163 F.3d 598 (4th Cir. 1998), 96-1078, Collin v. Rectors and Visitors of University of Virginia

Docket Nº:96-1078.
Citation:163 F.3d 598
Party Name:Robert W. COLLIN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. RECTORS AND VISITORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Department of Urban and Environmental Planning; William Lucy; David Phillips; A. Bruce Dotson; Richard Collins; Daphne Spain; Timothy Beatley; Harry Porter, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:August 31, 1998
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
 
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Page 598

163 F.3d 598 (4th Cir. 1998)

Robert W. COLLIN, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

RECTORS AND VISITORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Department of Urban and Environmental Planning; William Lucy; David Phillips; A. Bruce Dotson; Richard Collins; Daphne Spain; Timothy Beatley; Harry Porter, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 96-1078.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

August 31, 1998

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA4 Rule 36 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Charlottesville. B. Waugh Crigler, Magistrate Judge. (CA-93-74-C).

Margaret M. Cain, Charlottesville, Virginia, for Appellant.

Earl C. Dudley, Jr., Associate General Counsel & Special Assistant Attorney General, Lee E. Goodman, Associate General Counsel & Special Assistant Attorney General, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, Charlottesville, Virginia, for Appellees.

Before NIEMEYER and MOTZ, Circuit Judges, and HALL, Senior Circuit Judge.

OPINION

PER CURIAM

Robert W. Collin was a tenure-track faculty member of the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning in the University of Virginia's School of Architecture. Despite renewing Collin's initial appointment, at the end of Collin's evaluation period, the faculty of the School did not extend Collin an offer of tenure. Collin appealed this decision directly to the Provost. With the aid of two of the members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee, Provost Thomas Jackson conducted a de novo review of Collin's record. Based on the reviews of Collin's body of academic work by the committee members, Provost Jackson's own review of Collin's work, and the consensus of the Provost's eleven-member Promotion and Tenure Committee, Provost Jackson denied Collin's request for tenure.

As a result of this decision, Collin filed this action alleging that the University of Virginia and several of its faculty members had engaged in racial discrimination in the tenure decision process. In addition, Collin alleged that the tenure decision and other unfavorable employment decisions, such as office placement, computer service, telephone service, funding decisions, research decisions and the threat of a harassment action were in retaliation for Collin's participation in various protected activities. Collin placed special emphasis on a letter from the chair of the Urban and Environmental Planning Department at the University of Virginia to his counterpart at the University of Oregon where Collin was applying for a position. In that letter, the chair described Collin's recent behavior as "bizarre" and "inconsistent." Collin filed a motion for partial summary judgment on this evidence of retaliation alone. However, on the Defendant's motion, the magistrate judge granted summary judgment in favor of the University and its faculty and dismissed the action. This appeal followed.

This court reviews grants of summary judgment in discrimination cases de novo. See Jones v. Wellham, 104 F.3d 620, 626 (4th Cir.1997). Summary judgment is properly granted if the movant can show that there is no material fact in dispute when viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256-57, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).

To establish a prima facie case of discriminatory discharge, Collin must show: (1) he is a member of a protected class; (2) he was qualified for the job and performed satisfactorily; (3) in spite of his qualifications and performance, he...

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