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SCANNED ON 91?

812012

Plaintiff -againstNEW YORK UNIVERSITY, JOHN SEXTON, MARY SCHMIDT CAMPBELL, and JOE JULIANO Defendants
___I___________l_r__-----------------------------------------~--------~-

Index. No.

SUMMONS
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED Venue is based on the residence of plaintiff and the principal place of business of the corporate defendant

TO THE ABOVE-NAMED DEFENDANTS:


YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED arid required to appear scrving answering papers in opposition to the annexed Verified Complaint upon Plaintiff at the address stated below within the time provided by law as noted below; upoii your failure to so answer, judgment will be taken against you for the relief demanded
in the Complaint, togethcr with costs of this action.

NOTE: I k law provides that: (a) If this suinmoiis is served by its delivery to yoit personally within the City of New York, you must appear and answer within TWENTY days after such scrvice; or (b) If this
summons is served by delivery to any person other than you personally, or is served outside the City of

New York, or by publication, or by any means other than personal delivery to you within the City orNew York, you are allowed THlRTY days after proof of servicc thereof is tlled with the Clerk of this Court within which to appear and answer. Dated: New York,, New York Septeinber

RILL 2 MElSEL % ttoriieys for Plaintiff

Rosalind S. Fink 845 Third Avenue


i

(212) 753-5599

TO:

New York Ilniversity John Sexton Mary Schmidt Cainpbcll Joe Juliaiio Office of the NY IJ General Counsel Elnier Holmes Bobst Library 70 Washington Square Soutli New York, NY 10012-1091 (2 12) 998-2257

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Index. No.

>.
.

PARI SARA SHIRAZI,


Plaintiff

Index. No.

VERIFlED COMPLAINT

- against NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, JOHN SEXTON, MARY SCHMIDT CAMPBELL AND JOE JULIANO,

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

Plaintiff--

Pari Sara Shirazi, Ph.D. ((Dr. Shirazi, Plaintiff, or Petitioner), by her

attorneys, Brill & Meisel, complaining of Defendants-Respondents New York University (NY U), John Sexton, Mary Schmidt Campbell, and Joe Juliano (collectively, Defendants), alleges as follows:

NATURE OF CLAIMS
I.

Plaintiff was hired by NYU in 1981 as a Teller in the Bursars office, rising to Manager of the Disbursements Office responsible for payrolls, accounts payable checks, cash disbursements, and scholarship checks. I n 1988, Plaintiff moved to Tisch School of the Arts (TSOA), beginning as Rudgct Director for the film department and rising through the administrative ranks to Director of Administration for that department, then Associate Dean for Planning of TSOA, then Vice Dean

of the school, Dean Mary Schmidt Campbells second in command. In 2007, while keeping hcr
duties as Vice Dean, Plaintiff also became President of NYlJ Tisch School of the Arts, Asia (Tisch Asia) upon the establislirnent of that school.
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e
2.
Taking advantage of tuition remission, Plaintiff also earned two masterss degrees and a Ph.L). while working for NYU. Slic joined the faculty of TSOA in 2001 and thereafter embarked on a numbcr of highly-regardcd projects and activities, producing plays and films, curatiiig and participating in many symposia, panels, and film festivals, and designing many highly successful courses and international arts programs for TSOA. With Mohammed Mchdi Khorami, she also selected, translated and edited Sohrabs Wars: Counter Discourses of Contemporary Persian Fiction, a collection of short stories and a film script. She remained a member of thc TSOA faculty until her termination on June 22, 2012. 3. This case involves a smear campaign and sccret investigations of Dr. Shirati by Defendants, dcsigned to blame her for President Sextons allegedly belated recognition of shortfalls at Tisch Asia (despite consistent, timely provision by TSOAs dcan to both NYUs Provost and its Gencral Counsel of all relevant financial information, including transfers of funds from TSOA to Tisch Asia).

4.

These actions are believed to have been taken to justify Defendant Sexton and Provost David McLaughlins intention to move administrative responsibility for Tisch Asia from TSOA to the NYU Provosts office and its Global University, administered through that officc, thereby either securing for the central University the anticipated future profits from establishment of a joint under-graduatc program with the National University of Singapore or, if negotiations to establish that program are unsuccessful, facilitating relocation of the program offerings at Tisch Asia to programs at other NYU locations in the Far East or in Abu Dhabi.

5.

From the establishment of Tisch Asia to thc date when Dr. Shirazi was removed as head of that school, NYU senior administrators had rejected all solutions to the schools financial shortfall that Dr. Shirazi, with her Deans support, had proposed, including the proposal for ajoint undergraduate program with the National University of Singapore (,NUS) now being negotiated on belialf of NYUs Global Ilniversity.

6.

After Dr. Shirazi was stripped of her titles as President of Tisch Asia and Vice Dean of TSOA,

defaniatory statements were made about her in both New Y ork and Singapore by the Dcfcndants, all high-lcvel NYU officials, in an attempt to justify her removal and capture control of Tisch Asia. Her attempts to clear her name by publicly refuting these allegations, including thc unfounded claims that she had embezzled Iiscli Asia funds and that die had secretly and

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improperly transferred funds from M I A to Tiscli Asia, resulted in a scries of retaliatory actions: she was barred from the classroom; she was not given written acknowledgement of the five-year contract rcnewal, through the 2015-2016 academic year, to which she was entitled under applicable NYlJ rules; the promotion recommended by her faculty, outside reviewers and her dean was denied; and she was ultimately terminated.
7.

The purported basis for Dr. Shirazis termination was findings allegedly rcsulting from an investigation which did not follow any ofNYUs applicable rules or give Dr. Shirazi any of the due process provided by those rulcs; most fundamentally, she was never either given notice of the charges against her or given the opportunity to respond. During the seven months that public charges of self-dealing and financial incompetence and misconduct were made by President Sexton and others, Dr. Shirazi was not once either interviewed or even contacted about these publicly-stated allegations by the persons conducting this investigation. And, when she was finally given a statement of the findings forming the purported basis for her termination, each
of the findings was either provably false, or the result of inadvertent error promptly corrected, or

reflected common TSOA and/or NY U policy and practice. In sum, they were not only insuftlcient to justify termination, but were a far cry from the reputation-destroying accusations of the preceding seven months. 8.

NYUs actions were taken in clear contravcntion of Dr. Shirazis contractual rights under
applicable policies and procedures, including Title IV of the Faculty Handbook, governing disciplinary procedures when a faculty member is accused of violating a University rule or regulation (Ex. 1); the November 30, 2004 TSOA Arts Professor Policy Document (Ex. 2), governing review, reappointment, and promotion of TSOA faculty members; and the superceding October 12, 20 1 1 TSOA Guidelines for Arts Professors Appointments, Renewals, Promotions.
Ex. 3.

9.

This is a hybrid plenary action and C.P.L.R. Article 78 proceeding, brought to (a) redress claims that NYU breached its contractual obligations to Dr. Shirazi by failing to acknowledge and act in conformity with its contractual obligation to employ Dr. Shirazi as a faculty member in TSOA from September I , 20 1 1 through August 3 1, 201 6; failing to consider Dr. Shirazis request for promotion in accordance with the procedures it was contractually obligated to follow; and by suspending and, later, terminating Dr. Shirazi for alleged violations of its Policy and Code of Ethical Conduct without complying with the procedures it was contractually obligated to follow when considering charges of such violations, all in violation of Plaintiffs contractual rights, Ncw
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York common law and applicablc NYU rules, policies and procedures, (b) redress claims that the

individual Defendants defamed Dr. Shirazi through repeated, knowingly false statements; and (e) seek a writ of mandamus pursuant to C.P.L.R. Article 78. Dr. Shirazi asks this Court to order

NYU to vacate the termination decision; to expunge any and all records reflecting that unlawful
decision and the findings of its improper investigation; to refrain from representing that Dr. Shirazi was discharged for unethical conduct; to reinstate Dr. Shirazi to her former faculty position; to consider the promotion recommendation made in 20 I O in compliance with applicablc rulcs; to provide her with the full protections of applicable NYU policies; to take steps necessary to clear Dr. Sliirazis name in Singapore; and to award her incidental damages, including but not limited to wages and other lost benefits. Plaintiff also seeks damages and other appropriate legal relief,
PARTIES AND VENUE

IO.

Dr. Shirazi is a resident of the City and State of New York. At all relcvant times, up to her termination, she was a full-time Associate Arts Professor at TSOA.

1 1.

Defendant NYU is a leading private research university with an enrollment of over 40,000 students. It employs over 3,100 full-time faculty members. It is located in Ncw York City.

12.

TSOA is one of NYUs constituent schools. It is a leading center of undergraduate and graduate

study in the arts. Its main campus is located in New York City. It established a second campus in Singapore -- Tisch Asia -- in 2007, which was NYUs first degree-granting campus outside New York City. 13.
14.

Defcndant John Sexton is and was, at all relevant times, the President of N Y U . Defendant Mary Schmidt Campbell is and was, at all relevant times, the Dean of TSOA and chairman of the board of directors of Tisch Asia.

15.

Defendant Joe Juliano is the Vice Provost arid Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Planning of NYU. Prior to assuming that position, he was a member of Provost McLaughlins office staff
in charge of global programs.

16.

Venue is proper i n New York County because Plaintiff resides in New York County and NYU and all individual Defendants maintain their principal offices in New York County. In addition,

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all of the events giving rise to the Article 78 proceeding occurred in New York County.
FACTUAL ALLEGATJONS Violations of Dr. Shirazis Riphts to Continue as a Member of the TSOA Faculty throuph August 31, 2016 and to be Considered for Reappointment Thereafter and to Fair Consideration of her Promotion Request
17.

Plaintiff Shirazi was appointed to a position as Master Teacher in TSOA in 2001. In 2004,
NY Us board of trustees ratified the TSOA Arts Professor Policy Document (Policy Document")
(Ex. 2), which established an arts professor structure. Prof. Shirazi, along with her Master

Icachcrcolleagues, was given the title of Associate Arts Profcssor the following year, eligible for reappointment to an unlimited number of consccutivc five-year terms. Persons in this title are subject to thc same rules as, and eligible for thc same benefits as, full-time NYU faculty as set forth in the Faculty Handbook (Ex. 2 at 2-3).
18.

Because the Provosts office elected to stagger the initial, comprehensive reviews of newlyappointed Associatc Arts Professors, Dr. Shirazi came up for review in academic year 2009-2010, with her final year under her current contract being deemed 2010-201 1.

19.

Section IV of the Policy Document, governing revicw of Associate Arts Professors with initial appointments, required the review process to commence at the beginning of the penultimatc ycar of the contract tcrm and for all steps of the process, including Provostial review, to have been completed by the end of that academic year, so that the Associate Arts Professor can receive notice, no latcr than the start of the fifth year, of either renewal or non-renewal.

20.

Following the criteria and guidelines for review in the Policy Document, Dr. Shirazi created a Docket of supporting materials in Fall 2009 which was first reviewed by senior faculty mcmbers of her department (the Departmental Coiiimittee). In early February, 20 10, this committee unanimously recommended to Dr. Shirazis department chair that her appointment bc rcnewed. Dean Campbell then sent Dr. Shirazis Docket, along with the Departmental Committees report and recommendation, to the All School Promotion and Tenure Committee.

21.

The Dcpartnicntal Committee also unanimously rccommended to Dr. Shirazi that she seck promotion to full Arts Professor status. Following the rules sct forth i n Section V of the Policy Document governing Arts Profcssor promotions, Dr. Shirazi consulted with her Department Chair and the Associate Dean of Faculty, who confirmed her eligibility, and Dr. Shirazis Department

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Chair then solicited letters froin outside evaluators at prestigious institutions and sent her Docket, with the letters, to the Departmental Arts Professor Promotions and Review Committee. I t reviewed these materials and unanimously recommended promotion to the Department Chair,
who then forwarded Dr. Shirazis materials, along with its recommendation, to Dean Campbell.

22.

At this point, both Dr. Shirazis renewal and promotion were considered concurrently by the All School Promotion and Tenure Comnlittee in accordance with the rules set forth in Sections IV and V of the Policy Document.

