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Employment — sex discrimination

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Employment — sex discrimination

Where a professor failed to get renewals of grants, an failed to publish, her denial of tenure was not sex discrimination.

“There is no indication that any member of the medical school’s appointments, promotion, and tenure committee, or the dean, or the provost discriminates against women scientists. In the seven years that the dean had been in office when he recommended against giving Blasdel tenure, the percentage of tenure track female faculty in the medical school had increased from 20.5 to 25.4 percent and their rate of obtaining tenure had exceeded that of the male faculty. Nor is it suggested that the committee, or the dean, or the provost rubber stamps tenure recommendations by any department in the medical school— and of course if they did Blasdel would have gotten tenure, because her department recommended her for it. She argues that she was undermined by Surmeier and others. But her evidence of their being prejudiced against women is limited to a handful of stray remarks of ambiguous import at best—such as ‘a woman scientist who reproduces,’ ‘emotional need to be heard,’ ‘combative,’ and Bevan’s once calling her ‘scary!’ Bevan’s remark may well have been a compliment—the ad hoc committee noted that ‘blunt scientific style could . . . be viewed as a breath of fresh air in heated scientific discussions,’ and anyway the comment had nothing to do with the tenure process.”


11-2075 Blasdel v. Northwestern University

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Kocoras, J., Posner, J.

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