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Former Profs Sue Augie for Discrimination

I like to think that Augustana University is a bastion of reasonable liberal thinking in the midst of a too-red sea of Sioux Falls urbanites. But two former music professors are taking Augie to court over alleged discrimination:

Lisa Grevlos and Paul Nesheim claim they were wrongfully terminated due to age, sex, retaliation and breach of contract.

In this civil lawsuit against Augustana University, Lisa Grevlos and Paul Nesheim claim they lost their jobs after participating in a hiring interview for the new Dean of the School of Music back in 2020.

Shortly after the interview, an anonymous complaint was filed against Grevlos, Nesheim and one other person.

The federal lawsuit says Grevlos then filed a Title IX complaint, alleging discrimination and retaliation by two colleagues and following that complaint, she was demoted from her duties.

Her colleague, Paul Nesheim, was named on the Title IX complaint as a witness. The lawsuit claims he too was demoted.

Grevlos and Nesheim would go on to file additional discrimination complaints and would eventually dismissed from their jobs [Renee Ortiz, “Augustana University Being Sued by Former Faculty,” KELO-TV, 2023.05.30].

I suppose we may expect SDGOP spin blogger Pat Powers to salivate at the prospect of raking over the coals an institution of higher education led by a certain former Democratic Congresswoman now facing allegations of discrimination. After all, the Republican Party has a keen interest in undermining public confidence in any institutions of higher education not called Hillsdale.


  1. David Newquist 2023-05-31 08:57

    Tenured professors cannot be fired except for reasons of just cause, which would have to be a serious violation of their professional duties. It sounds like Augustana is about to be a candidate for censure by the American Association of University Professors. That would diminish its status as an academic institution, and rank it among its public fellows in the state–which are reputed to be run by the politicians, not the scholars.

  2. P. Aitch 2023-05-31 10:02

    My moola is on the Profs.

  3. David Newquist 2023-05-31 10:37

    I have been informed from an AAUP colleague that the dismissal letters did cite just cause. However, he points out that there is a question about whether the reasons cited comprise just cause. My informant said the whole matter arises out of a personality conflict that got incredibly mean, nasty, and petty. Whatever the outcome, it is an ugly blemish on the university as an academic institution.

  4. leslie 2023-05-31 10:47

    The GOP has opened up a world of sh_t (see video) and abused process and norms, overturning precedent with Trump judges throughout the “legal” system. Rank politicization. Now called WEAPONIZATION.

    For example [MD] Bernard’s attorney has dismissed [Indiana AG, R., Todd] Rokita’s complaint* as a “last-ditch effort to intimidate” her and other abortion providers. Bernard maintained that she did not release protected details about the child.

    “I did not release any protected health information. I complied with all patient confidentiality and HIPAA laws to the best of my knowledge,” Bernard testified on Thursday. “And, again, there was no information that I released that led to her being identified.”

    Bernard’s employer, Indiana University Health, said in July that it reviewed the case and determined the doctor was “in compliance with privacy laws.”


    “the board dismissed two other allegations in the complaint, determining she did not violate laws requiring physicians to immediately report suspected child abuse and keep abreast of mandatory reporting and patient privacy laws.

    Bernard will be fined $3,000 and receive a letter of reprimand, according to the board, which agreed to allow her to continue practicing medicine.

    The complaint alleged that Bernard violated patient privacy law when she discussed the case of the girl without the consent of the patient or a guardian – even while not using her name – over the summer with the Indianapolis Star.

    … she also submitted the report, which noted the abuse, to Indiana’s Department of Child Services. The department previously declined to publicly confirm whether it received a report from Bernard, citing confidentiality law.” (Republican AG Todd Rokita’s political office hid behind the very privacy rights he alleged, but failed to prove, the MD violated!)

    Republican bullying and abuse of process, and elected office—in other words, what has become the status quo nation-wide! Incompetent and fascist authoritarianism is where the GOP lies!!

    Was the basis for 58 and 62 year old music professors discrimination political? Woke? A product of GOP bullying? Rat out the Libs, indeed?

  5. Whitless 2023-05-31 17:06

    If the allegations of sexist remarks are true, Augustana University should not condone such statements by elevating faculty who engage in this type of offensive behavior. It appears that the University has poorly managed the obvious conflict between younger and older music faculty. Francois Rabelais observed that “[m]isery is the company of lawsuits.” For all involved, further distress is assured, a consequence that may have been avoided with appropriate conflict management.

  6. All Mammal 2023-05-31 17:22

    This is all really sad. I feel guilty that states like ours are doing such harm to our educational institutions. It drags the entire nation down. Our behavior reminds me of a scared, developmentally delayed Tasmanian devil just thrashing everything confusing to us and destroying it. Other states have to deal with the cost and ask, “For what?”
    Destroying liberty to learn is a matter of national security. Going backwards is a worldwide crisis of apocalyptic proportions. Sincerely. I don’t want our daughters and sons to experience a barren wasteland sans civility and justice like in the movie, The Book of Eli. That’s always what comes to mind when the future yanks backwards when KN keeps fish hooking us by the lip.

    My mom rustled around and produced exactly what was needed: an ancient, green US Army whistle…. you know, for that whistle blowin. I always do what my mammy says.

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