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To: Bud Peterson
President, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dear Dr. Peterson,
My name is XX, and I am writing you concerning Professor Joy Laskar, formerly at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). His case exemplifies violations of academic freedom and absence of due process; it is my hope you will take the time to properly address this situation.
As you know, Dr. Laskar was employed by Georgia Tech from 1995 to 2011 and was not only tenured but held the Schlumberger Chair in Microelectronics. Until May 16, 2010, Dr. Laskar graduated 41 Ph.D. students, brought in more than $50 million of funding to the university, and was one of the most prolific researchers at the institute.
On May 17, 2010, officials within GT and its licensing arm, Georgia Tech Research Corporation, made allegations of malfeasance against Dr. Laskar and claimed he had misappropriated funds for his own benefit and for the benefit of his start-up company, Sayana Wireless, which was to be auctioned on May 17, 2010.
Yet, GTRC and Georgia Tech management, including you, remain fully aware (1) Sayana is a Georgia Tech incubated company, and (2) GTRC itself is a minority owner of the company, and stands to benefit from its sale and (3) Dr. Laskar acted appropriately and within the known Georgia Tech and GTRC guidelines. (4) The sworn testimony of the former ECE department head, Gary May, confirms this.
For the past three years, officials from your university and GTRC have acted without regard to the laws of the state of Georgia, and disseminated untruths to the media and discussed the status of Dr. Laskar’s employment and dismissal with third parties. As you know, the institute did not follow its own procedures and rules in terminating Dr. Laskar. Officials from Georgia Tech and GTRC have wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and wasted thousands of hours of time of the Office of the Attorney General of Georgia by weaving together untruths, listening to office politics and encouraging Dr. Laskar’s arrest (without indictment) September 24, 2010, in an attempt to disgrace him.
As you know, Dr. Laskar has already won two civil suits against the institute, for violating its own policies for suspension without pay, and for failing to adhere to the Georgia Open Records Act. You are the head of one of the top public schools in the country, and you have the authority to make right this terrible injustice.
It is my hope that you will encourage the Attorney General’s Office to drop the state racketeering charges against Dr. Laskar; that you will reinstate Dr. Laskar’s tenure and restore his reputation so that he may seek other opportunities in academia; that you will direct your staff to return his personal and company property to him; and that the people who instigated this mess will publicly apologize for their reprehensible behavior.
Thank you very much for your time and for giving this matter the attention it deserves.