Former professor sues The University

Published: November 6, 2015

Staff Writer

A former professor at The University has filed a federal lawsuit against the school claiming he was fired and denied tenure because of his Greek heritage.

According to The Times Tribune, a daily newspaper for the Scranton area, Georgios Stylianides, Ph.D., was subjected to numerous racially offensive comments by co-workers, who mocked his accent and made disparaging comments about his heritage.

The suit also said he was never given the option to remain employed even though he was denied tenure, which is one option that all professors should have. The lawsuit is seeking damages for retaliation and racial discrimination and an order directing that The University rehire him with the pay that he would have made if he had been working after he was denied tenure.

His attorney recommended he not comment because it is a federal case, Stylianides said in an email.
University spokesman Stan Zygmunt said The University would not comment on pending litigation at this time.

Stylianides was a professor at The University in the exercise science and sports department from August 2008 to May 2012. In this span of years, Stylianides co-published eight scholarly articles and was named teacher of the year by the graduating class of 2012.

According to The University website, a professor that is voted teacher of the year must “maintain the highest standards of academic excellence and fairness, inspire interest in the discipline through personal enthusiasm and dedication, [be] consistently effective in communication,” and “be available outside the classroom.”

While at The University, Stylianides challenged students to think outside the box for their final projects. For their final projects, the students would have to choose a sport, collect data and present their results in a hands-on display. In 2011, a student in his exercise science, Stephen DeChario, proposed that his final project have something to do with skydiving. Stylianides agreed that this would be an acceptable project, and he also signed up to sky dive as well.

He specializes in human movement, biomechanics and anatomy. He is now a member of the Qatar University staff, but before that he worked in many reputable schools that have given him a vast knowledge in his field. Stylianides is a past executive board member for the 3D Analysis of Human Movement technical group of the International Society of Biomechanics and has been a reviewer for several scientific journals and academic textbooks.

Stylianides joined the staff of Qatar University in the fall of 2014. Before joining Qatar, he taught at Tulane University, Tulane Hospital, NASA Michoud in Louisiana, the University of South Florida, the University of Texas, East Stroudsburg University, the American Public University System and Towson University.

Fifth-year physical therapy student Bill Connell spoke highly of Dr. Stylianides and his reputation at the University of Scranton.

“Although I never had him as a professor, I know that his students enjoyed him as a professor,” Connell said. “I know he taught biomechanics and kinesiology, and those are very difficult classes. For students to say that they enjoyed the class even though it was difficult, I can confidently say that they really did enjoy being taught by Dr. Stylianides.”

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