Who will pay damages and legal fees to Dr. Gunasekera now that he has won his federal case against OU, Dean Irwin and Provost Krendl?
I was reading through some of the court documents for Dr. Gunasekera's federal lawsuit against Ohio University, Dean Irwin, and Provost Krendl. Last fall Dr. Gunasekera asked for OU to pay his attorney fees since he successfully proved that OU should have given him a name clearing hearing.
I don't know the exact amount OU will ultimately have to pay but Dr. Gunasekera told the court since June 2006 he has "spent over $130,000 in legal fees and costs in litigating my cases against Ohio University, Dean Irwin, and former Provost Krendl." And it's not over yet; the jury trial to determine damages starts on April 25, 2011. Also, we don't know how much OU and the Attorney General has spent in unsuccessfully defending themselves.
So I ask, who pays for OU's costly blunders? I doubt if it comes out of Dean Irwin's or Provost Krendl's pockets. Do students pay? Does the money come out of donations? Do taxpayers pay? I think it is important for everyone to know especially when OU is having so many financial difficulties.
I can't help but notice the irony in the fact that Dean Irwin wound up in court on the losing end; when back at the very beginning of this whole thing (summer 2004) he was so arrogant that he threatened me with court action when I offered information about plagiarism. I should also point out how quick he snapped me with his threat; it was almost as though it was a regular occurrence for him.
John Burns, OU's former Director of Legal Affairs, was right when he wrote in reference to my ordeal: "Ohio University's academic administration and those then serving as media relations personnel did not handle these "accusations" well, mostly by issuing denials and criticizing the graduate student, which of course caused further problems later." You can read John Burns' report here:
Unfortunately, John Burns left out that I was threatened and retaliated against (when Jerrel Mitchell failed to process my application for the PhD program). Also, please note that John Burns was wrong when he wrote that I contacted "former graduate students accusing them of plagiarism in their master's theses and dissertations." That is 100% untrue and I have no idea why he thinks that I contacted and accused students. He is right about the others I contacted, and I will add that I contacted authors who had their work stolen; but, I challenge anyone to show me evidence that I accused former students directly.