Thursday, January 27, 2011

AAUW supporting professor fighting gender and race discrimination

AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund Supports Promotion Suit against University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

UMass,Dartmouth Commencement
WASHINGTON – The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund announced today that it is awarding monetary support to the case Sun v. University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Plaintiff Lulu Sun, an English professor, has alleged sex and race discrimination in the promotion process at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Sun filed two charges of discrimination with the Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination (MCAD), the first in 2005 and the second in 2006.

For the first charge, MCAD found probable cause of discrimination based on gender, race, and national origin. In the second charge, MCAD found probable cause of retaliation and of discrimination based on gender, race, and national origin.

Sun will seek not only a promotion and damages for the alleged discrimination but also an order from MCAD requiring the university administration to undertake diversity and anti-discrimination training and to actively recruit and promote women faculty, especially women of color.

A public hearing began in December 2010 and will conclude on Monday, January 31, 2011.

"By supporting Dr. Sun's case, we are sending employers the message that discrimination will not be tolerated," said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. "The AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund seeks out cases that can bring about equitable treatment for all women in all workplaces."

AAUW support has been instrumental in the success of many promotion and tenure cases of faculty and staff at universities across the country during the 30-year history of the AAUW Legal Advocacy Fund.

"At my university, there has been a pattern of discrimination against women and people of color for over a dozen years," said Sun. "There are almost no female faculty of color at the full professor rank. I am grateful that AAUW is supporting my case as I work to change this reality."

Today, AAUW provides financial and organizational support for a select number of cases that have the potential to provide significant protection for all women. The funds come directly from generous AAUW members who support the Legal Advocacy Fund.

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