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University of Arizona Settles Gender Discrimination Suit for $100K

— December 30, 2019

The University of Arizona recently agreed to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by a female professor for $100,000.

Earlier this month the University of Arizona agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a gender discrimination suit filed by one of its professors, Dr. Katrina Miranda. Miranda is a tenured associate professor in the school’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In her suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in November 2018, she alleged there is a “pattern of systematic discrimination against female faculty members in UA’s College of Science.”

Brown and gold gavel; image by Bill Oxford, via
Brown and gold gavel; image by Bill Oxford, via

It’s important to note that earlier this year, the university settled another lawsuit “related to unequal pay for female professors.” That particular suit involved three former deans and resulted in the Arizona Board of Regents, the body that oversees the three state universities, “paying $190,000 to the plaintiffs for that settlement.

According to a statement from Miranda, she decided to sue the university to “highlight the importance of gender equity in the sciences and both parties reaffirm the continuing importance of this issue.” The statement continued:

The University recognizes the Plaintiff’s contributions to her discipline and the College of Science and wishes her well as she continues her academic pursuits at the University.”

When Miranda initially filed her suit, she sought class-action status, as well as compensation for “back pay, front pay, damages and attorneys’ fees on behalf of herself and any others who could be included in the class action.”

What kind of discrimination did Miranda face, though? For starters, she alleged that even though she received “positive performance reviews and recognition for her work and service to the university, she was underpaid and denied promotions.” The suit stated:

Dr. Miranda’s experiences are emblematic of these prevailing patterns and trends at the college. Despite her remarkable credentials and achievements, her pay has languished at inordinately low levels for years, and she has been denied a long-earned promotion to (full) professor.”

In total, the lawsuit claimed Miranda was underpaid by anywhere between “$9,000 to $36,000 per year from 2016 to 2018 compared with male professors of similar or lesser seniority and performance.” According to the suit, she was paid “$100,000 for the 2017-18 academic year, while a male chemistry professor made $130,500 despite joining the university and getting tenure the same year as Miranda.” Additionally, it claimed another male chemistry professor made more than $136,000 even though he only had one more year of experience than Miranda.

As if the pay disparity wasn’t enough, the lawsuit also alleged female professors are regularly “subjected to humiliating and demeaning treatment by male leaders” and do not have the same access to “resources including research assistants and mentoring opportunities.”


UA settles gender discrimination lawsuit from professor for $100K

UA chemistry professor settles gender discrimination lawsuit

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