A former Medical School professor has sued the University, claiming a supervisor intentionally tricked him out of taking a better job elsewhere to keep his research funding at the University. Michael White, a former assistant professor of pharmacology, filed suit in state court in Montgomery County earlier this month. He claims the University's actions have cost him about about $174,000. The lawsuit also names Perry Molinoff, chairperson of the Med School's Pharmacology Department. White claims Perry teased him with offers of tenure to prevent him from taking a better job at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. White says he made an unsuccessful bid for tenure here instead of accepting the job. Meanwhile, the University collected $200,000 in overhead costs on White's $1.7 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health, according to the lawsuit. "Molinoff was only concerned with the appearance of his university budget," the lawsuit says. Molinoff did not return phone messages Wednesday. General Counsel Neil Hamburg said Tuesday that he has seen the lawsuit, but he declined to comment on it. The Med School's Committee on Appointments and Promotions had unanimously approved White's tenure bid in May 1991, the lawsuit says. But according to the lawsuit, the provost's office denied tenure to White late last year, after raising questions over whether there was enough information in his tenure file to evaluate him. White, who specializes in Molecular Biology, now works in the Physiology Department at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. White claims Molinoff was responsible for "a series of intentionally caused procedural irregularities" that negatively impacted his tenure decision. The lawsuit says Molinoff deliberately gave him bad advice while preparing the tenure file, and then misled him into thinking his tenure file was fine. At the same time, Molinoff "intentionally and successfully interfered" with job offers he received University of Cincinnati and the Mayo Clinic in 1989, White says. He was particularly interested in the Mayo Clinic position, which he says offered a $88,000 salary, tenure, free health care and a $360,000 research budget in addition to his grants. White says he received a $51,000 salary at the University, paid toward his health care, and no research budget. In addition to wage differences, White claims additional damages from losing his job here. He claims he lost $96,000 in tuition benefits for his two children, was unable to take a sabatical year he values at $63,000, and was forced to buy a new car worth $15,000 because he used to commute to the University from his Narberth home on SEPTA trains.Comments powered by Disqus
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