|Prof. Dharma Agrawal|
Agrawal contends that Carlo Montemagno, dean of the college of engineering and applied science, and John g. Bryan, interim vice provost for academic personnel, have harassed him and disrupted his research efforts since 2006. He said the school has wrongly accused him of exploiting students and leveled unproven accusations that he forced foreign students with F-1 visas to work on proposals for his private company. For a time, he said he was suspended and banned from appearing at the college. Agrawal's lawsuit said he was the victim of a sham investigation:
"Dean Montemamgno claimed to have conducted an investigation that substantiated the allegations; but in fact no report of such investigation has been found and apparently none was actually conducted and the Dean had no legitimate reason to have brought such allegations and proposed discipline. Rather, Dean Montemagno had deliberately brought the charges to destroy the reputation of the plaintiff, and to induce him to leave the University."
Agrawal is an expert in the field of wireless systems. He claims there is a campaign under way to disrupt his research. Agrawal originally was brought to Ohio -- along with several others recruited to the state's 13 campuses -- in a bid to stimulate the state's economy by boosting research efforts across the state university system. Regents professors were funded by the state because they had earned national recognition for their work and excelled as scholars. But Agrawal said it went off the tracks at the University of Cincinnati:
" . . . Plaintiff was intentionally discriminated against by defendants because of his non-white race and color and because of his Indian national origin and Indian ancestry. Had Professor Agrawal been treated equally with white professors or American-born professors at the University of Cincinnati, there would have been no attempt to discipline him as was attempted, nor would his graduate faculty rights have been suspended."
Agrawal wants $500,000 in punitive damages, attorney fees, an injunction and reinstatement of nearly $400,000 in Ohio Board of Regents research funds that were stripped from his control.