23.

This committee, which is composed of TSOA faculty at the level of full Arts Professor, unanimously recommended both renewal and promotion to Dean Campbell. Dean Campbell then sent a summary of Dr. Shirazis Docket, with Dean Campbells own positive recommendations for renewal and promotion, to Provost McLaughlin. By not sending thc entire Dockct to Provost McLaughlin at this point, Dean Campbell deviatcd from the procedures set forth in the Policy Document.

24.

On August 4,20 10, Dean Campbcll informed Dr. Shirazi that Provost McLauglilin had rejected the promotion request. No mention was made of any action by Provost McLaughlin with regard to the reappointment recommendation.

25.

Provost McLaughlin rejected the TSOAs promotion recommendation without considering all of the inaterials in Dr. Shirazis Docket, which is contrary to the Policy Document and also to consistent past practice when Provost McLaughlin had questions about a promotion recommendation. Dr. Shirazi promptly wrote fornially and officially to Dean Campbell to protest this decision, sending a copy of her protest to Provost McLaughlin. Ex. 4.Dean Campbell responded that Dr. Shirazis complaint was well stated, and recommended that she filc a formal grievance against the office of the provost. Ex. 5. After Dr. Shirazi told Dean Campbell that she would do so if she had Dean Campbells full support, Dean Campbell askcd nr. Shirazi to defer, because she (Dean Campbell) had formally asked Provost McLaughlin to reconsider his decision. Ex. 6. In response to Dean Campbells request for reconsidcration, Provost McLaughlin told Dean Campbell on August 16, 201 0 that his office would review his decision during the Fall 2010 academic tcrin and requested, for the first time, a copy of Dr. Shirazis Docket. Ex, 7.

26.

Pursuant to Scction IV of the Policy Document, Dr. Shirazi was entitled to notice, on or before

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September 1,2010, of either a 5-year appointment renewal (for the period 9/1/1I through
813 1/16) or of non-renewal following a review:

For Associate Arts Professors ._. review completed by the end of the fourth the year shall provide the basis for consideration of appointment renewal. In the event of an unsuccessful review, the Associate Arts Professor shall be notified of the intention not to be reappointed not later than the beginning of the fifth year of the appointment.. . I n the event of a successful review, the Associate Arts Profcssor will be asked to serve out the rcinainder of the five-year term and shall be eligible for reappointment at the end of the fifth year for another five-year term. Notification of renewal shall be givcn by the beginning of the fifth year. Ex. 2, pp. 4-5.

27.

At the beginning of Dr. Shirazis fifth year of appointment, she received a letter informing her of her status as a faculty member of TSOA as of September 1, 20 IO at the level of Associate Arts Professor. Ex. 8. She did not, however, receive eithcr notification of her right to reappointment for a new five-year term starting on September 1, 20 1 1 or notification of the intention not to reappoint her at the end of her current term.

28.

Dr. Shirazi continued to teach during the Fall 2010 and Spring 201 I terms, while periodically asking for her reappointment letter. She was given no information whatsoever concerning the promotion denial review being conducted by the Provosts committee until she received a copy of
a letter dated July 15, 20 1 1 from Dean Campbell to the Provost. Ex. 9. Dean Campbells email

states that it is an appeal of Provost McLaughlins decision in thc promotion review of Dr. Shirazi. It sets forth in detail the process that had been followed prior to the initial denial by Provost Mcl ,aughlin and the unanimous recommendations for promotion at all levels of review; questions the basis for his adverse decision; argues that the decision fails to take into account the definition of an Arts Professor and therefore could undermine future decisions throughout the School; recounts Dr. Shirazis recent academic achievements; asserts that Dr. Shirazis request for promotion had been given inadequate consideration because of Provost McLaughlins failure to consider her full Docket, which included detailed documentation of Dr. Shirazis professional work and pedagogical accomplishments, and therefore violated the rules set forth in the Faculty Handbook; and ends with thc statement that, in accordance with the TSOA faculty vision, we believe that [Dr. Shirazis] creative producing and curatorial work along with thc program design qualify her as a senior faculty mcmbcrpar excellence.
29.

Dr. Sliirazi has never been told why Dean Campbell wrote this formal appeal eleven months after
Dean Campbells original e-mailed appeal or whether, at the time that it was written, Dean

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Campbell was aware of either the work of, or any findings by, the special committee Provost McLaughlin had stated to Dean Cainpbell that he was convening the prior Fall. 30. On August 12, 201 1, Dr. Shirazi received a letter from Dcan Campbell informing her of her status as a faculty member of TSOA as of Scptember I , 20 1 1 (Ex. IO), and she continued to teach during the Fall, 201 I semester. While this letter did not state the term of hcr reappointment,

Dr. Shirazi assumed that this letter reflected her reappointment for a five-year tcrm running from
September 1, 20 1 1 through August 3 1, 20 16, in accordance with the mandates of Section IV of thc Policy Document.
31.

On September 6,201 1, Dean Campbell wrotc to Provost McLaughlin to inform him that Dr. Sliirazi had won a State Department grant for a film festival showing the work of young Iranian filmmakers and asking him to forward this information to the special committec he had assembled to consider Dr. Shirazis requested promotion. Later that day, he responded that the information was being forwarded to the committee. Ex. 1 I .

32.

Following the grievance procedures in the Faculty Handbook (Ex. 12), on March 17,2012, Dr. Shirazi appealed to President Sexton, in his capacity as Chancellor of the University, and to Provost McLaughlin, in his capacity as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the failure to provide her with a five-year reappointment letter by September 1,2010 and the failure
to inform her of the outcome of the revicw of her promotion denial allegedly undertaken by a

committee appointed by Provost McLaughlin in Fall, 20 IO. The letter (Ex. 13), also challenged her improper removal from the classroom by Dean Campbell on January 3 1,2012, as discussed at paragraph 98, below. A copy of this letter was sent to Ted Magder, Chair of the Faculty Senators Council, as this is the body responsible for hearing gricvances against a dean.

33.

On March 29,20 12, Provost McLaughlin responded. He first stated that Dr. Shirazis appeal had been improperly brought; The provisions of the Faculty Handbook cited in your letter are for appeal from a Deans decision on a grievance. There does not appear to be such a decision to be appealed. He then went on to say that the ad hoc committee he had appointed in August 20 10 had Lunanimously recommended against promotion in Scptembcr, 20 I 1 . Ex. 14. No explanation was given at that time, or at any time thereafter, for the twelve months it allegedly took this committee to rcach its decision or for Provost McLaughlins failure to inform Dr. Shirazi of this decision for over six months aftcr it had allegedly been reached. Dr. Shirazi also has never been given any informatian about either the composition of this committee or the basis for its alleged

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recornmendat ion.

34.

Dr. Shirazi forwarded Provost McLaughlins letter to Dean Campbell, stating that she understood that the promotion had been denied, but asking for clarification and official notification of [her] current status as Arts Professor and rcquesting a lctter confirming the term of her appointment.

Ex. IS. Dean Campbell responded that she would get back to Dr. Shirazi on next steps.
35.

On April 13, 2012, Faculty Senators Council chair Magder informed Dr. Shirazi that Provost McLaughlin had told him that (a) she was entitled to a five-year contract; (b) that Dean Campbell was rcsponsible for, and had in fact sent, an appointmcnt letter reflecting that five-year reappointment in September, 201 1; and (c) that he (Provost McLaughlin) had sent Dr. Shirazi a lctter informing her of the promotion denial i n that same month. Ex. 16. Although Prof. Magder asked Provost McLaughlin for a copy of his letter, it was never provided to Prof. Magder. Prof. Magder subsequently told Dr. Shirazi that she had no basis for filing a further grievance on the promotion denial. Ex. 16.

36.

After hearing from Prof. Magder, Dr. Shirazi sent an email to Dean Campbell reiterating her requcst for a formal reappointment letter. Ex. 17.

37.

At a meeting with Dean Campbell, Dianc Yu, Chief of Staff and Deputy to Presidcnt Sexton, and Ms. Casey on June I , 2012, Dr. Shirazi was told that she was not going to be permitted to continue as a faculty member and given an agreement and release. She rcfused to sign the agreement. On June 15, 2012, Dr. Shirazi received an email from Dean Campbell informing her that, if she did not wish to discuss the terms offcred, the university will begin to process [her] separation as of June 22, 201 2. Ex. 18.

38.

On June 29, 20 12, Dr. Shirazi learned, through receipt of a packet of matcrials purporting to set

forth her benefits as an NYU retiree, that NYU had dceined her to have (retiredas of June 22, 2012. The only document indicating the date when she was unilaterally retired was a memorandum from Janice Williams, Benefits Specialist, to Frank Sicignano, stating that Dr. Shirdzi is a <retiredemployee eligible for membership in the NYU Athletic Facilities. This memorandum states that Dr. Shirazi retired as of Junc 22, 20 12.
39.

On June 29, 2012, NYU deposited $29,643.72 into Dr. Shirazis account, without providing a pay stub indicating thc reason for the deposit. This amount is cqual to two months of net base pay.

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40.

NYU failed to provide Dr. Shirazi with the benefits to which she was entitled for the pcriod from
June 22, 2012 to September 1, 2012, includingbut not limited to medical iiisurance coverage as an active cmployce, contribution by NY 1J to Dr. Shirazis retirement fund, and reimbursement of nionics owed to her pursuant to NYll travel expense policies and promises made to her when she vacated her Singapore apartment at NYUs demand.

4 1.

NYU has refuscd to permit Dr. Shirazi to continue serving as a TSOA faculty member through August 3 1, 2016 (the end date of her five-year term) or to acknowledge her right to be considered
for an additional reappointment at the conclusion of that term.

42.

NYU has not paid Dr. Shirazi the compcnsation she is owed and will be owed and has not
provided her with the benefits to which she is and will be entitled, from Septcmber 1 2012 through thc conclusion of her contract tcnn, including but not limited to medical insurance coverage as an activc employee, contribution by NYU to Dr. Shirazis retirement fund, and preparation of hcr Singapore, US, and N Y tax returns by KPMG LLP, which has been rctained by NYU to prepare tax returns of all employees whose earnings rcflect work performed in Singapore.

43.

Had NYU not breached its contractual obligations to Dr. Shirazi, she would have served through the end date of her current contract and, upon information and bclief, her contract would have been renewed for successive five-year terms.

Dr. Shirazis Contractual Rivht to Serve as a Member of the TSOA faculty For a Five-Year Term Beginninp on September 1,2011 Under Applicable NYU Rules

44.

Pursuant to Section 1V of the Policy Document, Dr. Shirazis positive renewal review and recommendation by Dean Campbell in Spring 20 IO, along with subsequcnt actions consistcnt with approving that recommendation by Provost McLaughlin and Dean Campbell, including Dean Campbclls August 12,201 1 letter confirming Dr. Shirazis status as a faculty member as of September 1,201 1, entitled Dr. Shirazi to a five-year rcnewal of her academic appointment (for thc period 9/1/1 I through 8/3 1/16): For Associate Arts professors ... the revicw completcd by the end of the fourth year shall provide the basis for consideration of appointment renewal. I n the event of an unsuccessful review, the Associate Arts Professor shall be notified of the intention not to be reappointed not later than the beginning of the fifth year of the appointment.. .In the event o u f succesJfu1 review, the Associate Arts Professor will be usked to serve out the remainder o f the)ve-yeur lerm andshall be eligible,for reuppointmeni at [he end of the fifth year for

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another jive-year term. N<iti@calinn renewal shall be given by the beginning ofthefifth of

pw. 2, p. 13. (emphasis added) Ex,


45.

Whilc Dr. Shirazi was never provided with the reappointment letter which, undcr Scction IV of the Policy Document, she was entitled to receive on or before September 1, 2010, the beginning

of her fifth year, this failure was ministerial. Thc Provost can bc assurncd to have approved the
recornmendation for reappointtncnt based on (1) his failure to state his rejection of that recommendation at the time that he considercd both the reappointmcnt and promotion recommendations and rejected the promotion recornmendation; and (2) the Provosts statement to Ted Magder, head of the Faculty Senators Council, that Dr. Shirazi should have reccived a reappointment letter from Dean Campbell in September, 201 1 .

