After Frampton’s first request for house arrest was denied when a medical exam showed his condition could be treated in prison, he appealed for a second medical exam.
His efforts stalled until he was able to, for the first time since his arrest, hire a family of private lawyers with funds from friends in Buenos Aires, Williams said.
Once he had a private lawyer, Williams said Frampton was able to get a second medical exam in mid-October, which diagnosed Frampton with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Now that Frampton is on house arrest, he is able to perform more of his duties, Williams said.
“Paul’s in much better circumstances now,” Williams said. “He can Skype, he has email, he can easily interact with the outside world now.”
Williams said UNC administration, which suspended Frampton’s pay in March, has been notified of the change. He said Frampton has the ability to participate in faculty meetings via Skype or speaker phone.
Williams said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney and Chancellor Holden Thorp have been unreceptive to Frampton’s appeals.
Both Carney and Thorp declined to comment.
“No matter how many times you tell them he’s published papers, advised students, participated for two hours by speaker phone in his grievance hearing, the only response you get is, ‘He can’t perform his duties, therefore we won’t fund him.’ This is a blatant falsehood,” Williams said.
Williams said the University has no legal basis for suspending Frampton’s pay.
“There is no policy in the entire code that allows administration to put a tenured faculty member on unpaid personal leave against his objection.”
At issue is Section 603 of the UNC system’s code, which outlines standard due processes for discharges or sanctions against tenured faculty.
The code states that a faculty member might be discharged for a “neglect of duty, including sustained failure to meet assigned classes or to perform other significant professional obligations.”
The UNC faculty grievance committee heard Frampton’s case and reached a decision on Sept. 26 that Williams said was “highly favorable.”
But Williams said both Carney and then Thorp rejected the committee’s proposals.
Committee chairwoman Jill Moore declined to comment on any specific grievance, but said that in any case, after the chancellor’s decision, appeals would go to the UNC Board of Trustees — a move Williams said Frampton plans on taking.
In a letter to Thorp, Williams argued the UNC administration is afraid of criticism for paying a professor in prison.
“Instead of doing the right thing, you did the safe thing for yourself,” he said in the letter.
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