Ex-Oregon State University dean wins whistleblower lawsuit

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Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 7:45 AM PST
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CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — A jury has awarded over $600,000 to a former Oregon State University dean who sued the school for whistleblower retaliation.

University officials disagree with the verdict issued earlier this month and plan to appeal, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Grace Kuo, former dean of OSU’s College of Pharmacy, said in her lawsuit that the university aided and abetted in retaliation against her when she reported student concerns of discrimination and harassment.

She also reported the College of Pharmacy’s executive associate dean for allegedly mishandling the student complaints, according to the lawsuit. Kuo said administrators advised her to ask the executive associate dean to step down. Kuo said university leadership later turned on her, removing her as a dean and demoted.

Kuo is now the dean of Texas Tech University’s pharmacy school.

OSU’s vice president of university relations and marketing, Steve Clark, said in a statement that the university was disappointed.

“Oregon State University and its leadership unequivocally and fully dispute Dr. Kuo’s claim that she was dismissed from her Dean position for being a whistle-blower,” Clark said. “Dr. Kuo’s dismissal as dean was solely about leadership.”

Clark said the university supports and encourages university community members to report misconduct.