950 F.2d 665 (10th Cir. 1991), 90-3072, Hullman v. Board of Trustees of Pratt Community College

Docket Nº:90-3072.
Citation:950 F.2d 665
Party Name:Don H. HULLMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF PRATT COMMUNITY COLLEGE, a Public Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:December 04, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 665

950 F.2d 665 (10th Cir. 1991)

Don H. HULLMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF PRATT COMMUNITY COLLEGE, a Public

Corporation, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 90-3072.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

December 4, 1991

Rehearing Denied Jan. 14, 1992.

Page 666

Wesley A. Weathers, Weathers & Riley, Topeka, Kan., for plaintiff-appellant.

David J. Morgan (H.E. Jones, with him on the brief), Hershberger, Patterson, Jones & Roth, Wichita, Kan., for defendant-appellee.

Before SEYMOUR, BARRETT and BRORBY, Circuit Judges.

BARRETT, Senior Circuit Judge.

Don H. Hullman (Hullman) appeals from two orders of the district court granting partial summary judgment, Hullman v. Board of Trustees of Pratt Community College, 725 F.Supp. 1536 (D.Kan.1989), and summary judgment, Hullman v. Board of Trustees of Pratt Community College, 732 F.Supp. 91 (D.Kan.1990) in favor of the Board of Trustees (Board) of Pratt Community College (PCC). The relevant facts are set forth in detail at 725 F.Supp., pp. 1541-1544 and will be referred to only as necessary for our review.

Hullman was employed as one of PCC's top administrators for a period of nine consecutive years pursuant to a series of written contracts. He was terminated in August, 1985. For several years immediately prior to his termination, Hullman held the position of Dean of Instruction, generally considered the top administrative position at PCC other than that of president.

In July, 1985, Hullman was reassigned to the newly created position of Dean of Continuing Education. Despite an annual salary increase of $2,600, Hullman considered the reassignment to be a demotion. On July 19, 1985, a contract for administrative services for 1985-1986, designating Hullman's position as Dean of Continuing Education, was delivered to Hullman. The contract was not signed by any Board representative.

On July 30, 1985, Hullman signed the contract and attached a memorandum which stated:

Enclosed herewith is the executed contract of employment with Pratt Community College for the 1985-86 academic year. Please be advised that I have signed this contract under protest, in that, in my opinion, it infringes upon my property interest in continued employment in my former position as Dean of Instruction. Execution of this contract should not be construed as a waiver of any rights I might have to retain the former position or to contest the reassignment.

(R., Vol. I, Tab 120, Exhibit A.)

The Board considered Hullman's contract at a special meeting on August 6, 1985. During the meeting, attended by Hullman, the Board voted "to not accept the contract for administrative services of...

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