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Ex-dean at UK out as WSU provost

SEATTLE — Former University of Kentucky arts and sciences dean Steven Hoch is on paid leave from his job as provost at Washington State University after an altercation at a senior staff meeting.

The school said Hoch would not return as provost but would have a tenured faculty post in the history department.

School officials on Thursday released a confidential internal report that said the staff meeting ended in exchanges of profanity and a hallway shoving match.

The report said witnesses described Hoch's behavior at a Sept. 10 staff meeting as "disrespectful, rude, condescending and arrogant" during a discussion of a proposed new university budget model.

According to the report, the witnesses said that Hoch menaced a staffer in the hallway afterwards and that the man was justified in pushing Hoch away.

In statements to the media and in an e-mail to the WSU president, Hoch accused the other staffer, Greg Royer, vice president for business and finance, of attacking him. Royer has since responded, saying he was defending himself, which witness statements appear to support.

Hoch was put on paid leave on Sept. 23, less than two months after he was hired away from UK.

He will step down as provost Oct. 31 and take up his new post on Nov. 1.

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