3 former University of Arizona deans settle lawsuit over gender pay gap

Posted July 24th, 2019.

As It Appeared On
Daily Star

By Jasmine Demers Arizona Daily Star

Three former University of Arizona deans settled a $2 million gender discrimination lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents.

Both parties “are pleased that this matter has been mutually resolved,” according to a joint statement that was released Wednesday.

The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed.

The lawsuit began in January 2018 after former UA Honors College Dean Patricia MacCorquodale filed a class-action federal lawsuit alleging gender-based pay inequality at the university. MacCorquodale claimed she was underpaid for two decades and, according to the suit, was replaced as dean in 2016 by a man who was paid $70,000 more.

Janice Cervelli — former dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture — joined the lawsuit alongside MacCorquodale in March 2018. Cervelli claimed she and other female deans were systematically underpaid compared with male counterparts and subjected to gender discrimination.

In August 2018, Joan Shaver, the former dean of the College of Nursing, joined the list of plaintiffs. Shaver, who stepped down from her position as dean in 2018, also claimed she was paid less than men who performed similar work.

“Plaintiffs brought this action to highlight the importance of gender equity and diverse leadership in higher education, and both parties agree and reaffirm the continuing importance of these issues,” the joint statement said.

MacCorquodale and Shaver will continue working at the university as tenured professors in gender and women’s studies and nursing, respectively. Cervelli has since left the university and now serves as the president of Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana.

The Arizona Daily Star has requested a copy of the settlement. MacCorquodale, Cervelli and Shaver could not be reached for comment.

The Arizona Board of Regents is still facing a separate $20 million class-action lawsuit, which was filed in December on behalf of UA chemistry professor Katrina Miranda and all other female faculty members within the College of Science who have been employed at the university for at least three years.

The suit alleges that the UA underpays female faculty members by tens of thousands of dollars, does not promote women adequately and does not provide equal access to work resources.

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