Mormon university settles dispute with professor

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2002

PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Brigham Young University agreed to settle a federal lawsuit filed by business professor B. Michael Pritchett, who said the school tried to force him out of his tenured post and blacklisted him.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Administrators at the Mormon school accused Pritchett and other professors of viewing pornography on university-owned computers, according to the lawsuit. The administrators would then offer to let a professor ''resign from BYU and waive all legal claims in exchange for approximately one year's salary,'' the suit alleged.

Pritchett also said he was ''blacklisted,'' a practice several current and former professors also described for the Deseret News. By their accounts, administrators blacklist employees who publicly question school policy, air gripes or study issues considered taboo.

The university, operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has denied or disputed Pritchett's contentions.

The American Association of University Professors censured BYU in 1998 for alleged academic freedom violations but this did not affect accreditation.

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