46.

Actions by Dean Campbell further show that tlie failure to send a reappointment letter was ministerial, including (1) Dean Campbclls August 5, 2010 and July IS, 201 1 appeals to the Provost of his rejection of the promotion recommendation without mention of any issue relating to Dr. Shirazis reappointment as an Associate Arts Professor; (2) Dean Campbclls August 12,
201 1 letter confirming Dr. Shirazis status as a faculty member of TSOA as of September 1,

201 I (tlie beginning date of her new five- year appointment term); and ( 3 ) Dean Campbells
failure to notify Dr. Shirazi of non-renewal or to take any steps consistent with non-renewal, as required by Section IV of the Policy Document. 47.

By failing to honor its contractual obligation to employ Dr. Shirazi as a member of the TSOA
faculty for the pcriod from September 1,20 I 1 through August 3 1,2016, NYU breached its obligation to Dr. Shirazi under Section IV of the Policy Document.

Violation of Dr. Shirazis ripht to consideration of her promotion request under applicable NYU rules
I _

48.

The Provost acknowledged in August, 2010, that he made his decision to deny Dr. Shirazis prornotion request without considering all of the materials in her Docket, a clear violation of the Pol icy Document.

49.

Under the Policy Statement, Dr. Shirazi had the right to file a grievance based on unfair treatment as a result of the above processes in accordance with the departmental and school regulations. Dr. Shirazi has never been given a copy of thcse regulations and, in any went, Dr. Shirazi was induced to forego a formal appeal of the denial of this decision by Dean Campbell, who notified Dr. Shirazi on August 5, 2010 that she had, herself, requestcd fornial

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reconsidcration by the Provost.


___

50.

Although the Provost claimed to Dean Campbell and othcrs that he had convened an ad hoc committee to conduct this review during the Fall, 2010 semester, Dr. Shirazi was given no furthcr information on the work of this committee, despite repcatcd rcqucsts, until March 20,

2012, when the Provost informed her that this committee had unanimously recommcndcd
against promotion in September, 201 1.
5I.

Dr. Shirazi has ncver been given the names of the faculty members constituting this alleged ad hoc committee, has never seen its report, has never been told the basis for its unanimous rccommendation, has never known the process by which it made its rccommendation or why it took a year to reach its recommendation, and has never been givcn an explanation for the failure to notify her of this recommendation for over six months after it was allegedly made.

52.

Upon information and belief, the Provosts statements that he had convened an ad hoc committee
to conduct this review in Fall, 2010 and that this comrnittcc reviewed Dr. Shirazis case and

unanimously recommended against promotion in September, 20 I I are false.


Violations of Dr. Shirazis Contractual Due Process Rights and Defamatory Statements

53.

The first proposal for a TSOA campus in Singapore, presented to the Provost in 2003, included an undergraduate program, based on due diligence on student demand in the region. Provost McLaughlin opposed any global expansion, while the NYU Executive Vice President at thc time, Jack Lew, and then NYU General Counscl Cheryl Mills, supported it. The resulting compromise was establishment of a small, graduate program at the outset, with approval for addition of an undergraduate program upon evidence that Tisch Asia could recruit a high level of students and faculty and maintain curriculum standards.

54.

From the outset of planning for Tisch Asia, it was generally acccpted that this campus would bc subsidized until academic year 20 10-20 1 1 and that an undergraduate program would be cstablished during this initial period to help defray costs. Work began in 2006, after approval from thc N Y IJ Roard of Trustees, with a loan from the Economic Development Roard (EDB) of Singapore of approximately $9.6 million, intended to cover both renovations, estimated at $3 million, and anticipated revenue shortfalls through 201 I . Howcver, despite working with thc contractors recommended by EDB (which had also provided construction cost estimates), the renovations in fact cost approximately $9.2 million, leaving a projected shortfall of approximately

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$6 million.
55.

This shortfall was covered through 20 1 I by funds transfers from TSOA totaling between $7 million and $8 million. Each of these transfers, which ranged from approxirnatcly $1.2 million to
$2 rnillion per year, was approved both prospectively and retrospectively by the Tisch Asia board

of directors. First, the board members, including Provost McLaughlin and NY IJ Secretaries and

Gencral Cheryl Mills and, latcr, Bonnie Brier, received annual budget projections, from board chair Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell, which reflected thc transfers as either funds transfers or subsidies (eg. of a part of a professors salary). These budget projections were discussed, approved, and reflected in board minutes. Additionally, the board reviewcd audited reports on actual expenses which reflected these transfers, rcparts which were signed by Dean Campbell, also were approved by the board, and reflected in board minutes. All board minutes were taken by local Singapore counsel, retained and supervised by the NYU gencral counsel, who also served as secretary of the board. Actual funds transfers were done, after board approval, through the Controllers Division of N Y U, with one exception. Projections were approved retroactively in 2010 because of difficulties in identifying a date to convene that was convenicnt to all board members.
56.

Other contributions to the shortfall, in addition to the unexpectedly high construction costs, were
a wcakened U.S. dollar, lower than expected enrollments, higher than expccted faculty and

housing costs. A Singapore tuition tax was also a problem, although it was offset through 20 16 by grants totaling approximately $6.13 million from the EDB.
57.

Beforc this tax relief was grantcd by the EDB, Provost McLaughlin had told Dean Campbell that President Sexton was hoping that the Singapore government would refuse to grant it, so that the school would have to close and he could move it to Abu Dhabi. Ex. 19.

58.

Starting in 2006, Dr. Shirazi began cxploring ways to improve the financial position of Tisch Asia. Her first effort was a proposal for ajoint undergraduate degree program with NUS, which Provost McLaughlin rejected because he did not think that NlJS had sufficient academic standing.

50.

Another proposal, first made in 2008 and repeated thereafter, was the establishment of a standalone undergraduate program at Tisch Asia, modeled after a Carnegic Mellon program, to bring in additional revenue and address the shortfall. It anticipated hiring local adjunct faculty in Singapore, without a connection with NUS, but was rejected by Provost McLauglin without

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explanation.
._

60.

I n the Summer of 2010, in e-mail correspondence concerning Dr. Shirazis work on a third

proposal, for an undergraduate program connected with NYUs newly-established Global Univcrsity, Defendant Linda Mills directed Dr. Shirazi to develop her proposal using Tisch Asia
as the model for developing an undergraduate program, even if Tisch Asia in Singapore is closed

(and moves, for examplc, to Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, or elsewhere.) Ex.20. That proposal was completed and sent to NYUs Undergraduatc Commission on February 5, 201 1. The Commission set a date of February 17, 20 1 1 to present the proposal, but President Sexton, i n an unusual act, stopped it from going forward. Shortly thereafter, he confirmed to Dean Campbell that he was adamantly opposed to an uridcrgraduate program in Singapore. Ex. 2 1. Dean Campbell then instructed Dr. Sliirazi to remove all budget projections that relied on establishment of an undergraduate program. 61.
In January, 201 1, Dr. Shirazi began engaging in negotiations with the EDB to obtain pcrmanent

relief from the tuition tax, conversion of the EDB loan to a grant, Ex. 22, and a further grant of approxirnatcly $3.4 million to cover anticipated shortfalls during 20 1 1-2012 and 2012-2013. These requests were approved in principle. She also spoke with representatives of the EDB and the Singapore Land Authority about moving the campus in 2016, when their lease was up.
62.
I n April, 20 1 1, President Sexton traveled to Singapore, and met with EDB Managing Director

Swan Gin Beh to discuss these requests. Mr. Beh indicated that he would be receptive to forgiveness of the loan and permanent tuition tax relief grants if N Y U agreed not to foreclose the possibility of ajoint undergraduate program with NUS and to promise that Tisch Asia would rcmain exclusive (Le. that TSOA would not also offer courses elsewhere in the region).
63.

President Sexton thereafter asked NY U Vice Chancellor Richard Foley and Defendant Joc Juliano, the Associate Vice Provost in charge of the budget, to help Dr. Shirazi and Dean Campbell prepare a grant proposal for his signature. The proposal was to include continuation of
an on-going program run by NYU Law School, affiliation of Tiscli Asia with NUS, forgiveness

of the lisch Asia loan and elimination of the tuition tax, and creation of a study away program
for NY U undergraduates at NUS. Ex. 23. 64.
On June 8,201 1, after further discussions between Dr. Shirazi and persons at the EDR, that

agency sent an email agreeing to consider forgiving its initial loan and providing the requested

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grant of approximately $3-4 million to Tisch Asia upon submission of a satisfactory plan to achieve financial sustainability by September 30,201 1. Ex. 2-4.

65.

In response, Dr. Shirazi prepared a Long-Term plan proposal (Ex. 25), which acknowledged

President Scxtons opposition to an undergraduate program within Tisch Asia but instead proposed what Dr. Beh had requested and what is now in fact being negotiated- ajoint undergraduate program through affiliation with NUS. Thc proposal, sent to Dean Campbell on September 9,20 1 1, was designcd to make Tisch Asia profitable by 20 15. It was Dr. Shirazis understanding from Dr. Beh that, if this affiliation was established, he would dccm sustainability achieved. Dean Campbell praised this effort as a reasonable and comprehensive plan.. .Well done Ex. 26.

66.

Other proposals made by Dr. Shirazi to address the shortfall included an NUS affiliation based solely on provision of an artistic curriculum created by Tisch Asia faculty, retention of an outside
company for student recruitment, moving payroll to Singapore, creating continuing education

courses at Tisch Asia, using current Tisch Asia faculty to teach additional courses, with payment at the adjunct faculty rate (avoiding the fringe benefits and housing costs associated with hiring additional faculty mcmbers), and limiting salary increases for Tisch Asia faculty and staffto I % for three to four years.

67.

None of these proposals was accepted by NYU at the time, including the proposal to create a joint undergraduate program with NUS, which the Singapore government had made a quid pro quo for loan forgiveness and which was a key source of potential additional revenue. I.Iowever, upon information and belief, NYU is now negotiating with NUS based upon this same joint undergraduate program proposal.

68.

In the Summer of201 1, Mr. Juliano announced his plan to go to Singapore to examine the

finances of Tisch Asia in detail. Dr. Shirazi instructed her staff to answer all of Mr. Juliana's questions and provide him with all documents requested, and both Dr. Shirazi and Gerard Bueno,
-

1 SOAs senior executive director for resource planning, cooperated fully with this effort.
3 7

69.

To ensurc full coopcration of Asian staff members, Dr. Shirazi suggested that Mr. Juliana and his
staff describe their efforts as part of a five-year review of Tiscli Asia. This suggestion was adopted whcn Mr. Juliano and Nancy Morrison, then Vice President for New Initiatives and, Iatcr, Vice President for the Global University Network, went to Singapore from November 1 to

Supreme Court Records OnLine Library - page 16 of 45

Novembcr 10, 20 1 1, although, unlike actual five-year reviews, this review focuscd solely on finances. 70.
___

A major focus of the Tisch Asia review became funds transfers between TSOA and Tisch Asia.
As noted above, all such transfers had been approved by Dean Campbell, who is also chairperson

of the Tisch Asia board of directors, and by board vice chair and NYU Provost McLaughlin. These transfers were also timely and properly disclosed to all other members of the Tisch Asia board, including board and NYU Secretaries Cheryl Mills and, later, Bonnie Brier (who is also the Gcneral Counsel of NYU), and all deficits and projected deficits also had been disclosed at board meetings. Budgets for Tisch Asia that reflectcd anticipated deficits, loans from the Singapore government, and subsidies from TSOA, were also consistently approved by the board

of directors.
71.

As the review continued, the questions became increasingly hostile. Dean Campbell,

acknowledging the constant assault by Mr. Juliano and his innuendo that there is something wrong or renegade or worst, corrupt, urged Dr. Shirazi to defend herself, and Tisch Asia, by referring to her past disclosures and past agreement by members of the NYU leadership team to fiscal decisions; by pointing out the Provosts and General Counsels membership on the board and the discussions, in board minutes, about the need to be self-sustaining in the long term; and
by noting the distribution of audited financial statements and the ongoing full disclosure of

finances. She ended by saying that Surrender is not possible. We are in a battle ...If you dont give your staff encouragement to defend what has been built, it is as if you have walked over to the office of the provost and told hiin to take Tisch Asia. ..As dean of the school, I will be at the front lines and will hold finn .... Ex. 27.
72.

