With tenure subject to review of weston performance

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Weston v. Cornell University

Cornell University offered Leslie Weston an associate professorship for a term of five years. The offer came “with tenure” subject to a review of Weston’s performance. She accepted. Cornell later declined to award her permanent status but extended her appointment for two years “without tenure,” and gave her the opportunity to resubmit. She agreed. Cornell again denied her permanent status and eventually terminated her position. Weston filed a suit in a New York state court against Cornell, alleging breach of contract. The university filed a motion for summary judgment. The court denied the motion. The defendant appealed.

A state intermediate appellate court reversed the denial of Cornell’s motion for summary judgment. The terms of the parties’ original offer and acceptance were materially changed by Cornell’s offer to extend Weston’s appointment “without tenure” and Weston’s acceptance of the new term.

Written, hard copy correspondence between the parties provided most of the evidence to support the courts’ conclusions in this case. Does it seem reasonable that an exchange of e-mail can serve the same purpose? Why or why not?

Suppose that Weston had resigned from a tenured position at a different university to accept Cornell’s original offer. Would the result in this case have been different?

Reference no: EM132234137

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