UA chemistry professor settles gender discrimination lawsuit

Posted December 18th, 2019.

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Jasmine Demers

A University of Arizona chemistry professor settled a $20 million gender discrimination lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents. ABOR will pay a total of $100,000 to Katrina Miranda, UA associate professor in chemistry and biochemistry.

According to a joint statement released Tuesday, the “plaintiff brought this action to highlight the importance of gender equity in the sciences and both parties reaffirm the continuing importance of this issue.”

The federal lawsuit, which began in December 2018, was filed on behalf on Miranda and all other female faculty members within the College of Science who have been with the school for at least three years.

Miranda, who has been with the UA since 2002, said she experienced a pattern of gender discrimination that resulted in her being paid less than her male colleagues at the College of Science. The complaint also alleged that the university underpays female faculty by tens of thousands of dollars per year, does not adequately promote women and denies them equal access to work resources. According to the lawsuit, Miranda and other women had not received a significant raise in pay since 2011, but the university provided large raises to men with similar lengths of service in the same department.

Miranda’s salary for the 2018-19 school year was $100,714. Since 2011, her salary has increased by $9,200, which the lawsuit said is small compared to her male counterparts.

The suit states that a male professor of chemistry, who was hired and received tenure at the same time as Miranda, was paid $130,500 for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years — $30,000 more than Miranda was paid.

According to the suit, Miranda was denied pay increases despite holding several leadership positions and publishing more than some of her male colleagues. She was also allegedly denied promotion to full professor in 2016 even though she had received recommendations from the department head.

The settlement comes five months after ABOR paid $190,000 to settle a separate gender discrimination lawsuit filed by three former UA deans.

The Arizona Daily Star has requested a copy of the settlement. Miranda could not be reached for comment, but according to the joint statement, she will continue in her role at the university.

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