Duquesne professor sues university over dean's hiring

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A Duquesne University associate law professor has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the law school, alleging she was not considered for an interim deanship because of her race and gender.

Vanessa Browne-Barbour's suit was filed June 30 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Browne-Barbour, who is black, was associate law dean at the time Donald Guter, then the school's dean, was removed from his position in December 2008. The university subsequently named Ken Gormley, who is white, to be interim dean. In her suit, Ms. Browne-Barbour claims discrimination and says she was more qualified for the position given her experience as associate dean.

The next month, she resigned the associate deanship, calling Mr. Guter's removal unjust. Mr. Gormley was later named permanent dean.

Attorney Martha Hartle Munsch, representing the law school, said Duquesne denies the allegations and will vigorously defend against the lawsuit.



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