I don't know if the academic world is different from the corporate world, but that sounds like a demotion and not a contract dispute.
While I'm not saying you are wrong PBW, I have heard of similar situations. This past semester my undergrad program head went back to teaching full-time. He was in no way demoted. He wanted to teach full-time, as he couldn't stand teaching 1-2 classes at most and spending the rest of the time dealing with administration. From all I've heard, Dean Closius is very well liked and respected, so I would be surprised if this was a demotion. I guess we'll know more when we are on campus this fall...