Court upholds summary disposition of gay faculty member's discrimination suit
Peter Hammer was denied tenure at the University of Michigan. In order to achieve tenure, he was required to secure a vote of approval from 2/3 of the faculty members attending his tenure hearing. Hammer did not achieve the 2/3 majority on his first attempt and was granted two additional years before his final tenure vote. When he again did not achieve tenure, he filed suit against the University, alleging that he was a victim of anti-gay discrimination. He filed a two-count complaint alleging that he had been granted de facto tenure as a result of the University's mis-handling of the manner in which he received notice. He also argued that the University had breached a contractual promise to assure that he was not a victim of discrimination based on his sexual preference.
The Court of Claims dismissed Mr. Hammer's lawsuit and he appealed. The appellate judges concluded that he had not provided sufficient evidence of discrimination or unfair procedure to warrant a trial on the merits. It upheld the lower court's decision to dismiss the claim on a summary basis, in part based upon a key witness's denial of alledged admissions attributed to him in another faculty member's affidavit.