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Anhalt v. Cardinal Stritch University

December 12, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Rudolph T. Randa Chief Judge


The pro se plaintiff, Dr. Edward Anhalt ("Anhalt"), was an adjunct business professor for the Cardinal Stritch University ("CSU") College of Business ("COB") from 1985 until he was terminated in December 2002. Dr. Anhalt alleges that he was terminated because of his age (56) in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA").

CSU moved for summary judgment. CSU's motion complied with Civil L.R. 56.1 (Summary Judgment Motions in Pro Se Litigation); that is, the motion included "a short and plain statement that any factual assertion in the movant's affidavit(s) or other admissible documentary evidence will be accepted by the Court as true unless the party unrepresented by counsel submits the party's own affidavit(s) or other admissible documentary evidence contradicting the factual assertion." Civil L.R. 56.1(a)(1). The motion also included the text to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) and (f), Civil L.R. 56.1, Civil L.R. 56.2, and Civil L.R. 7.1. Dr. Anhalt filed a responsive brief and included a copy of his personnel file, a list of faculty and staff over the age of 40 that allegedly were terminated by CSU, a list of the courses he taught at CSU, CSU's answers to his interrogatories, and 35 "End of Course Surveys from 11/96 to 9/02."

Dr. Anhalt's response fails to create any genuine issues of material fact. First, as Dr. Anhalt was warned, materials in opposition to a motion for summary judgment must include a "specific response to the movant's proposed findings of fact, clearly delineating only those findings to which it is asserted that a genuine issue of material fact exists. The response must refer to the contested finding by paragraph number and must include specific citations to evidentiary materials in the record which support the claim that a dispute exits." Civil L.R. 56.2(b)(1) (emphasis added). As for any additional factual assertions, Dr. Anhalt was required to present "[f]actual propositions . . . set out in numbered paragraphs, with the contents of each paragraph limited as far as practicable to a single factual proposition." Civil L.R. 56.2(b)(2); 56.2(a)(2) (emphasis added). Dr. Anhalt failed to comply with either of these rules. Despite Dr. Anhalt's pro se status, the Court is not obliged to sort through Dr. Anhalt's evidence to determine what is disputed and what is not.

Most important, Dr. Anhalt's evidence is improper in its form. An adverse party "may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading, but the adverse party's response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(emphasis added). The documents provided by Dr. Anhalt are unauthenticated, by way of either affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury, and inadmissible. Although pro se plaintiffs are entitled to more lenient standards, there is no lower standard when it comes to complying with procedural rules. See Jones v. Phipps, 39 F.3d 158, 163 (7th Cir. 1994). All relevant facts that are denied without supporting documentation must be accepted as true. See Schulz v. Serfilco, Ltd., 965 F.2d 516, 518-19 (7th Cir. 1992).

Therefore, CSU's proposed findings of fact are undisputed, and are accepted as true for purposes of this motion. See Runnels v. Armstrong World Industries, Inc., 105 F. Supp. 2d 914, 918 (C.D. Ill. 2000) ("because plaintiff has submitted no facts or evidence to contradict [the defendant's] version of events, [defendant's] facts are undisputed for purposes of this motion"). For the reasons that follow, CSU's motion for summary judgment is granted.


CSU is an institution of higher education that was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1937 by the Catholic Order of the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi. CSU has four colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business ("COB"), the College of Education, and the Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing. The COB provides high-quality, practical education that leads to undergraduate and master's degrees. All COB programs are accelerated with classes meeting one night a week in convenient locations for working adults. The COB is designed to educate adults and is separate from the traditional undergraduate daytime business programs, which are part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The teaching philosophy of the COB is to use academically qualified instructors who teach by night what they do professionally during the day. The great majority of instructors in the COB are Adjunct Faculty who are hired on an as-needed basis and are not considered part of the faculty ranks. Adjunct Faculty members have other employment, ideally in the areas in which they teach, and teach a course in the COB in their spare time. It has never been the teaching philosophy of the COB to have its Adjunct Faculty view their teaching assignments at the COB as their main job or source of income. CSU has never treated the COB Adjunct Faculty as part of its regular Faculty and they are not tenure eligible.

Dr. Anhalt began teaching at the COB in 1985. According to Dr. Anhalt's "Faculty Vita," he received a Bachelors of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin in June 1967, with majors in History and Philosophy. In June 1971, he received a Masters of Science Degree in Education from the University of WisconsinMilwaukee. He received a doctoral degree in Education (Ed. D.) from Rutgers University in June 1978, and completed post-doctorate courses at Lehigh University in 1978 and 1979.

In 2002, Dr. Anhalt was at Salary Level III for COB's Adjunct Faculty, which is the highest of the three salary levels for Adjunct Faculty. The basic Level III salary was $208.00 for each COB course or module taught. In 2002, CSU paid Dr. Anhalt a total of $33,461.06 for his teaching services.

The person at the COB who was primarily responsible for the scheduling and assignment of Adjunct Faculty was Joan Kramer ("Ms. Kramer"). In 2002, Ms. Kramer's title was Director of Research and Faculty Services. Ms. Kramer had fallen into the habit of allowing Adjunct Faculty to self-select the classes or modules they wished to teach. Ms. Kramer also did not adequately monitor whether the Adjunct Faculty had the proven academic and professional qualifications to teach the classes that he or she had selected to teach. Because Dr. Anhalt's Masters and Doctorate degrees were in Education, Dr. Anhalt did not have any advanced degrees in the business related courses that he was teaching at the COB.

In the spring of 2002, CSU hired Dr. Gary Ross ("Dr. Ross") to be the new Dean of the COB. Dr. Ross reported to Dr. Marna E. Boyle ("Dr. Boyle"), CSU's Vice President for Academic Affairs. The deans of CSU's four colleges report to Dr. Boyle on all academic matters. In 2002, CSU was preparing for its institutional accreditation visit, which included review of the four colleges. Dr. Boyle charged Dr. Ross with the primary responsibility to prepare the COB for the accreditation process.

Dr. Boyle told Dr. Ross that an important aspect of the accreditation process for the University was to ensure that Adjunct Faculty were teaching in areas and courses in which they have demonstrated academic and professional credentials. With regard to professional credentials, this meant that the Adjunct Faculty member was teaching in areas that he or she had actual working experience, ideally in areas in which he or she was currently working or had recently worked in the case of retired instructors. As for academic credentials, 18 graduate level credits in the subject matter that he or she was teaching was the standard. This was the number of credits that the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association ("HLD/NCA") required for teaching general education courses. Eighteen graduate credits is considered "substantial study" and was used by CSU as a benchmark for ...

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