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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

SDSU Charging Catangui $908 for Hearing Transcript

The American Association of University Professors remains concerned over what they see as South Dakota State University's denial of full due process to fired entomology professor Mike Cantangui. In a September 10 letter to SDSU president David Chicoine, the AAUP notes that SDSU has asked Dr. Catangui to pay $908 to obtain a copy of the transcript of his hearing before the faculty members empaneled by the university to address Catangui's termination.

$908. For a transcript. Uff da!

Now I know documents like this can get hefty. I have a good ream-and-a-half worth of paper recording my own eight hours of fun and excitement with the Madison school board a few years back. But transcripts do come in electronic form nowadays. Providing Dr. Catangui with his hearing transcript probably requires 15 seconds of mouseclicks and keystrokes (new e-mail, address, attach, send). That's $60 a second.

The AAUP recommends standards and regulations for faculty dismissals, including a recommendation that transcripts of formal dismissal hearings be made available to dismissed faculty without cost. Charging a fired employee $908 for the single most important document that employee needs to pursue any further due process is unnecessary and unfair.
On the good side, the university does appear to have acquiesced in restoring Catangui's salary through August, to the point where he actually received something resembling due process. It's too bad SDSU seems inlcined to use the transcript charge to nickel-and-C-note Catangui to claw back some of that money.


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