Honore v. Douglas

833 F.2d 565 (1987)

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Honore v. Douglas

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
833 F.2d 565 (1987)

Facts

Stephen Honore (plaintiff) began teaching at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law of Texas Southern University (TSU) (defendant) in June 1974. At the time, TSU regulations provided for automatic tenure at the end of seven years. Honore taught for four consecutive years, and he was then granted a three-year leave of absence to serve in the Peace Corps. In 1981 Honore returned to teaching at TSU. The tenure regulations had been changed in 1978 to eliminate automatic tenure after seven years. Despite this, upon his return, the Rank and Tenure Committee (the committee) recommended that Honore be granted tenure based on his four years of teaching and three years in the Peace Corps. The regents of TSU did not extend tenure to Honore, a decision Honore chose not to contest because of his own membership on the committee. In 1983 the dean of the law school informed Honore that the upcoming year would be his last unless he could secure tenure. Honore maintained that he had already attained tenure under the old regulations but that the tenure had not been formalized. The committee again recommended Honore for tenure, but the dean objected, and ultimately the board of regents denied his application. In a hearing before the committee, Honore explained his belief that he should be vested with tenure under the old regulations. Honore had been an outspoken critic of the dean and had been involved in numerous disputes with him. Honore filed suit, alleging a violation of due process. A district court found no genuine issues of material fact and granted summary judgment for TSU. In doing so, the district court made several findings, including that Honore’s property interest was not based on the 1974 regulations, and that Honore’s claim that he attained tenure in 1981 was contradicted by his application for tenure in 1983. Honore appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Politz, J.)

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