That email was sent on November 8,20 1 1. On November 15,20 1 1, Dean Campbell and Catherine Casey, Vice President of NYU for Human Resources, informed Dr. Sliirazi that she was being removed, effective immediately, from her positions as President of Tisch Asia and as Vice Dean of 1SOA. Dr. Shirazi was then given an agreement which provided for her to resign from thcse positions and agree to confidentiality and nondisparagement in exchange for a sabbatical in 20 12-20 13 which she was already owed. The agreement did not acknowledge Dr. Shirazis right to continued employment as a member of the TSOA faculty through August 3 1,

2016 or her right to be considered for renewal of her appointment thereafter.


73. On thc following day, November 16, 201 1, after conferring with her then-counsel, Dr. Sliirazi

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asked Ms. Casey for timc to respond, Ms, Casey rcplied that she could take until December 6,
201 1, so long as she agreed to maintain confidentiality. .. not rctum to Singapore.. . and assist

Dean Campbell in crafting a communication.


74.

One day later, Dr. Shirazi notified Ms. Casey that she was willing to agree to confidentiality and to not return to Singapore, but needed more time to think about whether she was comfortable collaborating with Dean Campbell on a letter stating that she had resigned.

75.

Immediately thereafter, Dean Campbell began the process of publicly removing Dr. Shirazi from her position as head ofIisch Asia, calling Singapore-based members of the Tisch Asia board of directors to ask them to attend an emergency meeting to remove Dr. Shirazi from her position as president or to give her their proxies.

76.

I n a conversation on November 17,201 1, Dean Campbell told board member Meileen Choo that
Dr. Shirazi does not know how to manage money and that Dr. Shirazi was not capablc of

either negotiating with NUS to create an affiliation or of making financially sound decisions. These statements werc false.

77.

On that same day, Dean Campbell told board membcrs Jennie Chua and Erik Khoo that Tisch Asia was bleeding money and it was imperative that NYU do something urgently to addrcss this. She also asserted that NYU was subsidizing Tisch Asia at a rate of approximately $8 million annually, a number created by Mr. Juliano that included internal taxes imposed retroactively by him on risch Asia operations. These taxes were improper. All services in fact used by Tisch Asia were accounted for in the Tisch Asia budget as subsidies; the other services for which these taxes were retroactively imposed (e.g. library services; gym facilities) were not in fact used by Tisch Asia. Furthermore, Provost McLaughlin, Dean Campbell, Cheryl Mills and Jean Smith, then the Chief Financial Officer ofNYU, had explicitly represented to the EDB in Singapore at the time of Tisch Asias establishment that amounts that would otherwise bc owed to NYU would be considcred contributions and shown as subsidies on financial statements, budgets and projections, and there had never been any question raised about imposition of such taxes when financial statements and projections werc reviewed by board members, including the Provost.

78.

The board meeting convened to remove Dr. Shirazi from the presidency of Tisch Asia took place
0 1 November 1

22,201 1. The only members present were Dean Campbell (board chair), Provost

McLaughlin (vice chair of the board), and Bonnie Brier, NYU General Counsel and Secretary

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0
-

(board secretary). None of the Singapore-bascd members of the board was available on the short notice given to them. Upon information and belief, the only proxy-Was from one new, New-York based board member, who had nevcr previously attended a board meeting.
79.

On November 23, 201 I , Dean Campbcll notified the TSOA faculty that Dr. Shirazi was leaving hcr positions as president of Tisch Asia and Vice Dean to return to thc faculty as Associate Arts Professor. Ex. 28. Two months later, and after one week of teaching, Dr. Shirazi was suspended

-- barred from teaching and all other faculty duties during the ongoing review of Tisch Asia
Operations. Ex. 29. 80. On November 30, 201 I , Linda Mills, then Vice Provost for Student I,ife, Undergraduatc Admissions and Financial Support for NYU Abu Dhabi, and Ms. Morrison met with Tisch Asia studcnt representatives, including Martisse Hill, presidcnt of the student council, Drew Roublick, Mike Bolton, Liu Yang, Lorenzo fiassan, Amy Hartman, and Lia Johnson. Defendant Mills told the group that Dr. Shirazis removal was necessary to ensure Tisch Asias financial survival and that Nancy Morrison and Joe Juliano had come to Singapore to help rescue Tisch Asia.

8 1.

At a meeting of the TSOA faculty in New York on December 8, 201 1 , including Arnold Baskin, Peter Rae, Nick Tank, Rick Letvin, Randy Martin, Lazlo Santa, Rosemary Queen, David Irving, Joe Picarcllo, Marco Williams, Lynn McVeigh, Dan OSullivan, Red Burns, Barbara Browning, and others, Dr. Shirazis removal was discussed. In accordance with TSOA practice, this meeting was recorded. Dean Campbell stated that Dr. Shirazi was removed because Tisch Asia is financially bleeding TSOA. She also stated that she and Dr. Shirazi had different opinions about the future of Tisch Asia, stating the Dr. Shirazi believed that the current financial picture

was not as dire as it in fact was, and that she dceply disagreed with that point of view. In an
effort to turn TSOA faculty against Dr. Shirazi, Dean Campbell stated that Tisch Asia was financially exposing Tisch School of the Arts, that [flunds were transferred from New York that

1 could have used in New York to purchase canieras,~ falsely stated that Dr. Shirazi had
transferred Tisch New York monies to Tisch Asia without approval, and falsely stated that the situation had become so dire that shc had to plead to the Global University, the Provosts Office, Linda Mills and President Sexton to intervcne, after which President Sexton and Ms. Mills agreed to hclp out and negotiate with NUS.
82.

After the meeting was concluded, Prof. Christine Choy asked Associate Dean for Faculty Louis Scheeder about the amount of money improperly transferred. lie told her $20 million. That

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statement was false, both bccause no monies had been improperly transferred and beca total amount transferred was in the range of $7 million to $8 inillim.
83.
-

In an unprecedented action, the minutes of that meeting, by faculty secretary Prof. Laurent Davis,

were censored by Dean Campbell, who removed all references to the discussion of Dr. Shirazi. (relevant exccrpt at Ex. 30). When the faculty refused to approve the redacted minutes at its next meeting, Dean Campbell at first refused to include the redacted matcrial, but later agreed to amend the minutes. The amended minutes (relevant excerpt at Ex. 3 1) arc still inaccurate.
84.

On December 13, 20 1 1, Defendant Sexton met with Dr. Swan Gin Beh, the Managing Director of the EDB. In response to Dr. Bchs expressed concerns, on behalf of himself and the Singaporebased members of the Tisch Asia board of directors, about the manner and facl of removal of Dr. Shirazi, Prcs. Sexton stated that Dr. Shirazi had contravened NYU rules on funding overseas activities.

85.

Later that day, Pres. Sexton met with Dr. Beh and two other Singapore-based members of the Tisch Asia board of directors, Kwan Lui and Jennie Chua. In response to questions about Dr. Shirazis removal and the manner in which it had been carried out, Defendant Sexton repeated the false assertion that Dr. Shirazi had transferred funds from Tisch New York without going through required NYlJ channels or getting approval and added, confidentially, that Dr. Shirazi has been using funds from Tisch Asia for her personal expenses.

86.

On December 16,201 1, Dr. Shirazi was informed by pcrsons attending that meeting that Pres. Sextons accusations of improper funds transfers and embezzlement would prevent her from ever obtaining other cmployrnent in Singapore. This view was independently confirmed by an attorney
in Singapore, who informed Dr. Sliirazi that the only way that her name could be sufficiently

cleared would be if she brought charges against Dean Campbell and President Sexton and a court ordered them (or they voluntarily agreed) to place an advcrtisement in a Singapore newspaper admitting that they had made false statements and apologizing.
87.

On December 14, 201 1, Dean Campbell, Ms. Mills, Ms. Morrison, Mr. Juliano, John Beckman

(NYU vice president for external affairs), and Drew Uriarte (cxecutive director of lisch Asia for
external affairs), met with students at Tisch Asia, including Matt Chi, Lia Johnson, Qiao Gu, Marttise Hill, Mychael Bond, Drew Rublick, Wei Ji, Alice Ho, Lorenzo Hassan, Abigale Prade, Shijie Tan, Gilanik Sumida Moiseff, Steplicn Small-Warner, and many othcrs. In this meeting,

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Dean Campbell elaborated both on the fiction that she was in Singapore for a five-year review
-. .

-and on the fictions that she-had becn-unaware of the state ofTisch Asiasfinances and that sheand Dr. Shirazi had differed on the way forward: in our initial contract with Singapore EDB, youre required to conduct a five year rcview; as we approached the time for the five year review
1 grew increasingly concerned about the long term viability of Tisch Asia and the burden it was

placing on the New York Campus.. ,.If we keep the status quo.. .there may be a threat to the health of the programs in New York. Now I want to be very honest and open with you. On this point Pari and I deeply disagree. She believed that in a couple of years the business structure would be sustainable. The facts as 1 looked at them demonstrate otherwise. In response to questions about the decision to remove Dr. Shirazi from her role at Tisch Asia, she stated that she and Dr. Shirazi had deep differences about the direction of the school and that Dr. Shirazis actions were threatening the continuity of Tiscli Asia. When asked why Dr. Shirazi was also removed as vice dean of TSOA, Dr. Campbell referred to Dr. Shirazi transferring cash to the Tisch Asia campus, stating that there was a whole catalog of things that we did not do in New York because of money being transferred to Tisch Asia, the iniplication being that Dr. Shirazi had transferred these funds without her knowledge and approval. 88. On that same day, the NYU representatives also met with Tisch Asia faculty, including Boris Frumin, Sophia Wellington, Michael Burke, William Kovacsik, Pat Murphy, Gillian Gordcn, Wendy Hammond, Wendy Bednard, Caran Hartsfield, Katherine Lindberg, Jon Hammond, Tom Mangen, B. Mark Seabrook, Jean-Marc Gauthier, Gabrielle Kelly, Sara Cawley, Ramon Mcnendez and others. In response to questions by Prof. Frumin, Dean Campbell admitted that she and Provost Mc Laughlin had signed all Tisch Asia financial documents. When Prof. Frurnin asked why Dean Campbell and the Provost still had their jobs, Defendant Juliano replied ...because the way Pari presented the numbers to the Board was not only inaccurate but misleading. He also asserted that Dr. Shirazi had covered up all the problerns, had misled the board, and had presented the numbers in a way that it was not clear.

89.

When Prof. Frumin stated that Dr. Shirazi had been denied a ticket to return to Singapore to collect her belongings, Dean Campbell replied that that was incorrect, that in fact Dr. Shirazi had been provided with a round-trip ticket.

90.

Each of the above statements by Defendant Juliano was knowingly false. Every transfer of funds from ISOA to Tisch Asia had been approved by the members of the Tisch Asia board of directors, including Dean Campbell and Provost McLaughlin, and audited financial statements

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rcflecting these transfers had been signed by Dean Campbell and distributed to board members.
At the time that these traniiferswere made, thcrewere no specialrules go%iirGirig-fundiiig oT --

--

overseas programs, and all transfers had gone through the proper channels in the NYU offices of
the Controller and Treasury. 91.

As of the time of Dr. Shirazis tcrrnination, she had never scen or been made aware of any special NYU rules governing funding of overseas programs.

92.

Long aftcr this statement, Dr. Shirazi learned the basis for the claim about using Tisch Asia funds

for personal expenses. When she was in Singapore, she (and other TSOA faculty and administrators, including Dean Campbell) used her NYU credit cards for both risch Asia and personal expenses. When she received the bills, whether in New York or in Singapore, she promptly reimbursed NYU for all personal expcnses reflected in the bills. 93. The application form for Dr. Shirazis NYU American Express credit card (Ex.32) explicitly acknowledged that the card could be used for personal expenses related to business travel:

CAN I USE THE NYU TRAVEL CARD FOR PERSONAL EXPENSES? Yes, however, it is the responsibility of the Cardmember to insure timely payment to American Express and only approved University business travel and business entertainment expenses can be paid or reimbursed by the University and original receipts are always required. Ex.32, page 2
94.

