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June 15, 1994 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1994-06-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

8 -The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, June 15, 1994

Crystal drops class action suit, sues on own for gender discrimination

CRYSTAL tial memoonNov. 3,1992tothePoliti-
cal Science Executive Committee,
Continued from page 1 Lieberthal stated that different stan-
ommendation based on inaccurate, dards were applied.
incomplete, misleading and biased "It's interesting that Ken should
actions taken by Arlene Saxonhouse, say that because we have him quoted
chair at the time, and others. that they had held me to a higher stan-
Saxonhouse could not be reached for dard than male candidates and that my
comment. record was stronger than at least one
Ken Lieberthal, an internal review male candidate last year who was ten-
committee member who recom- ured and promoted," Crystal said.
mendedagainsttenureforCrystal,told "Inanother 'confidential' statement
the Detroit News that she was helped sent ... November 5, 1992 in a faculty
by her gender in the tenure process. meeting Lieberthal admitted 'her writ-
"Jill was clearly given more votes tenrecord isclearly more complete and
(in the tenure process) than she would of higher quality than is that of at least
have if she was a male," Lieberthal oneotherperson whorecentlyreceived
said in the article. Reached this week, tenure from us.' ... Of those being
he declined further comment. considered for tenure, the only people
But Crystal said that in a confiden- who received tenure in the department
are male," Crystal said.
Duerr, an attorney for the Univer-
sity, confirmed the existence and sub-
stance of the memos, but refused to
1_ provide copies to The Michigan Daily
claiming they were for departmental
E 1 Ji use only.

Walter Harrison, vice president for
University relations, said he felt Crys-
tal would be denied class action status
based on the outside statistician's testi-
mony in court.
The University hired David
Peterson, an adjunct professor in the
'Of those being
consideredfor tenure,
the only people who
received tenure in the
department are male.'
- Jill Crystal
assistant professor

Institute of Statistics and Decision Sci-
ences at Duke University and president
of his own statistical litigation com-
pany. A graduate of Stanford, he has
testified in courts around the nation as
an expert and worked with attorneys.
Using figures provided by Univer-

said in his study that although more
males were granted tenure, he attrib-
uted this difference to "chance factors
in the selection process."
All the male candidates recom-
mended by the political science depart-
ment were granted tenure by LSA while
only 83.3 percent of the women re-
ceived tenure. Peterson said there is no
evidence that these figures are statisti-
cally significant or due to gender dis-
No other female professor joined
Crystal in her class action lawsuit.
University counsel cites this as lack of
support for class action status.
Crystal testified that she contacted
other women about her lawsuit, asking
if they would sign a statement of sup-
port for her claims. She said while
many women agreed with her claims,
the female faculty here fear possible
retaliation by the University if they
step forward.
Crystal is also suing a colleague in
the political science department, Prof.
David Singer, for defamation. "At a
meeting of the International Studies
Association on Nov. 20, 1992, the day
after the department voted to recom-
mend me for promotion and tenure,...
he got up and spoke at some lengths
about me and why he didn't think I
should be tenured and promoted. I
wasn't even at the conference."
Crystal alleges that Singer told her
peers at the panel that her work was an
"example of everything that was bad in
politicalscience,"and she was a"young
woman who couldn't crunch numbers
... couldn't even count," that her work
was "no good" and "not science."
Singer declined to comment about

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sity counsel, Peterson found that from
1977-1994, 88.7 percent of the male
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dates from the departments were ap-
Color Printing proved by LSA for tenure. Peterson
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the matter on advice from legal coun-
sel, but he prepared a written statement
concerning the charges.
He said the allegations are based on
"hearsay andindirectly transmittedrec-
ollections." In the statement, he said
that at the conference, he was only
emphasizingthe importanceofstatisti-
cal evaluation in his field.
He alluded to a young woman in his
political science department recently
being considered for tenure and her
inability to "crunch numbers." He sai
his comments were intended to "illu-
minate"aproblemin thediscipline, not
to defame her.
Crystal, however, was the only
woman that year being considered for
tenure and offered names of people at
the conference who wouid support her
Singer said it was improbable that
Crystal's accusations are true and of-
fered the names of three colleagues aj
the meeting on his behalf. He said he
feels her complaint is frivolous, incor-
rect and an affront to free expression
and a threat to academic freedom.
"Singer was reprimanded in writing by
the University as a result of his state-
ments about Prof. Crystal," Balch said.
Despite her claims that tenure de-
nial has harmed her reputation and
chances for future employment, Crys
tal will be teaching at Auburn Univer-
sity in Alabama later this summer.
Balchsaidthe position, however, is
at a lower salary and she would not
have pursuedthepositionifshehadnot
been denied tenure.

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