Former University of Arizona deans settle lawsuit regarding unequal pay for women

Posted July 24th, 2019.

As It Appeared On
AZ Central

Kyra Haas, Arizona Republic

Three former deans at University of Arizona have settled with the Arizona Board of Regents after filing a federal lawsuit claiming they were underpaid by tens of thousands of dollars compared to male colleagues.

“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,” a joint statement between the three women and the Board of Regents, released Wednesday, stated.

“The parties are pleased that this matter has been mutually resolved.”

The Arizona Republic has requested a copy of the settlement from both the university and the Regents, but they have yet to provide it.The Board of Regents oversees Arizona’s public universities and is the defendant when those schools are sued.

Patricia MacCorquodale, former dean of UA’s Honors College, sued the university in 2018, alleging she was underpaid for two decades. The suit stated that when she was replaced as dean in 2016, the man who took her place made nearly $70,000 more.

Two others later joined that suit: Janice Cervelli, the former dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and Joan Shaver, former dean of the School of Nursing.

Shaver said she was satisfied with how the case was resolved but declined further comment Wednesday. MacCorquodale and Cervelli could not be reached.

All three women made similar allegations of underpay as female deans. Cervelli alleged the university refused to give her a single pay raise while she was dean from 2008 to 2016. She also claimed she earned $80,000 less per year compared to men in similar positions.

Shaver joined the lawsuit in August 2018 after stepping down from her position as dean.

MacCorquodale and Shaver are still professors at UA. Cervelli left the university in 2016 and became the president of Indiana’s Saint Mary’s College. She resigned suddenly in late 2018 and has since sued the college, alleging its board of trustees forced her out.

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