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Hispanic assistant professor sues after denied promotion, tenure

Issues surrounding tenure, promotion and reappointment in academia can be vital to a faculty member. Certainly, in Ohio and Northern Kentucky institutions of higher learning the process itself can be difficult, with its unique role in the world of employment. The court system may be reluctant to interfere with many RPT decisions. However, with the stakes so high, for some individuals seeking review is an important decision.

A woman who had held a position as an associate professor in a theater department on the West Coast says that she was not only denied a promotion to professor, but was denied tenure and fired. She has a doctorate degree from a reputable university and says that the theater department supported her for tenure, but she received an adverse decision anyway.

She says that she still does not even know why Pomona College denied the promotion and tenure. In fact, she says that it appears from what scant information she has been given, the tenure denial was not based upon her scholarship or academic qualifications, according to the Associated Press.

All that she has learned about the denial is that the school seemed to indicate in an email questions tied to unidentified student reviews.

The former assistant professor is seeking justice in a wrongful termination lawsuit against the institution. She says that she was denied the professorship and tenure due to her gender and national origin. The woman is Hispanic, and says that she has been denied access to information as to why she was denied the promotion and tenure. She says that she meets all of the requirements for tenure under the school’s policies.

The school claims that it has a diverse faculty, but declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Source: The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News, “Ex-prof sues Pomona College for discrimination,” Aug. 20, 2013

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