Former nursing instructor sues SRJC for $15 million

  • 2/20/2008: B1: Analy Hall on the Santa Rosa Junior College's main campus was one of several buildings in Santa Rosa built under the New Deal during the Depression. Others at school include the Luther Burbank Theater and Jesse Peters Museum.
    PC: Analy Hall on the Santa Rosa Junior College's main campus is a New Deal project. February 12, 2008. The Press Democrat / Jeff Kan Lee

Santa Rosa Junior College is facing a $15 million lawsuit filed by a former nursing instructor who says school officials illegally denied him tenure and ruined his reputation.

Daniel Doolan won a $308,000 judgment in a similar case last December in which he alleged discrimination, harassment and defamation. The jury in that case found that the college was not guilty of discrimination or harassment but did find in Doolan's favor on his claim that college officials had defamed him.

Doolan then filed a multimillion-dollar follow-up suit that covers a period of time and issues not heard by the jury in the original case, according to his San Francisco-based attorney, Dustin Collier. That lawsuit will prove that Doolan was not granted tenure because he's a man, Collier said.

"In the first lawsuit, we were discussing the things that happened until Sept. 7, 2012," he said. "The second covers everything after Sept. 7."

"They ultimately terminated him and denied him tenure," he said.

Santa Rosa Junior College President Frank Chong declined to discuss the situation.

"It's a personnel matter," he said.

Karen Furukawa-Schlereth, vice president of human resources, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The suit alleges that because of his multiyear contract, it was difficult to fire Doolan, so school officials illegally manipulated the tenure process to dismiss him.

According to his lawsuit, the school's tenure review team in January 2013 unanimously voted to deny Doolan a permanent place on the staff. Approximately three months later, Doolan was put on paid administrative leave, but he claims he was not informed why.

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