Dean Campbells statement that Dr. Shirdzis trip to Singapore was being paid for by NYU was
also knowingly false. Following her removal as President of Tisch Asia, Dr. Shirazi asked NYU to reimburse her for a trip to Singapore to close up her apartment and office on the Tisch Asia

campus and to address personal and professional obligations there, including dealing with bank accounts and taking care of medical issues. This request was approved by Dean Campbell on November 30, 201 1 (Ex. 33), but Dean Campbell rescinded this offer the next day. Ex. 34. After learning that TSOA faculty and students had asked Dr. Shirazi to meet with them during this trip, Dean Campbell reiterated the refusal to pay for Dr. Shirazis trip and barred Iicr from attending faculty or student meetings: 7 want to be clear, Pari, you no longer have a role in Tisch Asia. For that reason, it would be inappropriate for you to be part of any meetings that occur there going forward. Ex. 35. After intervention by an attorney tlicn rcpresenting Dr. Shirazi, NYU agreed to pay Dr. Shirazis airfare on the condition that she vacate her apartment by January 7,2012, represent, in writing, that she would not visit the campus or have any businessrelated communications with staff, and delivcr all business records in her apartment. Ex. 36.
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.&Shirazi complied with these demands, using a cornbination-Qfrnilcsand cask-to purchase an-airline ticket to return to Singapore in expectation of rcinibursement. She left on December 24,

201 1, the first day following the end of classes. N Y U required her to vacate the apartment within
thc following twelve days, five of which were holidays. With great difficulty, she locatcd a company to ship many of her belongings back to New York, but was unable to sell a large amount of furniturc and furnishings, which she had to simply leave in the apartment when she vacated. Upon information and belief, that apartment remained vacant for approximately three months after Dr. Shirazi left. 96.
When Dr. Shirazi called Mr. Bueno upon her return to ask how to seek rcimbursement for her

plane ticket, she was told that all reimbursements to her were frozen. As of this date, she has not been reimbursed for the cost of her plane ticket.
97.

On December 15, 201 1, before Dr. Shirazi had been given permission to return to Singapore, Defendant Juliano pressured Dr. Shirazis assistant at Tisch Asia to give him keys to Dr. Shirazis apartment. His plan to enter this apartment without Dr. Shirazis permission was only derailed after a letter from Dr. Shirazis then-counsel.

98.

On January 3 1,2012, after one week of teaching, Dr. Shiraai received a letter from Dean Campbell stating that she was relieving [Dr. Shirazi] of all teaching or other faculty duties pending the ongoiiig review of lisch Asia operations. Ex. 37. This action was unprecedented; upon information and belief, only faculty members accused of criminal activities have been suspended while charges were pending.

99.

A February 21, 2012 petition by TSOA faculty to Defendant McLaughlin (Ex. 38) raised issues

both about the failure to renew Dr. Shirazis contract and about her suspcnsion. On the suspension, it stated that . ..what is of significance to us, she has also been relieved from her teaching duties under her Arts Professors status purportedly because of the above accusations about her management of Tisch Asia.. .. Dean Campbell explaincd at a recent faculty meeting she removed Dr. Shirazi from teaching because shc is under investigation for gross mismanagement

of Tisch Asia. We see this as two separate issues. Faculty and even Chairs liavc becn under
investigation in the past yet have remained in their teaching position. To our knowledge this is the first time a teacher has becn rcmoved from a classroom without official charges and without proof of any misconduct. The faculty received an acknowledgcinent of receipt, but no

22
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_ _

.-

substantivc response to this petition. . . ._- -

-_

--

. .

-. -

-_

100.

When Prof. Magder asked Provost McLaughlin on April 12, 2012 why Dr. Shirazi had been suspended, he refused to answer.

101.

On February 4, 2012, Richard Louth, writing on behalf ofNYU, informed the U S . Statc

Dcpartment that NYU was not willing to accept the grant that Dr. Shirazi had obtained, due to thc absence of the Program Director, who is presently on leave from the University. Ex. 39.
102.

Dr. Shirazi was not copied on this letter or notified that it had been sent. She only learned about
it scveral weeks later from the Deputy Director of the Iran Office of the U. S. Consulate in Dubai,

which had been coordinating the arrangements for the Iranian filmmakers to obtain visas to come
to

the U. S. This cancellation not only resulted in a financial loss to these young filmmakers, who

had already purchased their plane tickets to Dubai, but also damaged Dr. Shirazis reputation.
103.

On Fcbruary 9,2012, at a meeting of the TSOA faculty, Dean Campbell stated that the reason Dr. Shirazi had been removed from her classroom was that audits were underway by NYUs Finance Office and Office of the Comptroller which raised a number of questions. Prof. Frumin pointed
out that no one is ever removed from the classroom unless they have engaged in criminal acts,

and asked Dean Campbell Is Pari a criminal? Dean Campbell responded: Shes under investigation by the Controllers Division. In response to Prof. Fnimins question whether this investigation had been concluded and findings made, Dean Campbell conceded that there had not yet been any findings. Prof, Frumin then stated that Dr. Shirazis removal, under those circumstances, was against faculty policy. Dean Campbell did not respond.
104.

On February 24,2012, Defendants Sexton, Campbell, and Juliano, along with Ms. Mills, met
with Tisch Asia students, faculty and staff in Singapore. President Sexton stated that lie had been surprised at how fragile the enterprise [Tisch Asia] was.. .things werc startlingly fragile in a way that created jeopardy to the enterprise. He explained the removal of Dr. Shirazi from her position as head of Tisch Asia on this fragility, which niadc that decision necessary.

105.

President Sexton also stated that the decision to remove Dr. Shirazi was one that is rarely taken, falsely implying that she had engaged in severe profcssional misconduct:

... clearly, Paris departure was sudden. Clearly that kind of thing is unusual and clearly, Im not going to go into the details of why it happened. That would bc, 1 think, counterproductive and it would not be fair for mc to discuss the reasons why such an
23

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can ~ m l y thinkin&evcn

unusual decision was rnadc ....In any case, 1 take full responsibility for that decision. I. years as p s i d e n t and fourteen years as dean ~ . O J Xother-circumstance where something like that has happened.

--

We dont discuss personnel matters publicly.. . Ive made this decision. It is my rcsponsibility, listening as best I can to everyone in the community and in this case, observing a certain state of facts and having many conversations around that state of facts. to make decisions. We do this in a way that it, it, its possible, honors the person for all the good that he or she has done but theres only been one other example, as I say, in twenty-four years.
106.

Jon Hammond, a faculty member, pointed out that the advances from TSOA to Tisch Asia that appear to be the source of the financial fragility of Tisch Asia had been reviewed and approved by the Iisch Asia board of directors, including both Dean Campbell and Provost McLaughlin.
1 le then asked Dean Campbell what was in the figures that we are not allowed to see that

convinced you of this fragility and convinced you that what was a manageable debt which [Dr. Shirazi] said would be in the black in two years and our own financial director said at a meeting with you when you were here in December, we would be in the black in three years. What is in those figures to transfer that perception from a manageable debt to a financial crisis on the back

of which you have everything?


107.

Dean Campbell promised that when I return on Monday I am going to return with those numbers and Im going to devote the entire conversation to walking you through that ... you mentioned a very good point. You said signed off and approved by the board of trustees and 1 will give you
also the narrative, the chronology of the board meetings and a sense of exactly what was

presented at those board meetings, which will give you a clear picture of what the board members knew or did not know.
108.

When Dean Campbell met again with the group, she presented numbers, but did not present the promised chronology or address thc information presented to board members. She also failed to acknowledge that cvery piece of paper given to members of the Iisch Asia board of directors, including all documents with financial data, had first been personally vetted by her.

109.

During the period from November 3,201 1 to April, 2012, Defendant Joe Juliano undertook an investigation into the expenses connected with the development of the Tisch Asia campus. In the course of this investigation, he reviewed all charges to Tisch Asia and made statements to numerous people that either implied or directly stated that he was looking for financial

24
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irregularities ar poor financial decisions by Dr. Shirazi. F

plc, during a trip to Sjingapore

from NoiimEG 1 to Novem6er-l m I, he told C a t @ r i ~ n g , D rShirazis parFtimarsistmt l . at Tisch Asia, and Yong Heng Chua, director o f finances for Tisch Asia, that Dr. Shirazi had violated NYU rules when doing construction overseas, although no rules were in fact in effect when she was involved with the construction of the Iisch Asia campus. I-Ic also told them that he did nol bclicvc the explanations given to him by Dr. Shirazi for the construction cost overruns; he could not get [his] head wrapped around these numbers; they dont make any sense. He also demanded to see the agreements, books and invoices related to the project both from Tisch Asia and from the construction manager, Teambuild Construction Company, and from CPG Consultants, NYUs consultants, architects and engineers on this projcct.
1 IO.

I n a November 8, 201 I meeting with Ng Lee Ping, a representative from CPG, Mr. Juliano falsely

statcd that the cost overruns had not been approved by NYU and that Dr. Shirazi had violated
N Y U rules regarding construction abroad. He also told Mr. Ping that he was checking to see

whether the numbers had been recorded accurately and whether prices had been inflated because Dr. Shirazi is inexperienced.
1I I.

On November 9, 201 1, Mr. Juliano repeated to Edward Ong from Teambuild that there was something wrong, that he could not understand the reasons for the cost overruns, and again stated, falsely, that Dr. Shirazi had violated NYU rules regarding construction abroad.

112.

During meetings on February 8, 2012, Mr. Juliano and Ms. Morrison repeatedly told Mr. Chua,

Ms. Ling, and Profs. Michael Burke, William Kovasic, Gillian Gordon, and Jean-Marc Gauthier
that recorded expenses for the renovation were vcry high, or unbelicvable, or suspicious, that they suspected that some expenses were not reported accurately, and that he was sure that Dr. Shirazi had done something fishy.
113.

On November 28, 201 I , Mr. Juliano asked Ms. Ling to give him all of Dr. Shirazis mail. He thcn opened the bank statement for her personal account and said to Ms. Ling LLwe find the may answer here, pointing to the envelope. Over the course ofthe investigation, Mr. Juliano opened Dr. Shirazis October, Novembcr, December, and January 20 I2 bank statements, stopping only when she changed the address on the account to have the statements mailcd elsewhere.

114.

Mr. Juliano directed Ms. Ling to send him or Nancy Morrison all of Dr. Shirazis electronic and
hard copy mail.

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. _

On Nowmher 8,20lr, Mr- Juliana Lked-thc =personat

TischA&

&GO

Ricardo,toprint

every piece of written or emailed correspondence between Dr. Shirazi and CPG, NIJS. EDR,

MICA (the Singapore Ministry of Information, Communication and Arts, and the Singapore
WDA (Workforce Development Agency).
116.

In March, 201 2, Dean Campbell told her leadership team -- Kaiko Hays, Drew Uriarte, Louis

Scheeder, Gcrard Rueno, SheriI Antonio and Bob Cameron -- that NY U was looking into the expenses of the rcnovation because they were LunusualJyhigh and a cause for worry. Shc also stated that they exceeded the amounts that had been approved. This is inaccurate; the budgeted amounts werc always understood to be projections, not ceilings.
117.

On May 2 1, 2012, as a result of the defamatory statements made by Defendants in Singapore, Dr. Shirazi was removed from her position as a member of the board of directors of MediaCorp, a Singapore corporation owning television stations, radio stations, interactive media, print and filmmaking companies. This position had not had an end date.

118.

