CU probe finds no basis for discrimination charge

A University of Colorado (CU) investigation has found no evidence of a 29-year pattern of racial discrimination alleged by professor at the university's School of Dental Medicine, according to a story in the Denver Post.

Morris Clark, D.D.S., an African-American professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the dental school, had filed a notice of claim in April, accusing the university leadership and his colleagues of paying him a reduced salary, delaying promotions, socially ostracizing him, and making bigoted remarks to him because of his race.

But, according to the investigation report, Dr. Clark had underestimated his salary, incorrectly asserted that he was not granted tenure as quickly as other professors, and had lagged behind some colleagues in compensation because they had stronger credentials and were in greater demand on the open market, the Post reported.

CU attorney David Temple acknowledged that "racially insensitive jokes and e-mails circulated" among the dental school's staff, but that Dr. Clark "was a willing participant in this behavior, often being an instigator," according to the story.

Diane King, Dr. Clark's attorney, questioned how independent the investigation could have been given that a CU attorney conducted it, the Post reported.

Under Colorado law, Dr. Clark can still file a lawsuit October 23, 180 days after serving the original notice of claim, the preliminary step before filing a formal lawsuit.

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