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Ex-head of Va. Tech institute sues over demotion

BLACKSBURG (AP) — Virginia Tech President Charles Steger and three other senior administrators are being sued by a former director of the school’s Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.

The university replaced Harold “Skip” Garner as director in 2012 following a 2011 audit of the institute’s operations.

Garner claims in his lawsuit that he was demoted without due process and the demotion was unwarranted.

Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker tells The Roanoke Times that Garner didn’t avail himself of the university’s grievance process.

Hincker says Garner remains employed at the institute and is a tenured professor.

Garner filed the $11 million lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit Court in February. It has since been moved to federal court.

The other defendants are Provost Mark McNamee, Vice President for Research Robert Walters and current institute Director Dennis Dean.

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