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Internationally Acclaimed Scientist Sues Over His Dismissal

A UND professor who was taken off the payroll last June has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the university and its medical school in a dispute over his salary and job performance. The complaint filed by Fathy Messiha of Grand Forks contends he was wrongly relieved of his former post as chairman of the pharmacology department in 1988 and put on a lower salary than the $78,000 in his original contract. He says UND should compensate him for lost salary and benefits plus research support he was promised in 1986, which he came here from Texas Tech.

The complaint asks the Grand Forks County District Court to award Messiha damages of more than $1 million, and that includes punitive damages for allegations of professional defamation by UND officers.

Law School Dean W. Jeremy Davis, who represented UND in earlier, proceedings, said that after a long review, UND determined the professor's job performance justified his dismissal. Davis said the termination proceedings were still pending before the State Board of Higher Education. However, Fathy Messiha vigorously denied UND's charges.

Grand Forks Herald, September 27, 1994

Professor Fathy Messiha is an internationally acclaimed scientist.