During the entire period that Dr. Shirazis actions with rcgard to Tisch Asia finances were under revicw, none of the persons conducting this review either informed her of the charges being investigated or offered her the opportunity to respond. The first time she was made awarc of the specific charges against her was at the June I , 2012 meeting where she was told that she was not going to be pcrmitted to continue as a faculty member of TSOA. Several days later, on June 12, 2012, Dr. Shirazi received a document from Dean Campbell entitled Dr. Pari Sara Shirazi: llniversity Policy and Code of Conduct (Code) Violations. Ex. 40. (Findings Statement).

119.

Under the heading Personal Charges to Tisch Asia Citibank Credit Card, the Findings Statemcnt asserted the following: (a) Dr. Shirazi had made unreimbursed charges of between $14,000 and $21,000. Dr. Shirazi was never confronted with any evidence to support this finding, either before or after this mecting, and denies that she failed to promptly reimburse NYU for any personal expense that she charged IO her NYU credit card.

(b) Dr. Shirazi failed to submit receipts, thus precluding Tisch Asia from seeking reimbursement
of Singapore Goods and Services Tax. Dr. Shirazi does not understand this allegation. She provided NYU with receipts for all purchases for which they were responsible, and reimbursed

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NY U for all personal expenses charged on her card. Whcn she asked for details at the June 1, -. __ - -- __ . 20 1 2 n i i g , nZie wKpioviGd. ( c ) Qr; Shirazi used the Tisch Asia credit card after being told not to do so. Dr. Shirazi denied
having received this instruction at the June 1 , 20 12 meeting and, to the contrary, assertcd that it was cotiinion practice for faculty and staff traveling abroad on NYlJ business, including Dean
Campbcll, t o charge personal cxpenses to thcir NYU credit card and then reimburse the school.

Dean Canipbell agreed with that staterncnt. (d) Qr. Shirazi refused to pay charges on her Tisch Asia credit card, claiming that they wcre in licu of pcr diem payments. However. she in fact double-dipped, receiving per diem payments
from both TSOA and Tisch Asia, while not reimbursing Tisch Asia for her credit card charges.

Dr. Shirazi always reimbursed NYU for all personal charges on hcr Tisch Asia credit cards, no further information was provided regarding the specific charges that she allegedly refused to pay, and she denies ever refusing to pay for any personal charges. As she explained at the June I , 2012 mceting, the doublc-dipping charge presumably refers to a one-time error made by the Tisch Asia finance director, who had improperly put in for a Singapore per diem for a trip for which Dr. Shirazi had previously received a per diem from TSOA (from March 15 to May 12,201 l), rather than for her I:all 201 1 trip. As soon as Dr. Shirazi discovered the error, she had reimbursed Tisch Asia for the double payment for the Spring trip and asked for her per diem for the Fall 201 1 trip.

Ex. 4 1 . To this date she has not received that payment. 120.
llndcr the heading Excessive and Duplicativc Per Diems, the Findings Statement asserted the following: (a) Dr. Shirazi improperly received per diems at the US. federal rate. rather than the standard NYU per diem rate. Dr. Shirazi denies that there was any standard NYU per diem rate other than the L J S . federal rate posted on the NYU website under rules and regulations for NY U travel. Dr. Shirazi explaincd at the June I , 201 2 mceting that this rate had been approved by the N Y l l Controllers Office for the entire 24 years of her affiliation and that it was routincly used by faculty. More specifically, Mr. Bueno had received permission from Randy Green, thenController of NY U, in 2009 to reimburse Plaintiff via pcr diems based on the U S . State Department rate rathcr than expense reimbursements because of dollar fluctuations during her trips and the amount of time it took for Mr. Buenos and Mr. Greens staff to convert each of her

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I
-.

rweipts to dollars. After the June 1 20.12 meeting, NY U removed the U.S. State Department
_-

travel pcr diem guidelines from-the w e b s i E 7

- -. __ .

--

- - - - __

__

. -

(b) Dr. Shiraz~iimproperly received per diems for tirnc during NYlJ winter breaks. Dr. Shirazi denied, and continues to deny, that there was any impropriety in receiving per diems for days worked in Singapore which were holidays on the U.S. campus. Tisch Asia did not close on these days, Dr. Shirazi was working on these days, and a per diem was therefore appropriate. (c) Dr. Shirazi requested reimburseinent for business meals on days when she also took a per

- without subtracting the cost ofher meals. It is not the case that reimbursements wcre diem,
requested. What this allegation refers to is Dr. Shirazi not reimbursing NYU for her portion of

rncal expcnses charged on her NYlJ credit card for meals relating to fundraising or other NYU

business. As she explained at the June 1, 201 2 meeting, this failure to deduct was never identifled as an issue throughout Dr. Shirazis tenure at NYU. At no time during in her six years heading thc N Y U Disbursements office, or her six years of responsibility for the Film Department budget, or her sixteen years of responsibility for the TSOA budget, was she ever advised to net out these costs or to ask other faculty or administrators submitting expense reports relating to business meals to net out these costs. (d) Dr.Shirazi prevented the Tisch Asia Finance Director from contacting his TSOA counterpart
to discuss her request for retroactive per diems, telling him that, instead, she would seek

permission for these per diems from Dean Campbell. She then reauested a letter authorizing allocation of a discretionnrv fund for her Tisch Asia work under misleading circumstances,
using the letter to authorize the Tisch Asia per diems. Dr. Shirazi denies these allegations. As shc

explained on June 1, 2012, the letter (Ex. 42) in question related to the planned transition to Tisch Asia (from TSOA) of expenses previously covered by TSOA, including Dr. Shirazis Tisch Asiarelated expenscs. lt was written to explain to the auditors who would be reviewing the Tisch Asia budget the reason for this new expense line, which was intended to cover expenses including travel, entertainment, faculty emergency needs, and purchase of equipment or furniture.
121.

Under the heading Tisch Asia Financial Status, the Findings Statement asserted that Dr. Shirazi intcntionally withheld information about thc financial status of Tisch Asia from various NYlJ offices in order to mislead them about the financial condition of the school. Dr. Shirazi denies
this allegation.

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Specific assertions ofalleged wmngdoing weKe as fdlaws:.


--

__
~

__

- __-

(a) Qr. Shirazi instructed the Tisch Executive Director for Financc and Administration to withhold information from the NY U Budget Office regarding transfers of millions of dollars: from TSOA. Dr. Shirazi denied, and continues to deny, this allegation; to the contrary, all transfcrs from TSOA to Tisch Asia were in fact reported.
(b) Dr. Shirazi directed that program fees paid by students in programs other than Tisch Asia bc

-to cover lisch Asias shortfall. This is correct, but was not improper. used

As was pointed out in

the June 1,2012 meeting, moving funds among programs was part of Dr. Shirazis rolc as vice dean, and transfers among TSOA funds was commonplace. For example, Dr. Sllirazi devised several programs that brought in extra income (above projected inconie in the TSOA budget), including an open arts program and multiple international programs. Funds from these cfforts covered, for example, the deductible when the roof of the TV studio came down and equipment needed repair, unbudgeted renovations to the film department space, decreasing the number of graduate design students, and hiring additional faculty and staff. (cj Dr. Shirazi did not deliver letters prepared by TSOAs outside auditors to the Tisch Asia board of directors which pointed out internal control failures. This allegation was not raised during thc June 1 meeting; Dr. Shirazi was unaware of it until she received the Findings Statement. As for the allegation itself, Dr. Shirazi never saw the letters in question. The auditors discussed their findings with Dean Campbell, and she never either showed auditors letters to Dr. Shirazi or asked Dr. Shirazi to forward them to the board. Furthermore, all materials presented to the board were personally reviewed by Dean Campbell; Dr. Shirazi never sent anything directly
to the board mcmbers.

(d) Dr. Shirazi failed to provide guidance and explanation as to how the financial proiections for Tisch Asia were formulated or why the proiections were not achieved to Defendant Juliano during his investigation. This allegation also was not mentioned during the June 1 meeting or at any prior time, and it is not accurate. Dr. Shirazi spent many hours responding to Mr. Julianos questions, instructed her staff to do the same, and at no time attempted to deceive or mislead him.
(c) Dr. Shirazi failed to give Mr. Juliano information he needed, including the amount of

subsidics from TSOA to Tisch Asia and the sources of TSOA funding. Ihisalso is false. Mr. Juliano was given board minutes showing these transfers and all other documents he rcquested.

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122.--Nastnatableabout thesCfindsc.sis-not only _theirpeiTiness and inaccmy+but_the c o q k ~~ ~ ~

. .

absence of any findings related to the bfinancialmismanagement, ernbezzlemcnt and kickbacks alluded to, or outright stated, publicly, by Defendants Sexton, Campbell, and Juliano.

123.

This is not surprising. Upon information and belief, audits of Tisch Asia financos by NYUs Controllers Division and by its Office of Compliance both confirmed that there had been no misconduct by Dr. Shirazi.

Violations of Dr. Shirazis contractual due process riphts


124.

The Policy Document states that [dluring the time of their employment by New York University, all arts professors are subject to the same rules, regulations, obligations and benefits afforded full-time NYU faculty members, as described in the Faculty Handbook of New York University, and the adopted regulations and procedurcs of the Tisch School of the Arts, except that they are not eligible for tenurc or membership in the Faculty Senators counsel. These rights and duties include, but are not limited to: academic frcedom; teaching assignments.. . Ex. 2, pp.

2-3.
125.

The 201 1 TSOA Guidelines for Arts Professors: Appointments, Renewals, Promotions (Guidelines), (Ex. 3), which superceded the Policy Document, reiterate that rights, including procedural guarantees, given to full-time faculty members under the Faculty Handbook are also granted and given to Arts Professors: New York University policies, particularly those in the Faculty Handbook, as well as Tisch policies and procedures, include policies, rules and procedures applicable to full-time nontenure track faculty, including Arts Professors. Arts Professors have the same rights and responsibilities as full-time NYU faculty members, with the exceptions that Arts Professors are not eligible for tenure or membership on the Faculty Senators Council. Among the rights and responsibilities of Arts Professors are, without limitation, academic freedom, teaching assignment.. ..and the ethical obligations, academic responsibilities and behavioral standards of faculty membcrs. Ex. 3, para. 1.3, page 1.

126.

Dr. Shirazi, as an Associate Arts Professor, therefore had those rights granted to non tenure-track faculty in the Faculty Handbook (Handbook).

127.

N Y U has repeatedly recognized its obligation to follow thc policies set forth in the Handbook.

For example, the Handbook states that policy statements and procedurcs forn-rallyadopted by the Board of Trustecs have a controlling effect throughout the University.

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--1 2 8 , T i t l a of&e E 1t Haffdbok$S emral.l)isuipli q R e g u l a t ionsApp licable t o 4 0t hTcn u r d m y


and Non-Tenured Faculty Members (Disciplinary Regulations), Ex I , sets forth detailed procedures to be followed where a question arises concerning an alleged violation by any member of the faculty of a rule or regulation of the University. Disciplinary proceedings under this Title begin with the filing of a coinplaint. Summary suspension is permitted pending investigation and hearing, but is recognized as an extraordinary remedy, to be taken only when necessary in the interest of the University co~nmunity.~ Efforts at informal resolution, under the direction of the dean of the faculty members school, are then required. If they do not succeed, the matter shall be referred to the Chairpcrson of the Faculty Council, who shall appoint a special committce, the majority of whom arc to be faculty members in the school of thc accused faculty member. After conducting its hearing according to rules it adopts, this committee has the authority to iinpose a range of penalties for violations of NYU rules and regulations, with dismissal recommendations requiring approval by thc dean, the President (in his role as Chancellor) and the Exccutive Vice President for Academic Affairs (the Provost), 129. Appeal from a hearing committee decision may be taken to the President based on a claim that the decision was not supported by substantial evidencc in the record taken as a whole or that the proceedings were not conducted in substantial compliance with the principles enunciated in the Disciplinary Regulations. On appeal, the President niay affirm or reverse the hearing committees decision, remand for ricw or further investigation by the same or a different committce, or increase or decrease the sanction imposed.
130.

Although Dean Campbell publicly stated that the decision to suspend Dr. Shirazi was based on an investigation of accusations of gross mismanagement of Tisch Asia and told Dr. Shirazi that thc decision to terminate her was based on alleged findings that she had violated the Universitys Policy and Code of Ethical Conduct, the extensive investigation cited in support of thcse decisions failed in all respects to follow the procedures set forth in The Disciplinary Regulations of the Handbook, and the termination decision was not the required product of a hearing committee acting by majority vote.

