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Prof settles 14-year-old lawsuit with U over ‘honor’ of male faculty

A self-proclaimed crusader for the honor of male faculty members has settled a lawsuit with the University for $225,000.

Ian Maitland, a professor of businesses ethics at the Carlson School of Management, sued the University in 1989 for settling a class-action lawsuit brought by female faculty members in which the University paid $3 million for salary adjustments.

Maitland said the University settlement with female faculty created the impression that discrimination against women was endemic on our campus.

“I thought it was a lousy settlement,” he said. “I felt the University wasn’t defending the honor of its male faculty members.”

His settlement with the University is a vindication of male faculty members’ honor, he said.

University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg said Maitland’s case was unfounded but it had dragged on for too long.

“We settled with him simply to save the additional time and cost that would have to be invested,” he said.

Rotenberg also said the court’s denial to make the case a class-action lawsuit was evidence that Maitland does not represent male faculty.

“The University attempted to do right for its women faculty. But then we got accused for handing those dollars out; we got sued for discriminating against men,” he said.

The settlement with female faculty members followed a lawsuit in which chemistry professor Shyamala Rajender successfully sued the University for gender discrimination. She received $100,000 and her lawyer $2 million, Maitland said.

Maitland said he used the complaint filed by Rajender as his template to sue the University. He said this put the University between a rock and a hard place.

Maitland said he would set aside the settlement money in his “war chest” in case the University did not uphold its promise to establish pay for faculty members regardless of their gender.

Nathan Halverson covers police and legal affairs and welcomes comments at [email protected]

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