A group of administrators at Michigan State University (MSU), including Interim President Teresa Woodruff and Provost Thomas Jeitschko, has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by former business college dean Sanjay Gupta.

Gupta had filed a complaint to the U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, accusing the administrators of defamation and unjustly removing him from his position as dean of the Eli Broad College of Business in 2022.

In their motion, the administrators argue that Gupta’s case lacks sufficient evidence to support the allegations of wrongful conduct. They characterize Gupta’s lawsuit as an attempt to seek reinstatement as dean, claiming that both they as individuals and the court lack the jurisdiction to grant such relief.

The filing describes Gupta’s complaint as a desperate plea for the court to intervene as a super-personnel department for a public higher education institution, emphasizing that his dismissal was due to his failure to comply with university policies rather than any unethical actions by the officials.

Gupta’s removal from his position was related to an alleged failure to report an incident of sexual misconduct. An external investigation concluded that Gupta violated the university’s reporting protocol, but it also identified issues with the reasons provided by Woodruff for his dismissal.

Numerous members of the business school community have expressed support for Gupta and called for his reinstatement during Board of Trustees meetings.

MSU declined to comment on the motion, citing its absence as a defendant in the complaint. As the legal process progresses, the court will assess the motion and determine whether Gupta’s lawsuit will proceed or be dismissed based on the arguments presented by the administrators.

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