UNF officially dismisses Giuma


UNF Electrical Engineering Professor Tayeb Giuma, who was recently charged with simple battery, was formally dismissed March 24 after the results of a March 15 predetermination conference.

UNF Provost Mark Workman wrote in an e-mail to Giuma, “the University would be negligent to retain you and can no longer assume the risk of you continuing as an employee.”

This letter of termination follows a Feb. 2 notice of intent to terminate from Workman.

Giuma, a tenured faculty member and vice president of the faculty union, said he doesn’t think the university or Mark Workman has treated him fairly in the process.

“This is a double standard and discrimination,” he said.

Giuma contends the university is making a mistake.

“Dr. Giuma has not done a damn thing wrong to any UNF students,” Giuma said. “I have not done anything wrong to UNF.

Giuma’s attorney, Tallahassee-based Mark Levine, said the next step is an appeals process and an appeal will be filed within a week.

Levine said the appeals process will take between 90 and 180 days requiring about 12-15 people to testify many of who were mentioned in a 160 page investigation by university associate general counsel Marc Snow.

In the four page e-mail sent to Giuma, Workman also wrote, “From October 19, 1999 through September 25,2009, there have been at least 12 situations where either police involvement was required to assist in disputes where you allegedly threatened to harm or harmed others, or where you were arrested for failing to act in a lawful manner. Your attorney stated in the predetermination conference that the University was aware of these situations, but never took action. This is incorrect.”

Workman wrote that the university was never aware of Giuma’s past criminal record until a community member notified the university.

Giuma’s neighbor, Tom Piatak, paid for a private investigation regarding Giuma’s history and then sent it to the university.

Piatak said he is in the process of trying to sell his home to move away from Giuma

Snow took the results of the private investigation and conducted his own investigation.

The results of this months-long investigation ranged from shoplifting to child abuse to numerous disputes with neighbors. Giuma, though, has never been convicted of anything.

The termination letter also notes Giuma’s behavior at UNF has not been too pleasant either.

Cheryl Campbell, an academic advisor in the Coggin College of Business, felt threatened for life when Giuma met with her trying to obtain favors for his son, according to the termination letter.

“Such behaviour is unbecoming a University employee, especially a tenured faculty member,” Workman wrote.

Giuma’s Criminal Case

Giuma’s next pre-trial date regarding his battery charge is scheduled for April 6.