University cleared of discrimination suit from black, female professor

A New Hampshire judge has ruled that a professor was not discriminated against because of her race and sex when her school fired her two years ago.

Professor Roslyn Chavda sued the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 2013 on the grounds that the school had mistreated her because she was a black mother. She alleged that her colleagues weren’t letting her know about peer-reviewed research opportunities; in addition, she said the head of her department told her that the department couldn’t complete several projects because of medical issues she’d experienced related to her pregnancy which required bed rest. Moreover, her suit charged that UNH had fired her because of her concerns about leniency in the Master of Publication Administration program.

However, Judge Landya McCafferty of the U.S. District Court for New Hampshire ruled Tuesday that Chavda had failed to provide proof that she had been discriminated against. According to the ruling, the professor said that there had been no verbal signs of discrimination and admitted that she failed to meet the university’s expectations.

UNH said it fired Chavda because she had poor student evaluations (student ratings on the third-party website, though no longer available, apparently gave her a score of 2.9 out of a possible five with a mixture of positive and negative comments) and a “thin” collection of peer-reviewed research, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Chavda was hired in 2006 during a hiring freeze which had exceptions for minority hires. She was fired by UNH in 2012.

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