United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
DR. SEAN C. MADDEN, Plaintiff,
GERALDINE JONES, Defendant.
Barry Fischer United States District Judge
before the Court in this matter is a Motion to Dismiss for
Lack of Jurisdiction filed by Defendant Geraldine Jones.
(Docket No. 23). Having considered Plaintiff's Second
Amended Complaint, (Docket No. 22); Defendant's motion to
dismiss and supporting briefing, (Docket Nos. 23, 24); and
Plaintiff's response in opposition, (Docket Nos. 28, 29,
30), Defendant Geraldine Jones's motion to dismiss is
matter arises from Plaintiff's employment at California
University. The following facts are alleged in the Second
Amended Complaint, which the Court will accept as true for
the sole purpose of deciding the pending motion.
was hired by California University in 1988 as a professor in
the History Department and achieved tenured status in 1996.
(Docket No. 22 at ¶ 7). Throughout his employment at
California University, Dr. Madden was a well-regarded,
contributing member of the faculty and held leadership
positions on campus, including, but not limited to, Chair of
the History Department. (Id. at ¶ 8). He was
appointed as Interim Dean for the College of Liberal Arts on
July 5, 2005, and served as same until his full diaconal
appointment on July 1, 2006. (Id. at ¶¶
9-10). Dr. Madden served as Dean of the College of Liberal
Arts until January 1, 2007, when he was appointed to Interim
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, a position
which he held until he was named full Provost and Vice
President on October 8, 2007. (Id. at ¶ 11). He
served as Provost and Vice President for one year, until the
decision was made by California University's leadership
that he return to the academic faculty. (Id. at 12).
discussion and negotiation, Dr. Madden was presented with a
written “settlement” agreement to restore him to
the faculty. (Id. at ¶¶ 13-14). The
Settlement Agreement provided for Dr. Madden's return to
the classroom and for a full restoration to his
pre-appointment status as follows:
The faculty has voted to reinstate Madden as a full professor
in the Department of History and Political Science. Beginning
July 1, 2009, Madden will be reinstated as a full time
faculty member with tenure at step 13 and will be assigned a
teaching workload in accordance with the APSCUF contract.
Upon his return to a faculty position he is not entitled to
any accommodations to compensate for the reduction in salary
resulting from his resignation as Provost.
(Id. at ¶¶ 15-16; see also Docket
No. 22-1 at 2). A collective bargaining agreement governing
the academic faculty provides:
Members of the ADMINISTRATIVE FACULTY, who in the opinion of
the President have the requisite qualifications to teach in a
department, may be placed in a full-time, budgeted,
available, uncommitted teaching vacancy in a department,
provided that the approval of the majority secret ballot vote
of the regular full-time FACULTY in the receiving department
has been obtained prior to the appointment. An ADMINISTRATIVE
FACULTY MEMBER placed in such a position shall retain all
University-wide seniority credit previously accrued.
(Docket No. 22 at ¶ 18 (emphasis omitted); see
also Docket No. 22-2 at 3).
these provisions, California University, through Defendant,
has refused to recognize Dr. Madden's seniority points
earned during each year of academic service dating from 1988
and, instead, only recognizes the seniority points earned
following Dr. Madden's return to the academic faculty
from 2009 to the present. (Docket No. 22 at ¶ 20). Dr.
Madden attempted to exercise his administrative remedies
pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement, but the
union and the Association of Pennsylvania State College and
University Facilities (“APSCUF”) asserted that
his dispute arose out of the terms of the settlement
agreement rather than the collective bargaining agreement.
(Id. at ¶¶ 23-26). Plaintiff admits that
no further action has been taken. (Id.). When Dr.
Madden addressed the issue with Defendant, she advised him
that he would have to file a lawsuit to protect his seniority
points. (Id. at ¶ 27).
March 2017, California University announced in a letter its
intention to pursue faculty retrenchment, citing financial
reasons. (Id. at ¶ 28). Yet, in a letter dated
July 21, 2017, California University announced that the
retrenchment was withdrawn. (Id. at ¶ 30). This
letter was “silent as to the indefiniteness of the
withdrawal.” (Id.). According to the
collective bargaining agreement and the policies of the
Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
(“PASSHE”), the most junior faculty members in an
impacted academic department, including the History
Department, were to be retrenched. (Id. at ¶
31). Dr. Madden learned that because California University
and Defendant have refused to credit his accrued seniority
points, he is the least tenured and most junior member of the
History Department. (Id. at ¶ 32). Dr. Madden
contends that he is being targeted by PASSHE and Defendant
because of his relationship with former California University
President Angelo Armenti, Jr., who fell out of favor with
PASSHE and was terminated. (Id. at ¶ 34).
filed this action on August 30, 2017, asserting claims
against Defendant, California University, and PASSHE for
procedural due process violations, substantive due process
violations, and declaratory judgment. (Docket No. 1). In
response to Defendant, California University, and
PASSHE's motion to dismiss, Plaintiff filed an Amended
Complaint against Defendant and California University.
(Docket Nos. 8, 13). After Defendant and California
University filed a motion to dismiss, Plaintiff responded,
wherein he stipulated to the dismissal of California
University and relied upon facts outside the Amended
Complaint. (Docket Nos. 15, 19, 21). Accordingly, the Court
denied, without prejudice, the motion to dismiss and ordered
Plaintiff to file a Second Amended Complaint. Plaintiff filed
his Second Amended Complaint on February 21, 2018, asserting
claims against Defendant for procedural due process
violations, substantive due ...