I3 I .

Dr. Shirazi was never shown any complaint tiled against her. No efforts were made at any time to resolve the matter informally. The matter was never referred to the Chairperson of the Faculty Council arid a special committee of the faculty, the majority of whom were to be from
ISOA, was ncver appointed by him (a duly constituted committee) to consider the charges

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being secretly investigated. . . _132.

As a result of these violations, Dr. Shirazis suspension was not the product of a pending investigation conducted in accordance with the Disciplinary Kegulations, the charges against her were never presented to or considercd by a duly constituted committee, she was never given the opportunity to respond to the charges against her, and her dismissal was nevcr recommended by a duly constituted committee.

133.

Because of these violations of Dr. Shirazis contractual rights, the appeals process set forth in the Disciplinary Rcgulations - appeal of a decision by the hcaring committee -- was unavailable to Dr. Shirazi. There was no decision from a hcaring committee, no record indicating the evidence on which the decision had been based, no cprocecdiiigsat all, simply a star chamber investigation leading, first, to suspcnsion, and then to termination.

Dr. Shirazi has exhausted available administrative remedics.


134.

Despite the lack of any proceedings, or record, on which to challenge Dean Campbells letter suspending her, Dr. Shirati in fact tried to challenge this decision by appealing it to the Provost. This effort was unsuccessful; he rejected her appeal without considering it, stating that she should
first have appealed to Dean Campbell (despite Dean Campbell having made the decision in

question, so following that step would have been futile.).


135.

Dr. Shirazi also attempted, unsuccessfully, to challcnge the Provosts rejection of her promotion request. Her initial effort was sidctracked by Dean Campbell,, who advised Dr. Shirazi to defer any challcnge pending resolution of the Deans own request for reconsideration. At the point where Provost McLaughlin informed Dr. Shirazi of the result of his review, Dr. Shirazi was informed by Ted Magder, the head of the committee to whom appeal would have been taken, that further review was not possible.

136.

For the reasons set forth in paragraph 133, above, no appeal was possible from the termination decision .

Imnact of the Defamatory Statements

137.

As a result of the defamatory statements by the Defendants, Dr. Shirazis reputation has been

severely harmed. She has been asked outright by members of the NYU faculty whether she acted

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138.

As a result of the defamatory statements by the Dcfendants, Dr. Shirazi was removed from her

position as a member of the board of directors of MediaCorp, a Singapore corporation, resulting


in both economic and reputational damage.

139.

As a rcsult of the defamatory statements by Dcfendants, Dr. Shirazis reputation in Singapore has

been severely harmed, and, upon information and belief, shc will be unable to secure future employment in Singapore, thus resulting in fiiture economic losses.
140.
As a result of the defamatory statements, Dr. Shirazi suffers from depression and severe anxiety,

with insomnia and panic attacks. Moreover, these statements have led to a sense of worthlessness
and loss of professional identity, which had been kcy to her fcelings of self-identificationand

self-worth.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION against Defendant NYU


Rreach of Plaintiffs contractual right to continued employment
141.

Plaintiff repeats and realleges paragraphs 1 to 140 of this Complaint and Petition as if fully set forth herein.

142.

Plaintiff was contractually entitled to employment as a member of the TSOA faculty for a period of fixed duration, from September 1,201 1 through August 3 I , 201 6, and to consideration for reappointrnent to another term of fixed duration at the conclusion of this tcrm.

143.

NYU breached its contractual obligation to ernploy Plaintiff as a member of the TSOA faculty from September I , 201 1 through August 3 1,2016, NYU by terminating Plaintiffs employment prior to the conclusion of the employment term.

144.

Plaintiff fulfilled all of her contractual obligations and was ready, willing and able to continue to

do so through the remainder of her current contract term.


145.

Plaintiff was terminated without just cause. Upon information and belief, Plaintiff would have becn offered reappointment to a further fixed term at the conclusion of her current term. Plaintiff has suffered damages and injury as a result of NYUs breach.

146.

147.

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-~~

-SFLDND CAUSE O F A C ~ a g. amefendant NY U u Breach of Plaintiffs contractual right to consideration of her promotion request pursuant to rules set forth in the Policy Statement
148.

__

__

.- -_-

Plaintiff repeats and realleges paragraphs I to 140 and 142 to 147 of this Complaint and Petition as if fully set forth herein.

149.

Plaintiff was contractually entitled to consideration of all of the materials in her Docket by Provost McI.aughlin when he was considering her promotion request.

150.

Dean Campbells failure to submit Plaintiffs Docket to Provost McLaughlin and Provost McLaughlins failure to review the materials in her Docket prior to rejecting Plaintiffs promotion request breached NYUs contractual obligation to Plaintiff.

151.

Upon information and belief, no ad hoc committee appointed by Provost McLaughlin in fact reviewed Plaintiffs Docket in response to Dean Campbells request for reconsideration of that decision.

152.

N Y U breached its contractual obligation to consider Plaintiffs promotion request pursuant to the

rules set forth in the Policy Statement. 153. Plaintiff has suffered damages and irijury as a result o f N Y U s breach.

TI-IIKD CAUSE OF ACTION against Defendant NYU Breach of Plaintiffs contractual right to consideration of thc charges against her pursuant to rules set forth in the Faculty I-landbook
154.

Plaintiff repeats and realleges paragraphs I to 140, 142 to 147, and 149 to 153 of this Complaint and Petition as if fully set forth herein.

155.

The Faculty Handbook sets forth dispute resolution procedures, General Disciplinary Regulations Applicable to Both Tenured and Non-Tenured 1:aculty Members, (Disciplinary Regulations) which are to be followed when a question arises concerning an alleged violation by any member of the faculty of a rule or regulation of the University.

156.

Ihe purported basis for Plaintiffs suspension was the pendency of chargcs that she had violated

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N Y Us Policy and Code of Miical Canduct, and the purported basis for Plaintiffs termination

. .

. _

was tindings of v i o l a t 5 i o t this Pol~cy andCode..


157.

.. -- . . -

.-

. .

Under the Faculty Handbook, the Arts Professor Policy Document, and the Guidelines for Arts Professors Appointments, Renewals, Promotions (the Governing Documents), Plaintiff was contractually entitled to consideration of the charges against licr pursuant to the dispute resolution procedures set forth in the Disciplinary Regulations.

158.

By failing to follow these contractually-mandated procedures, Plaintiff was deprived of the right
to be shown a copy of the complaint against her.

159.

By failing to follow these contractually-mandated procedures, Plaintiff was deprived of the right
to attempted informal resolution of the complaint.

160.

Ry failing to follow these contractually-mandated procedures, Plaintiff was deprived of the right to have the charges against her considered by a Committee composed of faculty members appointed by the Chairperson of the Faculty Council, the majority of whom were to have been from TSOA (duly appointed faculty committee).

161.

By failing to follow these contractually-mandated procedures, Plaintiff was deprived of the right
to have her suspension reviewed by a duly appointed faculty committee.

162.

By failing to follow these contractually-mandated procedures, Plaintiff was deprived of the right

to respond to the charges against her in a hearing conducted by a duly appointed faculty conim i ttee. 163. By failing to follow these contractually-mandated procedures, Plaintiff was deprived of the right
to a determination of whether she had violated NYUs Policy and Code of Ethical Conduct by a

duly appointed faculty committee.


164.

Under the Governing Documents, decisions to terminate non-tenured faculty members for violation of NYUs Policy and Code of Ethical Conduct must be the product of a duly appointed hculty committee, acting by majority vote after conducting a hearing to deterniine whether the charges should be sustained.

165.

Plaintiffs termination was not the product of a hearing by a duly appointed faculty committee, acting by majority vote after conducting a hearing to determine whether the charges should be

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. -

--

166.

By failing to follow these contractually-mandated procedures, Plaintiff was deprived of the right
to appeal her contractually-invalid termination.

167.

By terminating Plaintiffs employment prior to the conclusion of her employment term based on

Plaintiffs alleged violations of NYUs Policy and Code of Ethical Conduct without following the procedures set forth in the Disciplinary Regulations, NYU breached its contractual obligation to Plaintiff.

168.

Plaintiff has suffered damages and injury as a result of NYUs breaches.

FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION against all Defendants Defamation 169. Plaintiff repeats and realleges paragraphs 1 to 140, 142 to 147, 149 to 153, and 155 to 168 of this Complaint and Petition as if fully set forth herein.
170.

The statements by Dean Campbell that NYU was subsidizing Tisch Asia at a rate of approximately $8 million annually (1 that Dr. Shirazi had transferred Tisch New York 77); monies to Tisch Asia without approval and that the situation had become so dire that she had to plead to the Global University, the Provosts Office, Linda Mills and President Sexton to intervenc, after which President Sexton and Ms. Mills agreed to help out and negotiate with

NUS

(7 81); that she had been unaware of the state of Tisch Asias finances and that she and Dr. Shirazi had deep differences about the direction of the school (7 87); and that N Y U was
looking into the expenses of the renovation because they excecded the amounts that had been

approved (7 1 16) were false. 171. The statements by Dean Campbell that Dr. Shirazi does not know how to manage money and that Dr. Shirazi was not capable of either negotiating with NUS to create an affiliation or of making financially sound decisions (7 76); and that Dr. Shirazis actions were threatening the continuity of Iisch Asia (187) falsely implied thc existence of undisclosed, detrimcntal facts.
172.

The statement by Dean Campbell that the reason Dr. Shirazi had bccn removed from her classroom was that audits wcre underway by NYlJs Finance Office and Office of the Comptroller which raised a number of questions, coupled with her response -- Shes under investigation by the Controllers Division -- to Prof. I:rumins statement that no one is ever

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removed froin the classraom unless they have engaged in criminal acts and his question whethcr
_ .

Dr. $hirazTis a crimiKar(7 8)ghrsy 8 eeae o t fll t , detrimental facts.

implied the existcncc ot undisclosed

.~

173.

The statements by Dean Campbell that Dr. Shirazi was removed from her administrative positions at Tisch Asia because of transferring cash to the Tisch Asia campus, coupled with thc statement
that there was a whole catalog of things that we did not do in New York because of moncy

being transfcrred to Tisch Asia, (7 87) falsely implied that Dr. Shirazi had transferred these funds without the Deans knowledge and approval.
174.

Dean Campbells response to Jon Hammonds statement that the advances from TSOA to lisch Asia that appeared to be the source of the financial fragility of Tisch Asia had been reviewed and approved by the Tisch Asia board of directors, including both Dean Campbell and Provost McLaughlin -- YOU mentioned a very good point. You said signed off and approved by the board of trustees and I will give you also thc narrative, the chronology of the board meetings and
a sense of exactly what was presented at those board meetings, which will give you a clear picture

of what the board members knew or did not know, undisclosed detrimental facts.
17s.

-- (1107) falsely implied the existence of

The statements by Defendant Sexton that Dr. Shirazi had transferred funds from Tisch New York without going through required NYU channels or getting approval and that she had been using funds from Tisch Asia for her personal expenses (185) were false.

176.

The statements by Defendant Sexton that he had been surprised at how fragilc the enterprise [Tisch Asia] was.. .things were startlingly fragile in a way that created jeopardy to the enterprise and his explanation of the removal of Dr. Shirazi from her position as head o f Tisch Asia was a result of this fragility, which made that decision necessary, existcnce of undisclosed detrimental facts.

(7 104) falsely implied the

177.

The following statements by Defendant Sexton ( 1 105) falsely implied the existencc of 1 undisclosed, detrimental facts:

... clearly, Paris departure was sudden. Clearly that kind of thing is unusual and

clearly, Im not going to go into the details of why it happened. That would be, I think, counterproductive and it would not be fair for me to discuss thc reasons why such an unusual decision was made .... In any case, I take full responsibility for that decision. I can only think in my eleven years as president and fourteen years as dean of one other

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- -

circumstance-where sorneihing like tbathas bppstsned._ . ---_--We dont discuss personncl matters publicly.. . Ive made this decision. It is my responsibility, listening as best I can to everyone in the community and in this case, observing a certain state of facts and having many conversations around that state of facts, to make decisions.

