Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Moral Turpitude

Could this phrase include acts that are meant to hurt a colleague's professional standing? Could someone be fired for this offence? The University of New Hampshire said yes, and yes.

Marco Dorfsman, a Spanish professor at UNH, tampered with student evaluations of an unnamed colleague. He was reported to have come clean in an e-mail to his colleagues about 10 days ago, and the university fired him last week. From the university's statement:

Dorfsman admitted to intentionally lowering the student evaluations of another faculty member. [...]

The [Professional Standards Committee] members unanimously agreed that Professor Dorfsman’s conduct constituted moral turpitude and ‘evinces a gross disregard for the rights of others, is a clear and intentional breach of duties owed to others and to the university by virtue of employment at UNH and membership in the procession, in which such an act is considered contrary to the accepted and expected rules of moral behavior, justice or honesty, and evokes condemnation. [...]

According the CHE note, 'moral turpitude' became a fireable offence at UNH just last year.