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Court denies motion to dismiss former business school dean's suit against MSU officials

headshot of Sanjay Gupta, smiling
Michigan State University

The judge evaluating former Michigan State University business dean Sanjay Gupta’s complaint against MSU officials has denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The complaint filed in February alleges Interim President Teresa Woodruff and other university administrators defamed Gupta’s character and unfairly removed him as dean of the Broad College of Business last year. They claimed he was removed for failing to report an incident of sexual misconduct involving an associate dean.

Gupta's attorneys argued the administrators "orchestrated the process behind-the-scenes" to promote Woodruff as the next university president and eliminate him as a potential candidate.

The officials named in the suit responded with a motion to dismiss the complaint for failing to substantiate claims of wrongful behavior with evidence. They called the suit "a desperate, last-ditch plea" to be reinstated as dean.

That request was dismissed as moot by U.S. Western District Court judge Paul Maloney on Wednesday after Gupta updated his complaint to include details from an independent review of his departure.

The amended suit also adds all eight members of the MSU Board of Trustees as defendants.

Gupta argues his ouster violated his due process and equal protection rights. He is asking the court to initiate a trial by jury and reinstate him as head of the business school.

A university spokesperson declined to comment on the pending litigation. Gupta's attorney has not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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