But he said UNC administrators have responded inadequately.
Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost, referred all questions to UNC spokeswoman Nancy Davis. Davis said UNC is bound by state personnel law and can’t comment on the situation beyond providing public information.
Frampton’s pay changed March 1 from $106,835 to $0, UNC spokeswoman Karen Moon said.
Frampton said the administrators he has contacted have been unable to tell him why his salary was terminated.
Carney sent a letter to Frampton’s defense attorneys in February outlining that the professor had missed four classes and that his salary would be terminated, Frampton said.
But Frampton claims there was a misunderstanding. He planned to teach a graduate class this semester, but when only one student enrolled, he canceled it without notifying his department’s chairman, he said.
“Carney terminated my salary for neglect of duty,” he said. “But the four classes never took place anyway.”
Frampton said part of the administration’s poor response is borne out of a “very deep, unconscious” academic jealousy on behalf of Carney, a colleague of Frampton’s and fellow physicist.
“Scientists like to do research to make groundbreaking discoveries, and I’ve probably made five and he has made zero,” Frampton said.
Carney wrote a letter to the Argentine judiciary in Frampton’s aid, Frampton said. UNC also sent Jonathan Hartlyn, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs, who was in Argentina already, to meet with a member of the Argentine judiciary on Frampton’s behalf, Moon said.
But Frampton said the effort fell short. “The judge probably resented wasting his time with Hartlyn, who does not know Frampton,” he said.
Anne Marie Frampton, his ex-wife, said Frampton is “absolutely innocent.”
Frampton said he will likely leave prison in a week thanks to evidence in his favor, though he will still be detained in Argentina.
“I’ll be 99.9 percent likely to be back to teach in the fall,” he said.
Nabil Khan, who took applied thermodynamics with Frampton at UNC in 2009, said he isn’t shocked.
“He was so oblivious, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone had duped him,” Khan said. “That seems plausible to me.”
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