Reason for non-reappointment of KSU 12-year professor still unexplained

Karen Heavin

Lawyers for Kentucky State University and its provost have asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a former professor who claims the university denied her due process, breached her contract and violated the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Former assistant math professor Karen Heavin was escorted off campus by KSU representatives in February after she was notified she would not be reappointed to her post. Last month, her attorney, Edwin H. Clark, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court.

Lawyers Joshua M. Salsburey, Katherine M. Coleman and Donald C. Morgan, who are representing the university and Provost Lucian Yates III, filed the motion for dismissal on Tuesday, citing the lawsuit's "lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted." 

The motion argues that Heavin's arguments are barred by the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or do not state "a claim on which relief can be granted." Heavin claimed in the original lawsuit that 

In reference to the claims that KSU denied her due process, breached her contract and violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, the university's motion says the court does not have jurisdiction under the 11th Amendment, which says that federal courts cannot hear certain lawsuits against states. The motion argues that KSU is a state agency.

Heavin had worked at KSU as a math instructor since 2007.

During her time there, she became a tenure track assistant professor, was the math education coordinator and was the dual credit program developer and coordinator.

In the lawsuit filed in June, Heavin said Yates and KSU Human Resources Director Candice Raglin told Heavin in a February meeting that she would not be reappointed. 

Clark declined to comment on the motion. 

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