comment on Lukács' case, citing privacy concerns, though a spokesman did say it wasn't without precdent. "It's not unusual to withhold an annual increment where staff performance has been judged to not be satisfactory," said public affairs director John Danakas.
The fact Lukács was suspended last fall, after he took concerns about his department's academic integrity public, could well be the culprit.
In September, the young professor made headlines when he sued the U of M, demanding it rescind a PhD awarded to a student who had twice failed a critical exam. The student reported suffering from severe exam-related anxiety.
The university defended its decision, noting it was legally bound to accommodate the student's disability.
Lukács was then suspended without pay for three months for violating privacy standards by disclosing details about the student's circumstances. A grievance hearing over that decision is set for June.
Lukács said he and his lawyer are considering their options to settle the salary-increase dispute, which may include filing a grievance.
Lukács agreed the university was using his suspension as the basis to deny his increase, but pushed back against the suggestion his performance may not have been satisfactory.
Instead, Lukács believes the decision is part of an ongoing attempt to punish him for bringing the academic controversy to light.
"I think the university is simply not able to put this matter behind it, and move forward, and fix the problem I exposed," he said. "They are... making things worse."
Melissa Martin reports and opines for the Winnipeg Free Press.