United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
HARISADHAN PATRA and PETULA VAZ, Plaintiffs.
THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION, et al., Defendants.
Matthew W. Brann United States District Judge
moved for summary judgment on all counts of Plaintiffs'
Amended Complaint. For the reasons that follow, that motion
will be granted.
Harisadhan Patra and Petula Vaz were formerly employed as
professors at Bloomsburg University. They brought the instant
suit in 2014, after their teaching contract was not renewed.
Amended Complaint argues that their termination was
discriminatorily based on their race, national origin, and
religion, and was intended as retaliation for Plaintiffs'
decision to speak out about Bloomsburg University's
alleged practice of falsifying student progress and
graduation data. It contains eleven counts, including three
based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,  one based on the
Pennsylvania Human Relations Act,  two based on the United
States Constitution,  two based on the Pennsylvania
Whistleblower Law,  and three based on state tort
moved for summary judgment on October 16, 2017. Plaintiffs filed
an opposition to that motion on November 30,
2017. Accompanying Plaintiffs' brief was a
336-page “Counterstatement of Undisputed
Material Facts” containing 550 numbered
Standard of Review
judgment is granted when “the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” A dispute is “genuine if a
reasonable trier-of-fact could find in favor of the
non-movant, ” and “material if it could affect
the outcome of the case.” To defeat a motion for
summary judgment, then, the nonmoving party must point to
evidence in the record that would allow a jury to rule in
that party's favor. When deciding whether to grant
summary judgment, a court should draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Plaintiffs Have Failed to Sustain Their Burden at the Summary
twice as long as the Local Rules permit, 
Plaintiffs' brief utterly fails to explain why this Court
should not grant summary judgment to Defendants on each and
every one of Plaintiffs' claims.
their Title VII claims, for example, Plaintiffs have failed
to explain why their termination was “under
circumstances that raise an inference of discriminatory
action.” Instead-as is characteristic of the rest
of their brief- they simply “refer to” a
200-page-long section of their
Counterstatement.Plaintiffs also fail to explain what
“adverse employment actions” were taken by
Defendants, and simply instruct this Court to
“[s]ee” a nearly 120-page-long section
of the Counterstatement.
on their First Amendment retaliation claim, Plaintiffs have
failed to point to evidence showing that they engaged in any
constitutionally-protected speech. Their brief's
instruction to “[s]ee” a specific paragraph of
the Counterstatement “for evidence” of such
“[p]rotected [a]ctivit[y]” leads this Court only
to an extended discussion attempting to explain why
Bloomsburg's data reporting was erroneous-not to any