State ex rel. McLendon v. Morton

249 S.E.2d 919 (1978)

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State ex rel. McLendon v. Morton

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
249 S.E.2d 919 (1978)

Facts

Vonceil McLendon (plaintiff) was an assistant professor at Parkersburg Community College (PCC), a community college governed by the West Virginia Board of Regents (the board) (defendant). After six years of teaching, McLendon applied for tenure. After a tenure committee reviewed McLendon’s application, she received a letter from the president of the college denying her tenure application. The letter did not offer any reasons for the decision. Per state law, the board was authorized to make tenure decisions upon the recommendation of a college president and following consultation with the academic department concerned. PCC’s own rules for tenure mirrored those of the board, providing that a teacher was automatically eligible for tenure after six years of full-time teaching. Under the policy, a teacher was entitled to a tenure decision after six years. The policy laid out a set of criteria to be considered, and the policy was intended to prevent dismissals and denials on an arbitrary basis. There was no hearing conducted in connection with McLendon’s tenure application. McLendon sought an original writ of mandamus compelling the board to afford her a hearing. McLendon’s request was predicated on a due-process-violation claim. McLendon argued that PCC’s tenure policy created a property interest that could not be deprived without a hearing.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)

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