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Former UMKC lecturer sues over class cancellation

Updated: 2013-07-29T23:01:48Z

By DAVE HELLING

The Kansas City Star

A former part-time lecturer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has filed a lawsuit claiming his job was improperly ended after he criticized alleged academic irregularities at the school.

Henry Lyons filed the suit in Jackson County Circuit Court against UMKC chancellor Leo Morton and two other school officials.

In the suit, Lyons claims he was not rehired as a lecturer after calling attention to alleged preferential treatment for a student-athlete at UMKC.

In 2011, Lyons claims, the university improperly awarded a passing grade to an unidentified student-athlete who had failed one of his courses. Lyons challenged the grade change, but failed to stop it.

Following a series of hearings and complaints, the lawsuit says, he was not hired as a teacher for the following semester.

“Lyons has suffered a loss of self-esteem, humiliation, emotional distress and mental anguish,” the lawsuit says. It seeks actual and punitive damages.

The NCAA eventually cleared the school of any rules violations in connection with the grade change.

Morton said he had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment. UMKC is not a defendant in the case.

A spokeswoman for the university said the school would not comment on pending litigation involving a personnel matter.

To reach Dave Helling, call 816-234-4656 or send email to dhelling@kcstar.com.

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