Sitting for the court: Justice Paul W. Green, Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Justice Phil Johnson, Justice David Medina, Justice Dale Wainwright, Justice Don R. Willett, Justice Eva Guzman, Justice Debra Lehrmann
Texas A&M University–Kingsville v. Melody Yarbrough?
from Kleberg County and the 13th District Court of Appeals, Corpus Christi/Edinburg
For petitioner: David S. Morales, Austin
?For respondent: Kevin F. Lungwitz, Austin?
The principal issues in this declaratory-judgment action are (1) whether a college professor’s complaint about an evaluation stated an ultra vires claim that should have been against university officials instead of the institution and (2) whether university policy allowing an aggrieved employee to rebut an evaluation violates Texas Government Code section 617.005's provision if a public employee’s complaint about working conditions is heard by an administrator without authority to remedy the problem. In this case Yarbrough complained that A&M–Kingsville’s grievance policy did not provide her the right to complain to a person with authority to remedy errors in the evaluation she believed might hurt her chances for tenure. (She later got tenure, despite the evaluation, raising a question whether her suit is moot). The trial court granted the university’s summary-judgment motion, but the court of appeals reversed.
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