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Penn State disputes Anti-Black Discrimination Charge October 20, 2006

Posted by C.A.R.D in African-American, anti-black, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Professor, Racism, Racist.

Penn State committed no racial discrimination against professor Beverly Lindsay, but it limited her pay raises because she showed only satisfactory job performance, according to the university.

Lindsay, 58, brought a civil lawsuit against Penn State on Sept. 18. She alleged that Penn State repeatedly mistreated her because she is black.

The university, in a 21-page response filed Wednesday, disputed the claims and asked a federal judge to toss the case.

While Lindsay is the only black woman professor in the College of Education, “she is not the only minority full professor,” the Penn State response reads. “Nor is she the only African-American faculty member” within the college.

Penn State hired Lindsay in 1996 as dean for the University Office of International Programs. Six years later, according to the university, Lindsay resigned the deanship and accepted a full professorship.

“This transition occurred as a result of an academic administrative review of (Lindsay’s) performance as dean,” according to the Penn State response.

In the 2003-04 academic year, Lindsay said, she exceeded expectations but “received substantially lower raises than her similarly situated colleagues.” In the next year, she said, she was assigned a heavier workload than those of her mostly white colleagues.

Penn State disputed both claims.

Lindsay received paltry raises — less than 2 percent — that reflected her performance at the time, according to the university’s filing.

“It is denied that (Lindsay) substantially or significantly exceeded (Penn State’s) goals and expectations for her performance,” the filing reads.

According to the university, Lindsay in 2003-04 had a lighter teaching load than “similarly situated colleagues.”

Another sticking point involves Lindsay’s disability claims. She has said that her office was “ergonomically incorrect” and failed to accommodate her medical conditions.

Court papers do not specify those medical conditions, though Lindsay accused the university of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Penn State claimed that it has tried “diligently and reasonably” to fulfill Lindsay’s request for adequate furniture. Beyond that, the university said, it doesn’t have enough information to know what “additional accommodation is necessary to satisfy the alleged medical conditions.”

Lindsay’s York-based attorney, Sara A. Austin, could not be reached Thursday. Penn State does not comment on pending litigation, and its chief counsel declined an opportunity to speak about the case.

Lindsay is seeking unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees. The case is filed in federal Middle District Court, based in Scranton.

Judge James F. McClure Jr., in Williamsport, is hearing the case. He scheduled a case-management conference for Nov. 21.

Source: Centre Daily Times

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