- - -

We do this in a way that it, it, its possible, honors the person for all thc good that he or she has done but theres only been one other example, as I say, in twenty-four years.
178.

The statements by Defendant Juliano that that the way Pari presentcd the numbers to the Board

was not only inaccurate but misleading, and that Dr. Shirazi had covercd up all the problems, had misled the board, and had <presentedthe numbers in a way that it was not clear (7 88); that Dr. Shirazi had violated NYU rules when doing construction ovcrseas ( 11 109, 1 I O and 1 I I), 1 and that that overrun that had not been approved by NYU
179.

(7 110) were false.

The statements by Defendant Juliano that he did not believe the explanations given to him by Dr. Shirazi for the construction cost overruns (7 f 109 and 112); that he could not get [his] head wrapped around these numbers; they dont make any sense (7 109) that recorded expenses for the renovation were very high, or unbelievable, or suspicious (1112); that he suspected that some expenses were not reported accurately, and that there was something wrong, because he could not understand the reasons for the cost overruns (f 1 1 I), and that he was sure Dr. Shirazi had done something fishy (f 112) falsely implied the existence of undisclosed detrimental facts.

1x0.

On information and belicf, the foregoing statements were made with malice and with knowlcdge

of their falsehood, or with reckless disregard for the truth, or with knowledge of their false implication of the existence of undisclosed detrimental facts.
181.

The foregoing statemcnts were defamatory per se because they impeach Plaintiff in her trade or profcssion.

182.

The foregoing statements were made while acting within the scope of Defendants Sexton, Campbell, and Julianos authority as the Defendant NYUs cmployees. NYU is therefore liable for their statements.

183.

Plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable injury, emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation, monetary damage, and damage to hcr professional reputation as a result of the Defcndants dcfarnatory actions.

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_ .

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FETH CAUSE 0 : ACTLUN-against Defendant N Y U 1 . . - Arhrary, capncluusamhulau&Lactians.cantraiytoNYU rules and rcgulations; failure to comply with applicablc procedurcs concerning Petitioners appointment renewal.
184.

. _

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---

Petitioner repeats and realleges paragraphs 1 to 140, 142 to 147, 149 to 153, 155 to 168, and 170
to I83 of this Complaint and Petition as if fully set forth herein.

185.

Thc Policy Document sets forth procedures to bc followed when considering appointment renewals for Associate Arts Professors.

186.

Petitioner fulfilled all of her obligations pursuant to the Policy Document. Pursuant to the Policy Document and in accordance with actions taken by the Departmental Committee, Dr. Shirazis Department Chair, and the All School Promotion and Tenure Committee, and in accordance with actions taken and statements made by Provost McLaughlin and Dean Campbell, Petitioner was cntitled to written notice of her eligibility for reappointment for a fivc-year term commencing on September 1,2001.

1x7.

188.

NYU acted in an arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful manner, as set forth above, by failing to
notify Petitioner of her eligibility for reappointment for a five-year term commencing on September 1,20 1 1.

189.

Pursuant to the Policy Document and in accordance with actions taken by the Departmental Committee, Dr. Shirazis Department Chair, and the All School Promotion and Tenurc Conitnittee, and in accordance with actions taken and statements made by Provost McLaughlin and Dean Campbell, Petitioner was entitled to written notice of renewal of her appointment for a five-year term commencing on September 1,201 1 by the beginning of her fifth year of appointment, or September I , 20 10.

190.

NYU acted in an arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful manner, as set forth above, by hiling to
provide Petitioner with written notice of the renewal of her appointment for a five-year term commencing on September 1, 201 1 by the beginning of her fifth year of appointment, or September I , 20 10.

191.

By tcrrninating Petitioner for breach of NYU rules and regulations during her fixed, five-year
term appointment without cause and without affording her thc due process rights to which shc

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WLS
.

entitled under thc Qisciplinary Regulations, N Y U failed to c ~ m p l y with the reappointment

rules and regulations set f o r t h n t h e P o l i c y D ~ n e K n G d i n a n t r a F a p r i c i o i i i i d - 5 unlawful manner


192.

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--

Petitioner has suffered damages and injury as a result of NYUs actions. Under C.P.I..K. Article 78, an order and judgment should be issued ordering NYU to issue a letter to Petitioner acknowledging her right to continued appointment as an Arts Professor from September 1,20 I 1 through August 3 I, 20 16 and her right to be considered thereafter for successive appointments in accordance with then-applicable NYU policies; to vacate its termination of Petitioners appointment on June 29,2012; to expungc any and all records reflecting that unlawful decision; to reinstate Petitioner to hcr position as an Associate Arts
Professor; to provide her with the full protections of its Disciplinary Policies; and to award her

193.

incidental damagcs, including but not limited to wages and othcr lost benefits.

S I X l H CAUSE OF ACTION against Defendant NYU Arbitrary, capricious. and unlawful actions contrary to NYU rules and regulations; failure to comply with applicable procedures concerning Petitioners application for promotion
194. Petitioner repeats and realleges paragraphs 1 to 140, 142 to 147, 149 to 153, 155 to 168, 170 to 183, and I85 to 193 of this Complaint and Petition as if fully set forth herein.
195.

The Policy Document sets forth procedures to be followed in considering the application of an

Arts Professor for promotion.


196.
197.

Petitioner fulfilled all of her obligations pursuant to these procedures.


NY U failed to follow the required procedures in considering Petitioners promotion request. NY U acted i n an arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful manner by rejecting Petitioners rcquest for

198.

promotion without following the required procedures. 199. Petitioner has suffered damages and injury as a rcsult of NYUs actions. Under C.P.L.R. Article 78, an order and judgment should be issued ordering NYTJ to consider the promotion recommendations made in 2010 in compliance with applicable rules and to award her incidental damages, including but not limited to wages and other lost benefits.

200.

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__
~.

~~

c E V E N T W S E O ? O u a i n s tD-.NYL-

. -

Arbitrary, capricious. and unlawful actions contrary to N Y U rules and regulations; failure to comply with applicable procedures governing charges that a faculty member has violated NYU rules or regulations
201.

Petitioner repeats and realleges paragraphs I to 140, 142 to 147, 149 to 153, 155 to 168, 170 to 183, 185 to 193, and 195 to 200 of this Complaint and Petition as if fully set forth herein.

202.

NYUs Disciplinary Regulations set forth procedures for addressing allegations of failure by a faculty member to comply with NYU rules and regulations, incuding violations of NYUs Policy and Code of Conduct.

203.

Thc Disciplinary Regulations permit a faculty member to be suspended pending investigation and hearing of charges of violation of an NYU rule or regulation when deerncd necessary in thc interest of the University community.

204.

Petitioner was suspended pending the on-going review of Tisch Asia operations. The review that was the purported basis for Petitioners suspension was not conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Disciplinary Regulations.

205.

206.

Neithcr at the time of Petitioners suspension nor at any time thercafter was there an investigation or hearing of the charges against Petitioner in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Disciplinary Regulations.

207.

In summarily suspending Petitioner without following any of the procedures set forth in the
Disciplinary Regulations for handling charges of violation of NYU rules and regulations, NYU actcd in an arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful manner.

208.

The Disciplinary Regulations require decisions to terminate a faculty member for violation of an NYU rule or regulation to be made upon the recommendation of a duly appointed faculty committee, acting by majority vote after conducting a hearing to determine whether tlie charges should be sustained.

209.

No duly appointed faculty committee was ever appointed to hear the chargcs against Petitioner. No hearing was ever conducted by a duly appointed faculty committce to dctermine whether tlie charges against Petitioner could be sustained.
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210.

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7 1 - 1

A s i u r n m d y t & a ~ q + P e t i t i ~ r i ~ l & f M x e ~ appaLitmeutforWiolatians


.~
x _
___I

- -

of the N Y IJ Policy and Code of Conduct without following any of the proccdures set forth in the Disciplinary Regulations for handling charges of violation of NYU rules and regulations, NYU acted in an arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful manner.
212.

Petitioncr has suffered damages and injury as a result of NYlJs actions. Under C.P.L.R. Article 78, an order and judgment shoiild be issued ordering NYU to vacate its termination of Petitioners appointment on June 29, 2012; to expunge any and all records reflecting that unlawful decision; to reinstate Petitioner to her position as an Associate Arts Professor for a tcrin ending on August 30, 20 16 and subject to further renewals under the rules and regulations then in effect; to provide her with the full protections of its Disciplinary Policies; and to award her incidental damages, including but not limited to wages and other lost benefits.

213.

214.

There has been no previous application for the relief requested herein.

215.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff-Petitioner respectfully requests that this Court grant the following relief:

(a) enter judgment against Defendant NYU for damages for breach of contract in an amount to be determined;
(b) enter judgment against Defendant NYU to make Plaintiff-Petitioner whole for all compensation and benefits she would have received through August 3 I, 2016 but for her improper termination; (c) enter judgment against Defendant NY U to make Plaintiff-Petitioner whole for all compensation and benefits she would have received upon renewal of her contract at the conclusion of her currcnt contract term; (d) declare that the acts complained of constitute unlawful defamation;
(e) award Plaintiff-Petitioner compensatory damages for the losses she suffered as a result of the Defendants defamatory statements, including, but not limited economic losses, injury to reputation, and emotional distress;
(f) entcr judgment directing Defcndant NYU to take all steps necessary to clear Plaintiff-

Pctitioncrs name in Singapore;


(6) award Plaintiff-Petitioner punitive damages;

(11) award Plaintiff-Petitioner pre-judgment intercst on the amounts owed; (i) enter an order and judgment, pursuant to C.P.L.R. Article 78, that NYU violated its

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.s;nntractual~~bligatians to_Plaintiff-Petitl~~pursMant its Faculty Handb*mk,its to the


Arts Professor Policy Document, and its Guidelines for Arts Professors Appointments, Renewals, Promotions by dismissing Plaintiff-Petitioner for allcged violations of NYUs Policy and Code of Ethical Conduct without following thc General Disciplinary Regulations Applicable to Both Tenured and Non-Tenured Faculty Members;
(j) issue a writ of mandamus, pursuant to C.P.L.K. Article 78, ordering NYU to vacate Plaintiff-Petitioners June 22,201 2 termination; to expunge any and all records reflecting that iinlawful decision; to refrain from representing that Dr. Shirazi was discharged for unprofessional conduct; to reinstate Dr. Shirazi to her former position as an Associate Arts Professor; to issue a letter to Dr. Shirazi acknowledging her right to continued appointment as an Arts Professor through August 3 1,20 16 and her right to be considered thereafter for successive appointments in accordance with then-applicable NYU policies and procedures; to promptly consider Dr. Shirazis request for promotion in accordance with applicable policies and procedures; to provide her with the full protections of its disciplinary policies and proccdures; and to award her incidental damages, including but not limited to wages and other lost benefits; and

(k) award Plaintiff-Petitioner such additional relief as the Court may deem just and proper, including attorneys fees and the costs and disbursements of this proceeding.
JLJRY TRIAL DEMAND
Plaintiff-Petitioner hereby demands ajury trial of those claims for which ajury trial is permitted pursuant to C.P.L.R. @4102 and 7804(h). This matter is entitled to a special trial preference. Dated: New York, New York September 25,2012

BRILL & MEJSEL Altorneys fmr Plaintg- Pet itioner

Rosalind S. Fink 845 Third Avenue New York, New York 10022 (212) 753-5599

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STATE OF NEW YORK


COUNTY OF NEW YORK

1
) ss. )

PARI SARA SHTRAZI, being duly sworn, dcposes and says:

I m the Plaintiff-Petitioner in the above-entitled action. 1 have read the foregoing Verified
Petition and Corrrplaint and know the contents thereof; the same is true to m y knowledge, except as to the matters stated to be alleged upon information and belief, and as to those matters 1 believe them to be true.

Sworn to before me this 25th day of September, 2012

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