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MSU officials file to dismiss Sanjay Gupta lawsuit alleging unfair removal

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Michigan State University

Several Michigan State University administrators have filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit from former business college dean Sanjay Gupta.

MSU Interim President Teresa Woodruff, Provost Thomas Jeitschko and other officials are named as defendants in a complaint filed to the U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan earlier this year. It claims they unfairly defamed and removed Gupta as dean of the Eli Broad College of Business in the fall of 2022.

Earlier this week, the administrators filed a motion arguing the case should be thrown out for failing to provide evidence to back up the allegations of wrongful behavior.

The motion characterizes Gupta’s suit as an attempt to find recourse and be reinstated as dean. The defendants claim they as individuals and the court lack the jurisdiction to do that.

"Plaintiff Sanjay Gupta’s Complaint should be seen as what it is: a desperate, last-ditch plea for this Court to take on the role of super-personnel department of a public institution of higher education," the filing said.

They assert that Gupta’s failure to adhere to university policy is what led to his dismissal, not any unethical action by officials.

Gupta was forced out in 2022 for allegedly failing to report an incident of sexual misconduct. An external report that looked into the dean's departure concluded he violated the university's reporting protocol, but it also found issues with Woodruff's stated reasons for Gupta's dismissal.

Several community members with the business school have spoken at Board of Trustees meetings urging the university to reinstate him.

An MSU spokesperson declined to comment on the motion because the university is not named as a defendant in the complaint.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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