UC regents dismiss UC Riverside professor

Taken by Gordon Huang

During last week’s UC regent meetings held at UC Riverside, the UC regents voted in a closed session to dismiss Sarkis Joseph Khoury, a  tenured finance professor at UC Riverside’s A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management.

Although the agenda item did not reveal Khoury’s name due to privacy concerns, Khoury and his attorney revealed their identity to media outlets. The agenda item was stated as a “proposed dismissal of a Faculty Member and Non-Conferral (or Revocation) or Emeritus Status, Riverside Campus.” The main reason behind the action was Khoury’s alleged acceptance of funds while on sabbatical.

Over the last 15 years, Khoury has been involved in a series of legal and financial disputes with the university system. He argues that he has been targeted by the UC due to his Republican political views, Lebanese heritage and his defense of minority candidates for hiring, according to a Los Angeles Times article.

This month, Khoury informed the university of his plan to retire from the Gary Anderson School of Management due to a neck injury from a recent car crash. Upon retirement, faculty members receive emeritus status, which allows them to attend departmental meetings and, for some,  to keep offices and labs. The regents’ vote for Khoury’s dismissal prevents him from receiving such a status.The UC sued Khoury in 1995 in violation over improperly receiving outside income from the University of British Columbia during UC sabbaticals and again in 2007.

In the former case, Khoury denied the charge and issued a counter lawsuit, stating that he was only given expense money. According to a Los Angeles Times article, a Superior Court had him reinstated to his full professorship because the university system had waited too long to pursue any discipline.
For the 2007 case, a state appeals court ruled nine months ago that the UC had to first complete an in-house investigation and review. Khoury, who is 65 and joined UC Riverside in 1984, is countersuing the UC and continues to deny all charges against him.

The regents have dismissed about half a dozen faculty members within the last two decades because of violations, stated a UC representative in the Los Angeles Times. According to UC faculty policy, certain conduct violations such as plagiarism, sexual harassment of a student, racial discrimination, failure to carry out teaching duties and using UC facilities for personal gain can result in a written censure, demotion, suspension or dismissal.

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